Does your website need SEO in order to be successful?
Whenever I'm talking with a potential client I always get asked "Do I really need SEO to be successful?" and my quick answer is "Nope, but it will help you out in the long run". These people are usually caught off guard when I say this because they are contacting me to get some SEO work done and I tell them they don't need it to be successful but it helps in the long run lol.
Why do I tell them they don't need it to be successful?
Well you don't essentially need SEO at the start of your journey in order to be successful. SEO takes time and can be done as your bring in clients through other marketing tactics. If you need to bring in sales right away then SEO isn't what you should be relying on anyway, you should focus on social media management and PPC campaigns through adwords, facebook ads and Bing Ads.
To be successful you need traffic to your website and SEO definitely will help you out in that area, but you shouldn't worry about it all the time when it comes to the overall game plan.
What can I do if I'm not focusing on SEO right at the start?
After you get your design done well and you're ready for sales, you'll want to have SEO in the back of your mind, but your profits should come first. I've built plenty of websites that didn't have any SEO done to them but they were successful solely through PPC campaigns.
Each of the following has their own strengths and weaknesses and I'll try to give you an idea of what to use in order to be successful without focusing on SEO right away.
Adwords - This is Googles advertising platform where you can pay per click (PPC) in order to get your ad on the search results of their search engine. This can bring in a load of traffic if done right but can also be bad if you're not watching your campaigns. You can get 1,000 clicks and 0 sales if you're not watching your campaigns because you're getting all mobile traffic and your design isn't responsive or you're getting all third world country traffic and your prices are too high. Little targeting things like this will make or break your campaign in a very short amount of time. Adwords is great if you monitor it and don't go all in at the beginning. If you plan on setting your daily budget at $100 then you should start off spending $10 to $15 a day until you fine tune your campaign. Even when you're fine tuning your campaign you will get sales since the clicks are super targeted, but you could waste money starting out with your full daily budget and not refining your campaigns, ads, keywords, etc.
Bing Ads - With Bing Ads you're pretty much doing the same thing as you would with Adwords, but you're targeting everyone on Bing, Yahoo! and their network. You won't get as many sales through this platform simply because they don't get as much traffic as Google, but that doesn't mean you should avoid it. Set up your campaigns and fine tune them just as you would your Adwords campaigns. Focus on your cost per click (CPC), keywords, ads, etc. and split test everything. You might be surprised at which ads will perform better than others even if you are certain one ad will do better than the rest but it does the worst lol.
Facebook Ads - With facebook ads you can target a few different things like getting traffic to your website, getting likes on your page and a few others. Normally I like to get traffic to my website but I'll do it in a way that they will know what the website is about and how much they'll be spending even before they click. I won't set it up as clickbait just to get clicks because that tends to lose you money in the long run. Facebook is good for quick purchases which are cheaper like a keychain or a shirt with something they love on it. You can be super targeted when it comes to facebook ads and that's how you'll make money. If you have a shirt with a character on it, only target people who love that character. Don't target the people who like the show that the character is from because you could be wasting clicks. You might get a sale from someone who doesn't like that character due to them seeing a different one they like on your site, but why wouldn't you just set up a second ad targeting that other character so you're not taking any chances
MailChimp (or other email capture systems) - If you want to be successful quickly without doing SEO right away you'll want to collect as many emails from readers and clients as you can. With MailChimp you're allowed to use their services for the first 2,000 subscribers. I don't remember exactly how many emails you can send out each month, but I think it's around 8,000 to 10,000. This means you can use a free email capture service, which is one of the best, for free up to 2,000 emails and send out 4 to 5 emails to each of your subscribers each month. Now if you're at the 2,000 subscriber cap you will have to upgrade, but it shouldn't be difficult since you're already making money off of these 2,000 people (or you should be).
Upsells - You will definitely need to get your upsells in the face of people when they are checking out. This basically will put related items, of what they're purchasing, in the sidebar of the checkout and ask if they want to add it now. This works about 1 in 7 times which isn't a huge success rate, but it's another sale you are making that you wouldn't have if you didn't suggest it
Now these are just a few ways to be successful with your website without focusing on SEO right away. I would highly recommend that you do go the SEO route eventually because it will bring in a massive amount of traffic due to all the keywords you can target. You don't have to pay for these clicks like how the PPC platforms work, but it does take time to get ranked at the top.
When you're done with your website you should set up your PPC campaigns in order to bring in traffic right away. If you only have the budget to run one platform at a time I would suggest going with adwords and watching your campaign like a hawk. After you're making some sales then you can come to SEOclerks.com and hire some content writers and SEO freelancers to help bring in loads of traffic from around the search engines