There is no such thing as “free” web traffic. So stop obsessing over it.
Yes, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a thing. It’s a powerful thing, in fact. If you can dominate the rankings, and get listed up high organically in a search, you will do well (assuming you have a converting website, of course.)
But getting there is hard. Staying there is harder. And it’s not free.
Now, you CAN rank high organically without spending a lot IF you are willing to put in the massive amount of time it takes to make your site an SEO powerhouse.
It takes site/page optimization.
It takes tons of good content.
It takes outside links linking back to your site (respected links, mind you – like outside trade publications and .org’s / .gov’s / .edu’s…. in other words, not your brother’s blog).
It takes youtube videos with lots of views.
It may even take a big social media presence.
And it takes all of these things on a consistent basis. In other words, if you insist on doing all of this yourself, you won’t have time to do anything else.
I have a client who dominates the organic Google rankings of a very competitive industry. They get tons of “free” traffic. But the reality is they spend a small fortune maintaining their SEO efforts (including paying me to write blogs and articles for outside publications monthly, nevermind the hundreds of pages I wrote for their huge website).
And guess what? My client (again, who dominates organic search) STILL spends a pretty penny on adwords. Why? Because ANY competitor can rank above them with an adword, and trust me, most people searching don’t care if it’s an ad or organic, because the listings are almost identical in look (get familiar with the term Native Ads).
The internet is hyper competitive. You are going to have to spend to rank, period. Whether it’s actual dollars or a huge amount of time, it’s still costing you money.
Your website rank is like rent on a store. You pay big rent dollars (or a big mortgage/taxes if you own the building) for a great location, and it’s never-ending. It’s the exact same with web traffic. You have to factor the cost into your overhead, and adjust your business model accordingly.
There is no way around it – free web traffic is expensive.