Thursday, May 20, 2010

SEO or PPC Which is Best for My Business?

Search Engine Optimization or a Pay Per Click Campaign
When speaking with business owners, concerning their website marketing budgets, sometimes the question that is asked is should they use a SEO strategy or a PPC strategy.  I personally like to diversify my marketing efforts so I use a combination of both with several other marketing strategies included.  However, lets look at some reasons why to choose one as oppose to the other, or why one would be more valuable to your business than the other.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site or a web page (such as a blog) from search engines via "natural" or un-paid ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results as opposed to other forms of search engine marketing (SEM) which may deal with paid inclusion. The theory is that the earlier (or higher) a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search and industry-specific vertical search engines. This gives a web site web presence.--Wilkepedia
SEO is a long term strategy.  It is an investment into a website that, if performed properly, will pay off for years and years to come.  SEO isn't an overnight answer to low traffic concerns.  In fact, I usually inform clients that they are looking at 3 to 6 months before they notice any significant traffic increases.  SEO at first glance may seem to be an expensive marketing tactic to many small business owners, due to the many hours involved and the website re-design that usually accompanies it.  However, when compared to other traditional marketing strategies such as television and radio; SEO can be an excellent ROI given the competitive advantage that website owners receive and increased conversion rates.

Pay Per Click Campaigns (PPC)

Pay Per Click (PPC) is an Internet advertising model used on websites, in which advertisers pay their host only when their ad is clicked. With search engines, advertisers typically bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target market. Content sites commonly charge a fixed price per click rather than use a bidding system.--Wilkepedia

PPC campaigns are what you should turn to if you are looking for immediate increases in your traffic.  They are simple to run but tend to get complicated the more keywords you have and the larger the number of products you are trying to promote.  An online e-commerce site will usually hire a professional consultant to manage their PPC campaign while they concentrate on running their business.  The major work with PPC campaigns is the keyword/key phrase research and writing compelling ad copy that not only brings traffic but qualified traffic.  Remember, with a PPC campaign every time someone clicks on your banner or link, you have to pay for it.  If you get a lot of clicks but no conversions, this can become quite costly.  

In conclusion, you can see how either marketing strategy can greatly benefit a websites marketing needs.  As stated earlier, I like to use a combination of both strategies when promoting a website.  The best thing to do before deciding is sit down and create the objectives and goals that you want to accomplish then it will be much easier to decide which one will be more helpful for your business.

Love to hear your questions or comments or anything that you guys feel I left out that you would like to add.