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A Battle of Strategies: PPC vs. SEO

There's many ways to market your online presence. Relevant traffic is the ultimate goal, how you go about getting it, is subjective.

The battle is on, with Pay-Per-Click in one corner and SEO in the other.  Internet marketing vs. Professional SEO service providers.  Who will be the winner?  Only time can tell.

Pay-per-Click, or PPC, is one of many internet marketing strategies.  The website owner pays to have an advertisement or advertising banner to be listed so searchers can see them.  Each user that clicks on the advertisement is taken to a landing page on the website where, supposedly, the user can then be converted into a viable customer through the landing page’s call to action.

Many website owners opt for PPC instead of SEO, believing that they’ll have a better chance of reaching customers than by hiring Professional SEO service providers to optimize their website.

Pro – More users will reach your landing page, giving them the opportunity to follow the call to action and become a viable customer.

Pro – PPC provides seemingly instantaneous results.  The ad goes up and you’ll see a quick increase of visitors to your website.

Big Con – Each user that clicks to the landing page costs the website owner money.  This isn’t so bad, right?  All marketing costs money.

The problem is that PPC doesn’t distinguish between those that click on purpose and those that click on accident.  It doesn’t matter if the user turns into a customer or leaves the website as soon as they reach it.  All that counts with PPC is that a user clicks on the advertising banner.

What’s the return on investment (ROI) for PPC?  Unfortunately, there’s no statistic for overall PPC vs. conversion rate.  In general, the statistics cover a specific market, such as farm equipment or motor vehicle parts, but the basic structure is clear.

If you have a highly competitive keyword, it’s going to cost you more for the PPC banner.  You also have more competition between websites.  In this situation, whether you get conversions or not may come down to depending on how professional your website looks compared to others.  Is it worth it?

Some say yes, some say no, but all say keep an eye on that conversion rate.  It’s easy to end up dumping more money into PPC than you have in your monthly marketing budget – and many business owners have.

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the strategy of optimizing your website for search engines.  In plain terms, getting your website listed high on the search terms so searchers will see you first.  Professional SEO service providers find low competition/high search keywords for use in coding and content, as well as many other things.

Pro – Although the Professional SEO service providers aren’t free, the clicks and conversions are.  You won’t have to pay per person.  You decide what you want done and you pay a set fee.

Pro – Many SEO companies provide copyrighting and suggest relative content.  If you choose to add content writing to your optimization package, you not only see SEO results from the optimization, you may also see a higher number of return visitors searching for relevant information on your website.

Con – SEO is a long-term strategy.  Although you’ll see results, you probably won’t see them for a while.  If you’re an impatient website owner, this could be a serious deterrent.

The return on investment for SEO can be high, but it will take awhile to see it.  Any professional SEO service providers that tell you they can give you instantaneous results are flat out lying – unless pigs have flown lately.

However, in a three-month campaign – some run for six or longer – you will spend less than a three-month PPC campaign, with longer lasting results.  Once your website is optimized, it takes very little time and cost to keep it that way.  An article here, a landing page there, a blog added there and you’re updated.

The Outcome
Who wins depends on how quickly you want to be seen and how big your monthly budget is.  PPC cost all depends on how competitive your keyword is, SEO cost depends on how much optimization you want to do and the company.  PPC has quick results on visitors with a possibility of conversion; SEO has slower – but longer lasting – results on visitors and conversions.

Believe it or not, many Professional SEO service providers will suggest both.  With a short PPC campaign, mixed with a long-term SEO campaign, you’ll have the highest ROI and optimal visitor/conversion rates.

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