The amount of traffic generated by a business’s website is crucial to the success of the business. This why many businesses today are placing emphasis on online marketing especially via search engines. According to one research done 81% of internet users go the website they want through search engines instead of going there directly, so it only makes sense to push your website to them when they are most interested. There are two strategies employed by most online marketers, both of them falling under search engine marketing. Most of us are already familiar with these two, namely, Search Engine Optimization and Paid Search or Pay Per Click both targeting a similar audience on the same platform. The main difference is that one works by advertising dollars and the other pushes up website traffic organically. The next section will highlight the main differences.
Basic Definitions of SEO and PPC
SEO a.k.a. organic search is used to optimize your website and content in order for it to be placed higher among organic or non paying search results for specific popular keywords. For example if you sell watches you would want to have search quesries such as ‘time’, ‘watches’ ‘where to buy watches’ direct the user to your website. SEO uses proper coding, and creating and repeating keyword-specific content that can be easily or quickly recognized by search engines in order to direct users to the website.
PPC a.k.a. paid search is whereby the website pays for advertising space on the result page of a search involving certain specific keywords. The name is a result you having to pay a certain amount for every user that logs on to your website through the sponsored ad on the result page hence the name pay per click. To establish a PPC campaign involves a lot of work. You will have to establish a daily advertising budget and claim the keywords you need through a bidding process in order to your ad/website to be visible.
SEO vs PPC
The importance of having a strong presence in search engines can not be stressed enough. However the decision on whether to use SEO and PPC is what you will have to decide now that the first fact is already established. If both are applied correctly they are guaranteed to get your website on the front page of search results and in touch with your desired audience. An article on SEOmoz showed that organic results are eight times more likely to be followed by users than sponsored search results. The difference is caused by the users being readier to trust organic search results as opposed to sponsored search results and this is compounded by the fact that most internet users are able to identify the difference between this two. The advantage goes to PPC however if we consider conversion rates to monetary value from clicks mainly because the landing page from the sponsored links are optimize to by the websites.
So if we consider this the obvious choice would be to choose SEO in order to increase traffic, right? Not so fast though because a true SEO campaign takes alot of time and there is no overnight solution or get rich quick strategy.
PPC however can be done in a very short time and it can target a wider range or audience. With an effective PPC your website will be on the top of many keyword searches a day but it will cost you anywhere between a dollars to a few hundred dollars plus you will need to hire a firm to take on the project full time.
In summary SEO will not bring overnight success but for the long term it is a much better option but if you need to make a big splash and quickly plus you have the dough go for PPC or the best option, use both of them.