SEO and Internet marketing are now necessary components of almost every website and as search engines grow larger and more complex, so do SEO marketing strategies.
So when it comes to search engine marketing, deciding between a pay-per-click and / or an organic search marketing campaign can be a critical decision when trying to boost your company's website visibility. Knowing the difference and the up / downsides of both PPC and organic SEO can actually help increase website visibility and increase website traffic according to your needs.
Pay Per Click Marketing
Pay per click advertising is where advertisers pay a host search site for a spot on their paid rankings pages. Advertisers then pay the search website when their ad is clicked. For instance, PPC ads are labeled "Sponsored Links" on Google and appear on the top of the page and along the right side of the results page.
Most search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc) use keyword bidding, which is when competitors bid on certain keywords to determine the cost per click of the keyword / s. The more popular the keyword / s, the more expensive the cost per click will be.
Pay per click marketing can be useful for short term search engine marketing, as it can really target your niche audience. However, there are some big downsides to PPC.
1. Price- The price of keywords is constantly on the rise, as competition for prime keywords is high. The price is also always changing since PPC is based on keyword bidding. So having a set budget for PPC marketing is nearly impossible.
2. Fraud- 3 out of 4 advertisers are victims of what's known as "click fraud". Click fraud is when your competitors intentally click on your paid ads, thereby costing you good amount of money on wasted advertising.
3. Relevance- 4 out of 5 search engine users report never clicking on paid advertisements.
4. Results- There are little to no long term results with PPC marketing.
Organic Search Engine Marketing
Organic SEO marketing is more effective and produces much better long term SEO results than PPC. Organic SEO strategies often include techniques like link building, keyword optimization, meta data optimization, blogging, etc. Increasing your website's organic search engine ranking is most often done by using the services of a reliable SEO company. When trying to improve your website's organic search engine results, expect:
1. Price- When using an SEO company, expect to pay a flat and / or a monthly fee instead of fluctuating with PPC marketing
2. Time- While it takes longer to see results with organic SEO, the results will most likely get you up there in the search engine results pages and keep you there, as opposed to pay per click, which will not affect your organic ranking at all.
3. Relevance- 80% of users trust organic search engine results over PPC advertisements. Also, another study found that 29% of users are "annoyed" by paid advertisements.
4. Results- Expect to see results after several months of organic SEO marketing. It is important to note that SEO requires a steady and dedicated effort to see results; it is not a one time thing. Be patient and consistent with your organic SEO campaign and you will see great long term results.
Pay Per Click Vs. Organic Search Marketing
Now that you know more about both pay-per-click and organic SEO marketing, I will say that organic search engine marketing is a significantly better technique to increase website traffic. Pay per click, in the long term, is just not worth it unless PPC is supplemented with organic SEO strategies.