Why Relying On Organic Search Traffic Alone Is A Risky Business

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Why Relying On Organic Search Traffic Alone Is A Risky Business

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We have all been guilty of relying on organic search traffic and organic search traffic alone as a traffic source at some point during our careers. However, deep down I think we’ve all known for year that this approach is a risky business and that, to ensure its sustainable success, any internet marketing campaign must be built on solid foundations which sit on not just one technique but on a wide range!

In short, if you only rely on organic search traffic (and most likely from only one search engine) to generate sales and inquiries through your website, then STOP! You’re playing a very risky game and it could end in disaster.

Loss Of Organic Search Positions Can Spell Disaster

If we look back just over a year to April 24th, 2012, when Penguin first rolled out or even back to last month when Penguin 2.0 was launched, the story is always the same; backlash for Google from webmasters and so-called “SEO’s” who have lost their page one positions over night. Those who complain aren’t necessarily doing so because they dropped positions, they do so because, in an instant, their business has dried up!

Far too much time has been spent by these so called “SEO’s” focusing solely on one form of website traffic and, once that’s gone, there’s nothing else to fall back on. With this in mind; never put all of your eggs in one basket, spread them across numerous baskets in case one fails!

But What If Organic Search Traffic Only Drives A Small Percentage Of Overall Traffic?

Imagine the above post Penguin scenario where organic search traffic represented only 30% of a website’s traffic. Even if a site in this circumstance was to fall foul of Google’s latest update, whatever that may be, a decrease in 30% of overall traffic isn’t going to instantly stop business and cause massive panic. Yes, it may cause concern and a noticeable drop in sales and inquiries, but it’s not going to shut a business down overnight. It is this situation in which all webmasters should be in, regardless of their approach to online marketing.

It is important to understand is that organic search traffic is simply a part of a much bigger picture. It’s vital to spend time marketing a website in a variety of different ways and stop worrying about what Google may roll out next.

The Wider Online Marketing Mix

When it comes to the methods which form the bigger picture of internet marketing, the list is endless and you do need to be thinking outside of the box to stay one step ahead of your competitors. As a “must do” list the following techniques need to be implemented as part of your online marketing mix:

  • Organic Search Marketing
  • Paid Search Marketing (PPC)
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Display Advertising
  • Blogging (both on your site and as guest posts)
  • Email Marketing

You can clearly see that organic search marketing is only one component of a much bigger online marketing mix. Why would you focus all your efforts on this method of traffic acquisition alone? You wouldn’t focus all your offline marketing methods on a sole technique.

As far as I’m concerned, online marketing goes way beyond driving traffic to a website via top organic search positions and must absolutely consist of a range of techniques and approaches.

Is SEO Dead?

You may have noticed that I haven’t referred to the term SEO at all above and there’s a very good reason for that. SEO refers to obtaining top organic search positions. SEO as a sole online marketing technique is dangerous business! Search Engine Optimisation is, of course, an absolutely essential advertising method for any business to be utilising. This must only be a part of the bigger picture. Relying on a single marketing method is risky business and it’s not a risk that’s worth taking!

You shouldn’t have to constantly worry about how future Google updates might affect you (and if you’re playing by the book as you shouldn’t be having to anyway). By ensuring that you focus not just on one online marketing method, but concentrate on a range of tactics and strategies, you eliminate that risk.

Does that mean SEO is dead? Perhaps as a sole online marketing method it is and if it is, then so be it; but one thing is for sure and that is that internet marketing in the wider sense is alive and kicking and continues to turn many a business into a very successful and profitable one!

James Brockbank
James Brockbank is an experienced UK based digital marketing consultant and the Managing Director of digital agency James Brockbank Ltd, who specialise in creating sustainable, high-performance campaigns which help to turn businesses into brands!
James Brockbank
James Brockbank
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  • http://bridgfordmedia.com Daniel Heywood

    Hi James, Thanks for the article. I hang my head in shame as I heavily rely on organic search traffic. Like many others I also rely on word of mouth & referrals, but that’s it. If my site got wiped from Google it would not be pretty and work would dry up pretty fast.

    Is SEO dead? Certainly not, it’s just changed a whole lot recently. I believe all Google want’s to find and provide is good, relevant, honest content that gives value to someone.You can optimise and promote that content certainly. The techniques have simply changed from ‘SEOs’ giving search engines manufactured content to supplying relevant content that’s actually good for people who want to find information.

  • http://www.jamesbrockbank.co.uk James Brockbank

    Thanks for the comment Daniel! I always ask the question ‘what would you do if Google disappeared tomorrow?’ Could your business survive? If the answer is no, you need to look for other ways to drive traffic to your site!

  • https://plus.google.com/114636131584376753957 Alan Smith

    Yes, I am agree with you we cannot depend on single traffic resource or activity, we will have to find different legal ways to make our business alive on web.

  • http://www.webtrafficroi.com ZK

    If you re website gets 70% of the visits from search , its time to rethink your traffic strategy. The Penguins and Pandas are not making things easy to rank

  • Pri

    Thanks!!! Found a lot of useful information here; but one thing that confuses me is; how come email campaigns are listed as a part of the online marketing mix? now with the more sensitive spam filters, promotional emails are either directed to the “promotions” tab, OR is directed to spam. And as to what I know, people hardly check these two places for their mail. If there’s are any more effective ways to make an email campaign successful, please let us know?
    Thanks in advance!