The other day, I had a vision of sorts. I was out on a bike ride, contemplating my Internet empire and trying to figure out what the pest plan for me is in these next few months before I return to Canada and go all-in on the digital entrepreneur. And it hit me. Facebook = Fickle. SEO focused on longtail keywords = Here for the long-term.
Traffic from Facebook
I get the majority of my traffic from Facebook-mostly from 4 pages that I run (ESL Speaking, The Wealthy English Teacher, University Jobs Korea, and Freedom Through Passive Income) as well as posting in various groups related to teaching English abroad. I generally post in 5-10 groups/day and quite a few of my posts have gone somewhat viral, gathering a ton of likes and shares.
I’ve also experimented with boosting posts such as these ones: 81 Ways to Make your ESL Speaking Class Awesome, 101 Frugal Living in Korea Tips, or 103 Ways to Get a University Job in South Korea. I chose these posts because they contain a ton of links to a lot of other stuff I have out on the Internet, which is great for the SEO power. The results weren’t pretty decent, but I hate having to spend money on Internet marketing because it sometimes seem like a kind of endless money pit.
Facebook Traffic = Unreliable and Inconsistent
But, Facebook = Fickle, both Facebook’s algorithms and the people. I mean the algorithms seem to change quite often and it’s hard to really tell who is actually seeing your posts. And what does a like actually mean? It just struck me that depending almost entirely on Facebook for traffic to my websites was like a house built of straw that could crumble at the first sign of trouble.
Longtail Keywords- A More Solid Foundation
So, I decided to build my house on a much more solid foundation, longtail keywords. Longtail keywords are longer and more specific than the shorter ones. For example, a lot of my websites having to do with teaching English. Some shorter keywords such as “ESL,” “TEFL,” or “ESL Abroad” have a ton of websites with great content that are dominating the first page of search results on Google. But, the longer keywords like “Teaching ESL in South Korea,” or “ESL teacher salaries,” or “ESL speaking activities for adults” have way less competition, but a still decent amount of traffic. For these keywords, I actually have a chance to get up on the first page of Google which is the key to the whole operation because nobody actually looks beyond the first few results.
LongTail Pro Awesome
In order to find these long tail keywords, I’ve been using LongTail Pro. Basically, you enter a seed keyword like ESL and then you’ll get a ton of results. I look at the global searches and then choose a few of them that I know I could write some content about quite easily. I look at the top ranking websites for them and see how my competition looks. If not great (very few links, low page-rank, no authority, etc.), I know that there’s room for an upstart like me. Then, I write content that contains those keywords and trust in the Google gods to deliver the traffic.
SEO-The People Come to Me
Focusing on LongTail keywords just seems like the plan that will work out way better for me in the long-term. I guess it comes down to this when I think about Facebook vs. SEO (search engine optimization) for traffic to my websites. When I put something on Facebook, people aren’t necessarily asking for or wanting that information. The haters are gonna hate because maybe they saw it, but didn’t want to. When someone searches for something on Google and finds my site delivering the goods that they’re looking for, they feel happy because they found an answer to their problem. It’s just a better plan for my future-people come to me, instead of me going to them.