Search Engine Traffic Is My Sock

Written On Day: 337
Making money online is a uphill struggle

Last month this website did not make a lot of money.  No surprise.  I have become comfortable not making money with this website.  My world would be in chaos if this website made money.  What would I do?  How would I act? Who would I be?

Obviously making money does not motivate me to keep this website.  For motivation I need to look elsewhere.  Like the man who is suddenly happy because he finds an unscathed sock amongst the ashes of his burned down house, I too have something to smile about.

The Search Traffic Graph

There are many graphs on this website.  But none of them please me as much as the organic search traffic graph.  If I was a father and graphs were my children then the search traffic graph would be my favorite son.  The one that makes me most proud, the one that is going to grow up just like dad, the one I always take fishing.

When everything looks bleak and I start to feel like Sisyphus, all I need to do is to look at my beloved search traffic graph and everything becomes alright.

Search Engine Traffic Graph

Every month organic traffic increases to this website.  Last month was a huge increase.  Almost 500 visitors from Google – twice the amount compared to the previous month.  For the entire year the graph is almost a perfect 45 degree upward slope.  For the last few months organic traffic has been doubling every month.  If this keeps up I will have 8,388,608,000 monthly visitors in 2 years.

It is a well known fact that to increase search engine traffic you need two things: time and backlinks.  As more time goes by the amount of search engine traffic should increase naturally – the older your website the better.  Google checks the date your domain name was registered to determine the age of your website.

(It is also claimed that Google checks the expiration date of your domain name.  If your domain name registration is about to expire, or registered for only a year at a time, Google thinks you are a fly by night operation – maybe even a spammer.  It looks better if your domain name is not close to the registration expiry date and is registered for the next three years.  It is claimed – I am not sure if it is true but it makes sense to me.)

Besides time you also need backlinks.  The last few months were a guest post frenzy.  Continuously spinning the lever on the guest posting machine gun:  Problogger, Dailyblogtips, JohnChow, Blogsessive.  Not because I want to entertain and inform people, I do it for the backlinks.  And it works; the graph keeps stepping up and up – 8,388,608,000 monthly visitors in two years.

The Real Value of Search Engine Traffic

500 visitors a month is not a lot.  There are websites a lot younger then this one that receive more search engine visitors in a single day.  But that does not make me envious because not all search engine traffic has the same value.  Some visitors are worth more then others and mine are worth more.

Google sends me visitors who are searching for “how much money can be made from a website’ and variations on this theme.  These are valuable keywords – I know because I tried to buy them.

Last month I created an account on Google AdWords.  I wanted to buy traffic.  I was going to pay money to have my website appear on search engine results in the sponsored links section.

I opened the account and then 30 minutes later I abandoned the account.  Visitors for this niche are expensive.  Imagine someone does a search on Google for ‘make money with website’.   My website appears on the side of the search results, if the person clicks on my link then I pay Google around 5 dollars.  5 dollars to have somebody land on my website, look around, and leave.  My earnings which took a year to accumulate would be gone in 4 hours.

Of course if I thought that the visitors would buy the ‘website starter kit’ then 5 dollars is a small price to pay.  I would be paying 5 dollars  and receiving 65 dollars when a paid visitor buys the starter kit.  To break even I would need 1 in 13 paid visitors to purchase the starter kit.  Being a realist, I know that is not going to happen.

My keywords are expensive so I cannot afford to pay for visitors.  But the flip side is that this website receives valuable visitors from search engines.  People looking for ‘make money with website’ are worth a lot more then people looking for ‘how to comb down a cowlick’ which  cost only 5 cents per visitor.

Last month I received 500 visitors from Google.  Visitors that if I had to pay for them would cost me around 2500.  In other words, last month I saved 2500 dollars.

This website receives only 500 search engine visitors a month while other websites receive 500 visitors a day because the ‘make money with website’ niche has a lot of competition.  Visitors who want to make money with a website are worth more because they spend money.  Visitors looking for hair combing tips do not spend money and that’s why they are worth only 5 cents – nobody wants them.  Other websites get 500 visitors a day, but these are messy haired visitors without a dime to their name.

Other websites get 500 search engine visitors a day worth (500*.05) 25 dollars a day or 750 dollars a month.  My visitors are worth 2500 a month.

Now all I need to do is figure out what to do with these valuable visitors.  I have them but how do I use them – how do I convert their value into cash.  People come to my store with cash stuffed pockets – how do I get them to give me that cash.  So far they just walk in, look around and leave.  Some of them accidentally dropped a few pennies on the floor but the bulk of the 2500 dollars that came through my door left.  I need to convince visitors to give me their money before they leave.

How to make visitors give me their money?  My days are spent thinking about this question as I lovingly gaze at my beautiful search engine traffic graph.

  1. December 4th, 2009 at 19:12 | #1

    Interesting question. I hope you find the answer. I don’t know what the answer is, but one thing I’d say is to try to target posts to the specific kind of buyer who needs the website package that you are selling.

  2. December 4th, 2009 at 22:37 | #2

    I’m not sure if this post makes me feel optimistic or pessimistic about my own blogging endeavors. That is really good traffic, in my opinion. Some would even argue that a small portion of that traffic (and return visitors) is a result of the lack of ads cluttering the page.
    It would seem to me, now that you have a steady flow of organic traffic, which is also on the rise, shaping the site into something that makes money is entirely possible.
    Enjoyable post. Keep up the good work.

  3. December 5th, 2009 at 01:46 | #3

    PPC can be very lucrative or very expensive. It’s easy to lose money, I certainly have, but that was back when I was getting started so though I may still lose money today, it’s far less risk than it was back then.

    Part of the strategy in PPC is to target “buying keywords”, in other words, the keywords people use when they are looking to buy and not just to gather information and yes, there’s a difference in the keywords they use.

    For example, your phrase ‘website starter kit’ would cost approximately 11 cents a click, or $11.00 for your 500 visitors (880 searches a month broad match, 58 searches a month exact match). Of course you’d link to your product page, not the blog or main website.

    In theory, though that’s far fewer searches, the traffic is more targeted towards buying, thus more valuable from a business perspective. Fewer clicks a month but more revenue. In theory anyway, in reality no matter how much science you put into PPC (and there is science involved), there’s still an art to it, for example, your ad writing ability.

    My guess would be that people looking for a website starter kit are more willing to spend money to buy a kit than others, but that’s my guess. I’m definitely not a PPC expert and I didn’t research your market beyond finding what I needed for my example. There may be better ‘buying keywords’ for your product.

    You’re better off reading up on it before you spend money on the ads themselves. There’s a few marketers I trust who recommend Perry Marshall’s Definitive Guide To Adwords

    Sign up for the free 5 day email course.

    The book is on my reading list, I just haven’t gotten to it yet, so I can’t give you my personal opinion other than what I’ve already said, other marketers that I trust recommend it.

    Your blog is for building relationships, your product is for making money. There’s some people who’s blogs are for making money, but yours is not one of them,especially since you’ve said you weren’t going to make money through your blog.

    I point that out only to say that even if you get the best keywords for driving traffic, it’s not going to do you any good unless you are pointing them to where you want them to go. In this case, from a money point of view, you want them to buy your product so that’s where you send them.

    Use PPC to drive traffic to products, or to squeeze pages to collect e-mail addresses, but not to reading blogs. Social sites, articles, guest blogs and the like are for driving traffic to your blog (or product, but since you were talking about bringing more traffic to your blog…).

    – Jeffery

  4. December 5th, 2009 at 13:18 | #4

    Nice to see your traffic growing, my best wishes are always with you! Keep it up and never quit 🙂

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