If I had a nickel for every time I’ve talked about PPC (pay per click advertising) alone in the last week… This is a question that comes up all the time for web marketers and businesses. And, it’s time to set the record straight on how we feel about things at Mindscape in regards to SEO_and_PPC_Search_Engine_Marketing_Comparisonsearch engine marketing (that covers both organic and paid).

When to use the different types of Internet marketing tactics varies. The most important thing is to look at what your goals are – both short term and long term.

Why use PPC Search Engine Marketing?

  • It is immediate, you can have your ad campaign up within in minutes to a few hours. Still a well thought-out campaign will have specific ad groups, text ad variations and use specific landing pages. (keyword here is specific).
  • You may not show up in organic search results today, so PPC is a great way to show up there.
  • Paid ads can and should be used to TEST keywords that you are unsure of. Putting together a small ad group to test keywords where you’re unsure if they will drive the right traffic or conversions can be far less expensive that the time and energy invested in going after questionable keywords in organic efforts.

Why Use SEO (organic search optimization)

  • It is a longer term strategy; when you turn off paid search budgets you stop showing up. Investments in organic optimization continue to impact your website even if you “take a month off.”
  • Consumers want good, relevant results based on what they search for. They have been duped by poor paid search campaigns over the years – so organic search results are where they look first.
  • It’s bigger than your website alone; Organic search engine optimization is tied to the continued improvement in your website and your web footprint. When properly executed, you are consistently adding content that is relevant to your best target audiences (think news feeds, blogs, new pages, case studies, white papers, etc), and those include the keywords your audiences would use in the search engines. You’re also sharing this content to build your web footprint  via link building tactics like online press releases, article marketing, blog commenting, social media participation and (much) more.

So should you use Pay Per Click Advertising or Search Engine Optimization?

There isn’t any one right answer to Internet Marketing. It is about using these tactical elements to achieve your bottom line business objectives. And, as with all business scenarios those achievements include short term work (a la PPC) and longer term work like SEO.

What has been your experience with PPC or SEO? Which would you recommend and why?

Important notes:

It’s estimated that about 25% of searchers ever click on a paid ad

Companies invest something like 10 to 1 in paid search vs. organic search. Still nearly 80 percent of all traffic will come from organic searches NOT paid. This needs to change!