Websites looking to boost traffic have to deal with the pay per click vs. SEO question. Some prefer one over the other, while others use a bit of both. Before proceeding further, it’s important you understand the difference between the two.
PPC (Pay Per Click)
With PPC, you pay to get traffic. The easiest way to do this is via Yahoo Search Marketing, Google Adwords and other sites. You get to appear on the advertisements sponsored results part. Money is paid when someone clicks the ad directed to your site. The rate depends on the keyword you chose.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO is the “natural” way of attaining traffic and rankings. Your site is shown next to the sponsored links. Unlike PPC, this is free. However, you need to obey SEO guidelines. This approach takes more time than pay per click, but it is free and usually works in the long term. Those who use this method view the time spent with SEO as an investment. They reap the rewards in the future.
Which Approach is Best?
Two factors will affect your decision. If your budget is limited, SEO is the most practical option. If you have the finances and want high traffic now, PPC would be a good choice. Before you decide, you need to answer these questions. First of all, how much money are you willing to spend on your website? Everyone has their own idea of the proper amount. But for digital marketing, the bare minimum is $5.
The more you spend, the more flexible your PPC options will be.
Again, the answer to the question of pay per click vs. SEO is money. Ideally though, you should set aside some funds for even a bit of pay per click. If you are starting a business, it is really the quickest way to get traffic.
Some Benefits of PPC
First of all it offers quicker testing. Activities like signing up email newsletter subscribers or product selling require conversion focus. You have to assess website variables to enhance the rates of conversion. You cannot do this without traffic data. Unlike SEO, PPC gets you the traffic more quickly.
Pay per click has many other benefits. One of the most important is you are protected from SEO algorithm updates (think Google Penguin). This isn’t to say that SEO cannot be relied upon; but you are susceptible to updates and changes. Take the case of Google Penguin.
Many sites were negatively hit because they were designed for use with the previous version. This can result in lost rankings and earnings instantly. Now compare that with PPC; no matter how many times Google changes the rules, you are not affected. Your site will still be there; site visitors will still be there.
Both SEO and PPC require study, but the one for PPC is steeper. Since it involves money, it’s best to start with a small fixed amount. It is best to focus on specific campaigns. Don’t forget to use a program like Analytics; this way you’ll know the ROI quickly.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of the whole pay per click vs. SEO thing. You also have to determine the competitiveness of the search engine results pages with regards to the keywords you use. If you are in a competitive field, you will find that PPC and SEO have to be used together.