Paid Search Versus SEO – The Who, What, and WhyWritten by Pace Lattin
December 14, 2010 # 3:56 pm # Expert Guides # No Comments
In the world of online advertising two formats reign supreme. Paid advertising, or PPC (Pay per Click) and Organic Optimization, or SEO (Search Engine Optimization), are the two most prevalent traffic generation methods. PPC and SEO have the same objective, which is to drive search engine traffic to your website. Both methods feature many attractive benefits and well as potential hurdles to advertising success.
The PPC advertising model allows businesses the opportunity to generate traffic and grow quickly via the internet. PPC as a medium offers many positives features, as well as some potential negatives to consider when getting started. Some of the positives include:
- Usability – PPC is very easy to get started. Creating a campaign requires minimal “tech” knowledge.
- Effectiveness – Paid advertising quickly increases the visibility of your business online. Its use can expose your online business to more potential clients in a shorter amount of time than traditional SEO.
- Scalability – Your advertisements can be tweaked to allow you to reach a targeted clientele. These optimizations in geographic and/or demographic settings can, in turn, helps attract high quality leads
- Speed – Campaigns can produce quick results/sales
- Transparency – Unlike other traditional advertising mediums (i.e. Print, Television), PPC provides analytical data to help users gauge return on investment (ROI).
Some of the drawbacks to managing a PPC campaign include:
- Time Dedication – Effectively optimizing a paid campaign can be very time consuming.
- Lack of portability – Strategies that may work for your campaigns on larger engines may not translate successfully with a smaller ppc provider.
- Risk – PPC advertising advertisers can lose a lot of money if they are not cautious with their bidding strategy. Numerous factors, such as traffic volume fluctuations, multiple traffic matching options, and new traffic partners, can all impact your ROI.
- Cost – Popular keywords can be expensive to bid for, and if not properly optimized, can damage your budget.
- Click Fraud – Click Fraud is a very real issue that can affect your campaign performance – especially with high volume search terms. It is important to your bottom line that your PPC provider offer features which help you identify and removes poor performing sources before they destroy your offers.
The major difference with SEO is that it requires the utilization of techniques to position your website to receive traffic from the non-sponsored organic (think FREE) listings whereas PPC exclusively utilizes sponsored (i.e. PAID) listing traffic. SEO can take a long time to show results – in fact it can take up to many months depending on the competitiveness of a keyword phrase. Also, SEO cannot be guaranteed, as changes to a search engines algorithm or requirements may result in lower positioning. For this reason many people choose to focus on PPC in the short term and leave the SEO as a long term strategy.
Ideally, a prosperous long term strategy using both PPC and SEO in conjunction will work best. PPC can drive quick traffic and provide increased web presence to your ads. This instant stream of traffic will allow you to ascertain which keywords convert into sales the best in short order. Then, with that knowledge, an SEO campaign can begin targeting only those keywords which convert into sales so that the users’ website appears organically for those phrases. No matter which version is used, optimization and management is essential to your campaign’s success
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