For many companies, there is a constant debate over what marketing strategy is better: paying for PPC ads or attempting to use SEO practices to climb the search engine rankings. While both are effective, they each have benefits and drawbacks, and each have their place in online marketing.
Understanding the Best Time to Use PPC
When short-term results are your top priority, pay-per-click marketing is the best solution. PPC systems on Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Facebook can begin displaying your ads in just a matter of minutes, whereas SEO can take weeks and months to build. PPC is virtually immediate as soon as you create an ad to display to relevant web users. Consider utilizing PPC in your next campaign if you:
- Seek highly targeted traffic. PPC allows you to specifically narrow the audience exposed to your ads. Choose virtually everything about the demographic including age, location, interests, ethnicity, and more.
- Have a time-sensitive promotion. Are you in the midst of a three-day weekend sale? Are you running an online contest? If you have a time-sensitive promotion, the immediate nature of PPC campaigns works to your benefit.
- Don’t already have SEO in place. Since it can take weeks or even months to experience the full benefits of SEO, consider investing in PPC for a temporary boost until SEO kicks in. This ensures you maximize your online presence as much as possible.
The ideal internet marketing campaign will balance PPC and SEO, but if you’re on a tight budget and a tight deadline, then pay-per-click marketing is probably your best option.
Why SEO Should Build Your Foundation
According to Forbes, the improving economy means that businesses have more money to invest in PPC campaigns. However, it’s critical to remember that SEO still matters. Unlike SEO, once you stop funding a PPC ad campaign, the traffic stops. Sure, it might take a while to achieve search engine optimization, but the results are long-lasting and powerful. If you’re priority is to build an authoritative website, gain consumer trust, increase the value of your online presence, and ensure consistent results, then SEO is your ideal strategy.
Since SEO isn’t “free clicks,” the work invested in getting your website to rank earns consumer trust while establishing a positive image around your brand. In the long-run, this creates consistent traffic, page rank, and will help you keep the momentum necessary to grow your business. By determining your goals, you’ll be able to easily ascertain if you should focus on PPC, SEO, or both.