Pros and Cons of SEO and PPC

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising have long been popular ways to put the Internet to work for your business and boost your traffic online. Many companies invest quite a few dollars in one or both of these methods, but if you are just starting out or have a limited marketing budget, you are likely looking for the approach that will give you the most bang for your buck. While both techniques of Internet marketing are tried and true, there are upsides and downsides to each of them. To help you determine what is best for your business needs, here are some of the pros and cons of each method of online marketing.

Pros of PPC

Instantly top the search engine results: With pay-per-click advertising you as a business have the ability to bid your way to the top. This approach guarantees your spot on the search results in front of the people who are looking for exactly what you are selling.

Easily measurable: Metrics provided by the search engines themselves can show you your success rates. This will help you know what keywords are most effective for your campaigns, as well as put more money toward the searches that are making you the most. With easy measurement of campaign success, you can make faster decisions and cut what isn’t working while boosting what is.

Support from the provider: The major search engine providers want to see your pay-per-click ad succeed. Google, Bing and other search engine providers have phone numbers where businesses can speak with live agents about how to maximize their campaign success.

Cons of PPC

"Renting" Top of Google Searches: Just because your business name is at the top of the search engine results, without continuously updating your campaign, you are only renting your position and have not earned your way to the top. Many avid searchers are aware of this and may be less likely to click on your ad.

Long-term can be costly: In the long run, this approach can become very costly. Depending on how effective your landing page is at converting the leads you receive from this campaign, your business could potentially lose quite a bit of money on this approach.

Pros of SEO

Organic results lead to higher ROI: As mentioned, companies who rank legitimately higher up on the search engines because of optimization are considered more reputable to many searchers and therefore they get higher click thru rates. These visitors don’t necessarily convert better but the ROI is much higher since you are not renting the top position.

Long-term listings: With sophisticated search engine optimization, company names are listed for the long term at the top of the search results. This long-term listing allows companies to continuously be in the eyes of the people who are searching for their product time and time again.

Less expensive in the long-term: As your approach goes on, it becomes easier and easier to stay at the top and therefore requires less of an investment. In the long-term, this can save you money and generate more profits.

Cons of SEO

Time consuming: Company websites typically do not jump to the top of search engine results overnight. It requires quite a bit of effort to design a website with search engines in mind and continuously update it so that it can eventually make its way to the top.

Takes ongoing effort: Even once a business page has reached the top of the search results, it requires effort to keep it at the top of the page. This can mean more man hours dedicated to search engine optimization strategy and at times, reduced productivity in other areas. The needs of each business are different, and both approaches are well-respected ways to advertise online. By weighing the pros and cons, your business can determine which strategy is best for your model.

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