Imagine you are marketing a children’s toy store which is launching a new line of toys. You have recently created an ecommerce website to promote the products online and want to start an online marketing campaign in August to direct parents to the new toy offerings leading up to Christmas. Deciding just how to go about this can seem like a minefield. Simply understanding the flood of online marketing articles and suggestions can render most business owners lost and confused. The two most popular, tried and tested online marketing methods are SEO and PPC.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a long term strategy that all businesses should be aware of and actively involved in. Customers expect your business to appear on the first page of Google and if you’re not there then you are missing out on a sizeable portion of targeted traffic to your website. Pay Per Click advertising can generate immediate results. However, Pay per click advertising can be very expensive. It is easy to throw away huge amounts of cash without the right planning and research. Consulting an online marketing agency to manage your PPC marketing for you is essential for beginners, and suggested for most others.
When you should use PPC over SEO
SEO is often seen as the cheaper, more sustainable option and any forward thinking business will appreciate anything that promotes sustainability. But SEO is no quick fix.
If you can’t afford to wait for the results here’s why you should turn to PPC instead:
- You have much more control over PPC – With PPC you know exactly what’s happening at all times, you choose when to start and stop your campaign, even what time of day you’re ad is shown.. You can see the results almost instantly and react upon them within days of starting.
- Less chance of penalization from Google – If you’re looking for fast results with SEO, chances are you may fall victim to unscrupulous black-hat SEO techniques that run afoul of Google’s terms of service. As victims of Google Panda will know, this potentially leads to penalization by Google. Once penalized, your website can fall into an internet Neverland that is difficult and time consuming to get out of.
- SEO can take months to direct sales, PPC can take hours – There are many factors that make up search engine marketing that contribute to higher page rankings. Each of these factors takes time to implement, analyze and perfect. You may not see your website in the top 10 results for some time with SEO, whereas a PPC campaign can begin driving traffic to your site in hours. In the case of our toy shop the gains from our SEO strategy might just appear in January, by which point Christmas is long passed.
- Keyword research is costly & time consuming – A good SEO strategy requires effective keyword research to determine the right keywords that will give you the right, targeted visitors. Unless you spend the time to find “specific” keywords then you will likely find it very tough to compete with big name brands in the search results.
- SEO requires regular, quality content – Google expects regular, targeted and quality content as part of a good SEO strategy. That can demand a lot of your time, or money paying a content writer, whereas with PPC you can market what you already have and focus more of your time on optimizing one piece of quality web content.
It’s not just SEO either, the same can be said for social media marketing which takes a lot of time to nurture and doesn’t guarantee laser targeted traffic.
Grow your business more quickly with PPC
Until the point when SEO starts bringing you regular traffic and sales, you will likely be investing money and seeing little return from it. With PPC the money you invest can be recouped much more quickly from sales now, rather than later.
Make changes now, not later
Pay Per Click advertising allows you to make the right changes today. With PPC there is a constant stream of data from the beginning. With SEO it could be weeks or months down the line before you start receiving traffic, let alone any that can be analyzed. You know with PPC that the clicks you get are going to be well targeted. If you have done your keyword research correctly then you also know that the data generated from this traffic is relevant to your business. This allows you to make improvements to your site & marketing materials sooner rather than later.
Overall this strategy allows businesses to scale much more quickly:
- Capture leads for follow-up marketing
- Invest profits into other areas of the business
- Reinvest profit into more traffic
You shouldn’t abandon SEO. As a long-term strategy SEO is provides a better cost benefit and a more trusting and permanent customer. But if you don’t have the luxury of time, In this case make PPC your number one priority and start generating sales right away!