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Is your fussy baby teething? Give her some morphine. Suffering from a cough that just won’t go away? A little opium should do the trick. Got a toothache? Then treat it with some cocaine.

Of course, this sort of thing will land you in jail, but back in the day, snake oil salesmen made some pretty crazy cures that seemed too good to be true.

Today’s version of those traveling medicine shows? Gaudy SEO and traffic claims.

If It Sounds Too Good to be True …

It seems crazy now, but buying some Fatoff Obesity Cream was real tempting back then. Today? It’s extremely tempting to seek the lowest paid traffic for your marketing dollar. See if any of these RFPs sound familiar:

“Hey, I need to get to 2 million fans on Facebook by the end of the year, but I only have $50 a month. Thoughts?”

“I’ve got a $250 monthly SEO budget, and I need you to win #1 spot for ‘Discount Golf Clubs.'”

Here’s a little hint: Those quick-cures were too good to be true back then, just like the quick-SEO cures are too good to be true now.

But you’re not fooling anyone – we’ve all tried out some of these shortcuts as a test. It’s not worth it. Still, if you want to burn your money on garbage, check out sites like Easyvisitors or Fiverr or SeoClerks. (We’re not saying Fiverr isn’t great for a bunch of other stuff, but $5 for 5,000 visitors – what could go wrong with that!?)

Dispelling a Few Myths

SEO is a marketing avenue, and it’s long game. The best thing you can do is test and test and test some more. Any suggestion that you will win exactly 10,000 new website visitors for every $500 in SEO spend is an atrocious stretch of the truth.

So let’s spout a little truth of our own and dispel a few myths:

1)      Web traffic isn’t the most important thing.

2)      Your goal shouldn’t be to try and rank for everything and anything.

3)      You shouldn’t focus solely on sheer website traffic. 

Sounds counterintuitive, right?

Instead, your goal should be to focus on some easy wins. Try and build the site to a place where you own some critical rankings. Start earning some cash with these rankings and build off of it.

Low-Competition Keywords are Critical

For starters, aim for the low hanging fruit: low-competition keywords. These keywords are relatively easy to rank for and are typically longer-tail and lower competition keywords. Remember, you’re after small pockets of important and qualified traffic.

Over six months, aim for an increase by several hundred monthly uniques. Don’t forget to test everything, too, and remember: there are no guarantees. You have to sit down and see what your competitors are doing and where you can fit your website into the broader landscape. Even at $2,400, which is Nimble Media’s base full-service SEO package, it takes serious time and consultation to develop out a proper search ranking profile.


meniceJake Rigdon is the executive editor at Nimble Media, a content marketing firm based out of Toronto. You can reach him on FacebookLinkedInGoogle+Twitter or by email at