Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Battle Between SEO and PPC - Which is Best For Search Engine Marketing?

Search Engine Optimization and Pay Per Click advertising are two widely used techniques in which webmasters use to increase traffic to their websites. When both techniques are executed properly more users will be directed to your website.

So if both of these techniques get the same results how could one be better than another? Let's start out by breaking down each technique.

Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)
Pay Per Click Advertising is available through several search engines but the most commonly used PPC advertising is done through Google AdWords. The first step in setting up PPC is selecting your keywords. Second, you must place a bid for each keyword. Each time a search engine user clicks on your advertisement you will be billed by Google the agreed amount bid. You can set a daily spending limit on your account so that once your daily limit has been reached your ads will be taken off the search engine.

PPC Positives
Since you are paying for a top position in the search engine, you will start receiving traffic to your site as soon as you launch your PPC account. As long as you continue your campaign your traffic should remain relatively constant.

PPC Negatives
PPC campaigns can get pricey very quickly. Each keyword you choose has an individual bid price. These bid prices vary from a couple cents a click to well over forty dollars! Assuming you don't have an unlimited PPC budget your spending limit can be reached relatively quickly. Once your spending limit has been reached your advertisements are taken down from the search engines and that's the end of your traffic for the day.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization consists of two elements, on page optimization and off page optimization. On page optimization includes researching and selecting keywords and then making changes to the title tags, header tags, image alt tags and a lot more. The off page optimization consists of building links from directories and other related websites that point back to your site using what is called a contextual link.

SEO Positives
Search Engine Optimization in comparison to PPC can be relatively cheap because you can do the research and implementation on your own time. After your SEO has been implemented and top search rankings have been achieved, you should get the traffic to your site that you have been working hard for. If you continually add fresh new content to your site and expand on your link building efforts there is no reason why you can't keep these rankings. The end result could be maintaining your sites traffic for as long as your site continues to be live on the internet.

SEO Negatives
It can take months/years before your keyword(s) reach the top page of Google and other search engines. It is believed that over 85% of search engine users do not click past the first page in the search engine. SEO can be very time consuming and there is no promise of success. If SEO is not done correctly or is abandoned your search results and your traffic will suffer. SEO is never "completed" it will always require more work as Google changes their ranking algorithms regularly.

Who Is The Winner between SEO and PPC?
Everyone has their own opinions and I am not going to say that any technique is best. Simply put, both SEO and PPC have their time and place. A combination of SEO and PPC is my personal favorite. Use the PPC heavily in the beginning while your organic SEO isn't converting any visitors. As your keywords rise in the search engines results you can lower your PPC spending. In a perfect world you will eventually rank at the top for all your keywords and you can end your PPC campaign all together.

DKS Systems is a Minnesota Web Design firm located in Golden Valley Minnesota. Contact DKS for more information regarding internet marketing or web development.

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