Do you agree with the following statement?
“If I want to make money, I need to rank #1 for my keywords.”
It seems pretty obvious and completely correct, right? Once you get a keyword to #1 in the search results, you’ll get approximately 40% of the search visitors clicking on your link. Rank = traffic.
Of course you believe this. All search engine optimization focuses on this statement like a laser beam. It’s why there’s search engine spam, massive linkbuilding campaigns, and all kinds of attempts to manipulate and reverse engineer the search results. Let me give you a new statement, see if you like this one better.
“If I want to make money, I need lots of search engine traffic.”
Disconnect the idea from your mind that high search engine traffic requires high rankings. Don’t you agree that you could get thousands of search visitors across hundreds of search terms and not have a single keyword ranking #1? In fact, wouldn’t you prefer to have this torrent of longtail search traffic, than the traffic from a few premier head terms?
Chasing Rankings is Like Buying Lottery Tickets
The traditional approach to keyword selection is to use some kind of algorithm to figure out which keyword is better. Write an article to target that keyword, and then backlink it until you get to number 1. It might take 100 links, or 1000 links.
This method depends entirely on the keyword itself. If your methodology chooses a “good” keyword, then the time spent backlinking will reinforce that selection and drive you to the top of the search results; although, I’ll argue, only temporarily, and using methods that the search engines frown on. But if you choose the wrong keyword, you’ll spend all that time reinforcing a bad keyword, hundreds of hours wasted, and you never get to #1, or if you get to #1, the traffic doesn’t turn out to be as great as you were hoping.
If that’s what you do, you’re gambling, you just don’t realize it. Only lottery winners think tickets are a good investment.
Building Content is Like Investing in an Index Fund
Instead of trying to rank #1, just create great content on your own website; the kind of content your audience is looking for. Instead of writing 1 article, and then writing 99 more articles to get backlinks, just write 100 articles of great content for your own website. You might not get any to rank #1 for any specific keyword,*but that doesn’t matter.
As long as this content is bringing in more search engine traffic, it’s a good thing. Each article you write, every content need you fulfill, every question you answer, brings you more search visitors. After a while, you’ll know with mathematical certainty how much search engine traffic you’re going to bring in for every article you write, and how much you’re going to earn from it.
It’s like investing in a secure, diversified stock market index fund. As you continue to create great content, you’ll see total search traffic (and income) go up and up and up.