Content or Pay Per Click
There are many ways to grow and promote a website. You can use content which in many cases means blogging although you could build quality highly relevant website pages. You can use social media to promote your sites to your friends and relatives. You can also use paid advertising which we will refer to as pay per click.
Today we want to focus on content verses pay per click (PPC) advertising only.
We will start with content. Using content is cheapest when thinking of out of pocket expense however, you might find that your time commitment makes it very expense if you try to monetize the time you spent writing content. Content also takes the longest to bring in the website traffic you are going to need to be successful. There is a very good long term advantage to using content to bring traffic to your site, if you build with content your visitors will keep coming over time without as much long term effort on your part.
Using quality content to bring visitors to your website can be a slow process but if you stay committed to it in the long term you may find that your visitors will be begin to increase exponentially with less effort on your part as your traffic grows.
You may have noticed that I threw the word ‘quality’ in before the word content above. Now I am going to refine that further and say you need Quality, Relevant Content to grow your website using the content strategy.
I am not going to talk about KEYWORDS or search engine optimization (SEO) in this article. I have written on that in the past. If you want to read about KEYWORDS, CLICK HERE. Using the right KEYWORDS is critical in getting your articles ranked.
What is quality relevant content?
Quality means that you are going to need to take some time in the writing process to write long articles for your pages and blogs entries.
These MUST be over 1,000 words for a blog entry and perhaps as many as 3,000 words or more. I would write at least a couple of blog entries per week, perhaps more at first so you can get more articles out there with your targeted keywords. After you start getting traffic and ranked in the search engines you can slow down on our blog writing if you want. Try to post at least an article every couple of weeks to keep your site fresh and give the search engines new content to rank.
For a page I would suggest a minimum of 3,000 words and as many as 5,000 words if you are just using pages as your primary content. If you go the page only route you will need a few pages and you had better make sure you have your keywords right because you will only have a few page to be ranked by search engines.
I am a huge believer in having good pages AND a good blog. On all of my sites I started with nice pages, at least a couple and added over time. I both added pages and edited them adding more content to the page. I also blogged religiously. As I added sites I might slow down on blogging on one site to focus on a new one but I always try to add a post or two a month on the older sites to keep them fresh.
The other word I added above was relevant. Relevant content is crucial, especially when building that first site. You want everything you do to drive website traffic to your site that wants to read what is on your site.
When I say relevant I mean that you content (pages and blog) are relevant to the site you are building. The best way I can explain this is with an example.
Let’s say your website is based on growing flowers.
All of you quality (lots of words) content should be relevant to growing flowers. Maybe you want to write about what flowers grow best in what environments. Maybe you write about the correct type of fertilizer to use with certain types of flowers. Maybe you write about how much water you should give to a rose. Could be anything but you do not want to write about why the price of Oil is going up or is Bitcoin a good investment.
Why? Because oil and bitcoin’s are not relevant to growing flowers. You only want to add content that brings in visitors interested in growing flowers.
Again you ask why? There are two primary reasons.
One, because you want to rank with your content as high as possible with your chosen Keywords. You want everything in your site to help improve your search engine rank. Going off in directions non consistent with your site starts ranking that content against other people. This does not necessarily penalize your site but you have wasted time on content that does not help you. You also confuse your visitors who are trying to figure out why a bitcoin investment affects their flower growing.
Two, because I assume you are going to monetize your site at some point to make money. That means you are probably going to have advertising related to flower growing or perhaps you will become an affiliate who sells a product related to flowers. The visitors that show up on your site because of a blog entry about oil or bitcoins is going to have no interest in that. You just wasted that visitor.
REMEMBER: Quality, Relevant Content.
One thing I can tell you is you can only run so many sites. In fact, I would suggest you focus intently one until you understand how to build a site through content. Eventually you may have a successful site that you just work on keeping fresh or you may realize some mistakes you made and head off in another direction to apply all you have learned.
Another way you can drive visitors to your site is through a Pay per Click (PPC) advertising program. You are still going to need great page content and a good landing page for the PPC campaign. So yes, you will still need content.
The other thing to remember is PPC visitors are typically one time visitors and they will only be visiting your site while your campaign is running AND you are paying them to visit.
If you have GREAT content AND keep it fresh some of those who find your site by PPC might visit again from time to time if your site fills a need.
Since you are going to be expending money with PPC you also need to have some way to make money with your site. You will either need to have a product of your own you are offering or perhaps an affiliate product. There is really no sense in bringing visitors to your site using PPC if you have no chance to make any money in return.
The object of PPC in NOT to increase your visitor count, it is to make more money than you are spending in the PPC campaign.
I have a number of problems with PPC when you are building a long term website. One is that PPC will not really work unless you have at least some content, the more the better. Yes there are ways to make money selling a product using a well written single page website using PPC. I personally do not do that. I do create PPC landing pages on my existing sites to sometimes promote a specific product but I am also trying to take advantage of everything else my mature website is offering.
The second problem I have with PPC as compared to content is that PPC visitors only show up while you have campaigns running. Using content, once ranked you will get a steady stream of visitors.
The third problem I have with PPC is that you have to know how to do it. It is actually more difficult that learning to write content. PPC takes some trial and error to get the landing pages, keywords and advertisements right. That means you WILL waste some money with PPC.
Before you jump into a PPC campaign you need to really learn about it.
I usually start with a content based website and build it out over time. Once I start getting some traction with visitors and have monetized the site through advertisements and an affiliate program or two then I start slowing moving into PPC. Once I find a pay per click campaign that starts to produce some results I expand it and reap the benefits. I start my PPC campaign slowly (and cheaply) until I make sure I have the advertisement and landing page right. That is when you go ‘all in’ if you want.
There is a lot to both content and PPC. Fortunately you do not have to learn by trial and error like most of us did. If you want to learn how to build and promote a website the right way, taking advantage of what the rest of did learn the hard way I have good news.
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