When it comes to increasing traffic to your website, you have two choices:
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising; or
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
You don’t necessarily have to choose between the two. In some cases, it is a combination of the use of both strategies.
PPC types of advertising programs enable you to display ads in the sponsored results section of each search engine’s results page.
It’s also possible to increase traffic organically. To accomplish organic growth, you need to follow SEO best practices. And although it may take a bit longer to achieve a higher ranking, targeting free traffic is worth the time that you invest in the process.
The Use of Tools To Help You Accomplish Your Goals
Regardless of the method selected, you need tools and the ability to research. For example, if you need help honing in on your target audience, tools like CheckThem will help you find the people who belong to the public that you are seeking to reach. Tools like this are excellent examples of tools that will help you get started, regardless of your strategy.
There are many other tools to consider, to help you get the job done, but let’s focus on the strategies and aim for a sort of “best tools” list in another post. You can also Google that topic to see what others say about it.
Understand the Overall Plan
If you’re unsure which route to go, look at your needs and budget. If you require the increase in your traffic to happen quickly and are willing to pay for it, then PPC might be the right choice for you. It is a faster process (the upside), but to do so, it requires a financial investment (the downside).
On the other hand, if you’re operating on a shoestring budget, it probably makes more sense to invest time in SEO. Yes, the investment is the time (the downside), and it follows the acquisition of knowledge (again, time), but it doesn’t have to cost you as much money (the upside).
Still trying to decide which option you should choose? The following are two questions that can be considered when deciding between using PPC or SEO for your business:
How Soon Do I Need Results?
SEO is not only about optimizing your website and content to rank higher in organic search results for targeted keywords; it’s also about being an authority and providing solutions.
Major search engines like Google look at how people interact with your website and if other sites are linking to your site pages. SEO does take time, so if you need immediate results, starting with PPC may be the better choice.
PPC is about paying for advertising space for specific targeted keywords on search results pages. But, make no mistake, there is lots of search engine optimization happening when creating a paid ad campaign, too.
The combination of both, with an emphasis on the one that these questions lead you to choose, is a good approach.
For example, if you need more immediate results, sure, go for the PPC option over the SEO. But, it is a good idea to also learn about SEO and attempt to implement-it-as-you-go (i.e. in your blog posts). By doing so, you will save time later by not having to return to older content on your site and attempting to search engine optimize it later. Also, if your emphasis is on PPC, you can focus on PPC while learning SEO tactics and strategies.
What is Your Advertising Budget?
As we have seen, the second component of this decision-making process is the economic factor.
When choosing between PPC and SEO, you need to determine which advertising budget your business can support. Afterward, you can set your spending limit as little as you’d like.
If you have a tiny amount of money to invest in PPC, consider giving it a try and experiencing its numerous benefits, which include protection from ever-changing SEO algorithm updates and faster A/B testing. However, you may want to focus on the use of SEO to help accommodate your initial budget.
Another thing to watch for is deals where the search engines offer a coupon that allows you to use PPC for free. In fact, I just found a coupon recently, on Facebook, which allowed me to get $100 of Bing PPC ads for free.
Those PPC discounts do exist, and they benefit the search engines by demonstrating to you, their client, the value of using PPC in your overall strategy. By giving you the $100 credit, they are more likely to get you as a customer with the “Pet the Puppy” sales tactic. So, keep watching for those coupons. They exist out there from time to time!
PPC is a great way to kickstart your digital marketing efforts with direct traffic. To make the most out of PPC, it’s a good idea to ascertain the right training and certifications. If you don’t have time to do so, hiring a marketing agency that specializes in PPC marketing is the best way to go.
Search Engine Optimization is equally important but does take some time to build a presence. Also, expect to see fluctuations in your rankings, especially if you are in a competitive market. You just never know when one of your competitors is going to step up their game and become an authority in your industry. Fortunately, even in SEO, there are excellent SEO training programs available to help you gain that advantage over your competition.
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