Many organisations today are realising the importance of an effective online marketing strategy, especially through the utilisation of search engines. There are two important search engine marketing strategies to consider when trying to drive traffic to your website; these are the use of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC or AdWords) advertising. The main difference between these being that SEO is free and organic, while PPC generates traffic that costs per click.
The most common question that is asked when it comes to developing an effective search engine marketing strategy is “Should my business be using Pay-Per-Click (PPC) or an organic search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy?” the answer comes down to two simple questions what are your business goals? And what is your business budget?
Your long term online marketing strategy should always include search engine optimisation, the major advantage of having organic SEO in your strategy is that it brings you better quality traffic leads, as a matter of fact it is proven that many users when using Google search engine have trained them self to subconsciously skip or ignore any PPC ad that may be showing, as it is proven that when you rank organically with SEO the visitors are much more likely to trust your service or product and visit your site. However, organic SEO does not rank your business on the first page overnight – it takes time. Therefore it is advised to consider using a PPC campaign if you need instant traffic to your website, while your long term SEO campaign builds momentum
Google AdWords campaigns have the ability to give you results instantly, and if you go about setting up an effective PPC campaign you can potentially see a nice return on investment right away as you only pay when an interested person clicks through to your site. However the risk with using PPC is that the user is not guaranteed to purchase your product from your site and PPC can only offer you limited results, with no brand awareness and can lead to window shopping, which could potentially leave you out of pocket every time a visitor clicks through to your website and does not make a purchase.
A long term organic SEO strategy will bring you highly qualified leads at a reduced cost, whereas a PPC strategy is a great way to jump-start your search engine marketing strategy with immediate leads; however this comes at a cost. When both SEO and PPC are done correctly, these will get you to the front page and increase the traffic driven to your website, it is now up to you to use your business goals and budget to determine which path of search engine marketing, being SEO or PPC, is most suited to you and your business.
Kieran is the Social Media Manager and SEO Expert at SEO Shark. He is an expert in Social Media, link building, PPC and of course SEO. In his time off work Kieran enjoys reading and playing rugby, as well as following all kinds of sports! You can read some more of his articles here.