One of the common questions I get from clients trying to figure out how to manage their marketing budgets is “Should I use search engine optimization (SEO) or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to generate more sales for my business?”
SEO embraces all the ways to drive visitors naturally to your website to take advantage of low-cost traffic, including the use of social media.
PPC is simpler to understand, since the concept of paying for ads to drive visitors to purchase products and services is about as interwoven within the fabric of our commercial world as the concept of exchanging money for goods.
In most circumstances, my answer is “You should be using both.”
Although it’s quite common to categorize SEO and PPC as opposing disciplines, they are truly complementary, as explained below.
First of all, let’s review rudimentary points about each.
♦ “Free” Traffic (The traffic may be free, but there is labor involved)
♦ More Traffic (More traffic flows through natural than paid listings)
♦ Building an Asset of Ongoing Traffic (The traffic continues even if you stop doing SEO)
♦ Better ROI (Low-cost traffic means better return on investment)
♦ Competitive Advantage (Fewer business understand and use it)
♦ Instant Results (Set up a campaign now and monitor your results in minutes)
♦ Very Quantifiable Results (Abundant analytics available for paid traffic)
♦ Full Transparency (Each penny can be accounted for)
♦ Ability to Adjust Quickly (Change your ads now and get different results now)
♦ Easy to Target Specific Audiences (Very powerful advantage)
♦ Does Not Require IT Skills (Marketing guys can control this, without consulting with Information Technology professionals)
SEO and PPC SYNERGY
As noted above, it’s best to drive traffic using both SEO and PPC channels to generate better short-term and longer-term performance.
However, they can be used in conjunction with each other to gain greater results.
For example, the immediacy of paid search advertising can be used to determine which keywords would benefit from organic SEO strategies.
Conversely, proper search engine optimization of landing pages leads to better performing paid advertising results and lower costs.
Finally, by having your business show up in natural and paid listings on the same search engine pages, it presents a more dominant presence for a business’s products and services.
For more information, visit The Two Primary Sources of Internet Traffic.