Getting your business listed on search engines is no longer a question of why. Rather, it is a matter of what method and how soon. And knowing the difference between paying for placement (like pay-per- click via Google Adwords) and earning a good position organically (search engine optimisation) is key.
Is one approach better than the other? That depends on what you’re trying to achieve.
With pay-per-click, you’re, more or less, in the driver’s seat:
- It’s quick. Your campaign can be up and running within days or even hours.
- It’s affordable. You only pay each time a customer enters your website. Plus you can set a daily budget as little as $1 or $100,000.
- You’re in control. Choose what time of day to run your campaign, the geographic market (Sydney, US, global) to target or the language (English, Italian, German) to use. Pause or re-start your campaign as you wish. Change your keywords or phrases and up or lower your advertising spend at any time.
- You know what’s working and what’s not (and you can do something about it). Unlike other forms of marketing, PPC is highly measurable. You know what keywords generate more traffic, which ads attract the right customers and how much each keyword or ad costs you. This takes the guesswork out of marketing and gives you the confidence to make the right business decisions.
Pay-per-click is also ideal for:
- Newly launched or re-designed websites that need an immediate hit from search engines or those that are waiting for optimisation efforts to take effect
- Geographically targeted campaigns eg a plumber that only service Melbourne metro areas may focus on keywords like “melbourne plumbing”
- Specific campaigns targeting a hit list of keyword searches
- Specific promotions such as new product launches, limited time offers, special deals and seasonal offers
- Testing the effectiveness of less popular or obscure keywords
- Organic placement in general gets you more visitors and should be your long-term strategy.
- It attracts more buyers. It is more popular and used more often by users. Various studies show that a prospective buyer will use organic searches 60% – 80% of the time.
- It gives your business credibility. While they can take longer to achieve (generally up to three months) requiring a long journey of content writing, quality linking, and general back-end efforts to gain the trust and respect of the search engines, it is all worth the effort. It gathers up to six times more clicks than paid advertising mainly because buyers tend to trust search engines more than the advertisers.
- It’s more cost-effective over the long run. Whereas the effects of paid placement can wear off quickly and to some extent relies on the budget you set, organic search marketing has a real impact in the medium to long term provided efforts are maintained. Many companies will find the longevity and substance of organic search a real benefit.
The final word
The best web marketing campaigns combine both approaches. Each presents different strengths that work well together. Once a website is ranking well organically, using a PPC campaign to gather additional presence within the search engine results can boost your traffic and help to keep qualified visitors rolling in to your website.