Yet, organic SEO is not the only path to visibility. Some websites pay for visibility. Ads, banners, or Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns can attract a great deal of traffic to a website.
Many websites choose a mix of organic SEO and paid advertising to ensure placement on the first SERP. Organic SEO is essentially free, yet any SEO campaign can take time to produce results. For most websites, the wait is worthwhile. For new websites, however, paid advertisements provide a quick, easy route to placement.
A paid result, however, is the opposite of a (free) organic result. More importantly, a paid result is often not as relevant to a browser's search. In the end, the best online exposure cannot be bought; exposure must be earned.
The first, most important step to earning exposure is to build a well-optimized website loaded with engaging, relevant content. If you're interested in building an organically optimized website form the ground up, please read our series on how to build an optimized website, beginning with Website Design and Website Development.
Once you have built a well-optimized website, Content Creation (and, obviously, Conversion) will be your prime tasks. For organic SEO, content is king.
That said, it is clear a well-optimized website with engaging, relevant content is not enough to attract visitors. Too many websites focus exclusively on organic SEO and content creation to the detriment of traditional marketing.
As Jayson DeMers recently wrote at Forbes:
"If you’re a savvy marketer, you’re already actively engaging in content marketing. Unfortunately, many business owners are so focused on the creation of their content that they’re forgetting the marketing component of the equation. After all, what good is amazing content if nobody knows about it?"
In other words, too much content is created and shared in a vacuum. What good is your website's content, for example, if it is not promoted on multiple channels.
This graphic from Search Engine Watch is spot-on:
|[Source: Search Engine Watch]|
Organic SEO is at the center of any good online marketing campaign. In this context, SEO refers specifically to your message--your content. A site optimized with organic SEO will attract visitors, eventually, but a multi-channel marketing campaign will accelerate the process.
The crux here is time vs. cost. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest work like organic SEO, offering a free means to engaging and attracting customers. If you have the time and resources, no marketing method (beyond organic SEO, of course) will be more productive for your website. If you're interested in learning more about how to use social media and email to engage and attract visitors, please read some of our most popular posts:
Why Twitter is the Social Media Choice for Today and Tomorrow
Facebook, Sociability, and Organic Reach
Pinterest Refers 5X More Traffic Than Twitter
Three Simple Tips For Optimizing Consumer Emails
What is the current state of your marketing efforts? Are you engaging in organic SEO, content creation, and multi-channel marketing? If not, do you actually expect to make money from your online efforts?