Pay Per Click or Search Engine Optimization?
When Should I Use Pay Per Click and Search Engine Optimization?
The Importance of Pay Per Click and Search Engine Optimization
If you have a website and you care about getting a return on the investment in the design, programming, maintenance and hosting of it then you probably want more traffic. With so many millions of websites competing for traffic what’s the best way to get your fair share of traffic? Should you use pay per click advertising which is also known as search engine marketing? Or is search engine optimization a better way to go? Do you know the difference?
If this all sounds like a bunch of mumbo jumbo then I encourage you to invest a few minutes to read the rest of this article or to do some quick research online. Hint: After you read this post go to Google and type in “define: pay per click or define: search engine optimization” and you’ll learn about as quickly as humanly possible. Or you can check some of my other articles here on the blog.
The bottom line is the answer depends on your goals. It also depends on your budget. Search engine optimization boils down to content and links relative to your website. The first aspect of this is your on-page SEO and the content of your website. The second is the number of high quality back links that point back to your site.
The search engines factor both of these issues for one primary goal. That goal is to ensure the highest relevance for a search. This means if you search for “best computer deals” that the search engine results page (SERP) and the related ads that show on the SERP are as relevant as possible. If someone sees your website in the search result the search engine wants your site to quickly deliver what the searcher seeks. And the faster the better.
If you’re just starting out you need to ensure your website is crafted on a solid keyword foundation. Think relevant content for people who search. You also need to make sure the on-page fundamentals are in place such as proper title tags, descriptions, and other aspects of on-page SEO are working on your behalf. The content and structure of your website is what good SEO is all about. Then there’s the back link issue.
If you sell computers on your website then the keywords, the copy, the images and the overall content on your site should be all about computers. Look at it this way. Your content needs to be relevant. People searching for computer stuff don’t want a search result for vacuum cleaners. And I doubt you want them to come to your site any way, especially if you sell something other than computers.
The next aspect of SEO is back links. This is crucial. Back links, also referred to as inbound links, are links on other sites, blogs, forums, etc. that point back to your website. The more there are the better as long as they are of high quality. The search engines use back links as an indicator of how beefy your website is. Of course it’s not as simple as this and my goal in this article is to provide an overview of the two primary disciplines in getting more traffic to your website. Just look at it this way. The more back links of high quality, the better you will do in search engine results.
SEO, developing proper and relevant content, and building high quality back links will help you over months and months of time to get better search engine results. Warning. If you get a sales call and the sales person tells you they can help you get a first page Google search result in a matter of weeks or months for only $250 a month, beware. This is a very common pitch to the unwary business owner or consumer. Getting on the first page of a SERP, of which there are only ten results, is a competitive undertaking. The more competitive the industry the harder it is and the longer it takes. And the search engines know pretty much when someone is playing games to trick them. Which results in getting your website shut down in worst case scenario. So don’t try and take any short cuts.
As for pay per click, in contrast to the serious work and lead time involved with getting SEO to help your search results and drive more traffic to your website, you can generate instant traffic to your website by buying advertising or clicks. If you didn’t know this, Google makes it’s billions selling ads. The advertising pays for clicks. We build and manage pay per click campaigns for our clients and see it as a very powerful way to get lots of new business in a very short period of time.
Is pay per click easy? Only if you’ve invested hundreds or thousands of hours mastering the discipline. It’s true that anyone can set up their own AdWords account with Google and manage their own campaign. If you do this you will surely spend the budget you set. Google likes this very much. And you will get traffic to the pages to which you send it. But whether you “convert” the traffic into paying customers, leads, etc. (depends on your goals) is another story. Your website, landing pages, keyword selection, ad copy and many other factors impact results in terms of clicks and conversions. If you take this on yourself you need to learn as you go. We are constantly learning because the rules of the game and the system itself is always changing and optimizing.
Here’s a good rule of thumb if you’re running your own pay per click campaigns. Test. Test. Test.
We do this by always testing our most successful ads against a newer ad. We test. We learn. We adapt. So should you if you’re running your own pay per click campaign.
A word of caution on your AdWords campaign if you’re sourcing this to someone on your team or outsourcing it. How do you know you’re getting the best possible results? If you don’t have a fundamental understanding of pay per click you will be ill equipped to make a qualitative assessment of the results for which you pay. This is why we offer a free pay per click analysis. We look for opportunities to enhance the return on investment by reducing the cost per click, increasing the conversions and managing the account to increase the value. (If you’re interested just complete the form on this page and we’ll tell you if we’d be willing to take on your account on a pay for performance basis.)
AdWords and pay per click advertising is an incredible advertising model. I will go so far as to say it is downright revolutionary and ever evolving. You can also buy online ads with Facebook and many other online platforms. Google happens to own about 80% of the market which is we focus on pay per click with Google almost exclusively.
Is pay per click for everyone? No. It requires a budget which is completely up to you. I know small business owners who run their own campaigns and invest a few hundred bucks a month. Our clients invest a minimum of $5,000 per month and invest as much as $70,000 a month in online advertising because it works. They get a significant return on the investment and increase their budgets in line with their goals to grow their businesses. Makes sense.
Ideally, you want to invest in both search engine optimization and pay per click advertising. If you can’t afford pay per click you absolutely need to be investing your time, your money or both in creating great content around your keywords and market, maintaining the quality and relevancy of your site, make it highly visible for search engines and build new back links each and every month.
If you can afford both, even better.
What works for you? What isn’t working for you in either realm? What questions do you have?
We appreciate your comments and questions regarding pay per click or search engine optimization here on the WealthNet Partners blog.