When it comes to boosting traffic to your website, you have two basic options: pay-per-click (PPC) advertising or search engine optimization (SEO).
You can pay for traffic using the PPC advertising programs provided by Google Adwords, Yahoo Search Marketing, and others. They enable you to display ads in the sponsored results section of each search engine’s results page. Then, you pay a fee — based on how competitive your chosen keyword is — whenever a viewer clicks through from your ad to your website.
Alternatively, you can build traffic for free by achieving high rankings in the natural search results — the listings displayed next to the sponsored results. You will need to follow SEO best practices to get your site displayed on these pages more prominently and more often. It may take time to reach the top of the natural results, but the free, targeted traffic will probably prove to be well worth the investment.
But which approach is better? It depends on your needs and budget. If you want more traffic fast and are willing to pay for it, then hiring PPC experts at Infinitech Designs might be the right solution. But if you’re operating on a shoestring budget, it may make more sense to invest time in chasing high search rankings through SEO.
Your website advertising budget?
In choosing between SEO and PPC, you first need to decide what size advertising budget your business can support. You can set your daily spending limit as low as you’d like, but it can be a good idea to start with a minimum of $5 to $10 a day. If you have no money to commit to advertising, you’ll need to stick with free SEO methods. But if you have even a little capital to invest in PPC advertising, consider giving it a try because it offers several benefits:
Websites should focus on achieving conversion, whether selling products, signing up email newsletter subscribers, or other action. That means actively testing website variables to improve conversion rates. However, these tests require traffic to generate data, so you might want to obtain traffic through PPC advertising to get faster results.
Protection from SEO algorithm updates
One major weakness of SEO is that algorithms change from time to time. When that happens, sites that have been optimized in one way can lose rankings and profits practically overnight. But when you pay for traffic, you’ve assured a steady stream of visitors, no matter what changes Google and the other search engines make.
PPC has a learning curve, though. Start with small, highly targeted campaigns and tie your PPC campaign to your Google Analytics account. It can tell you which conversions are from PPC visitors and whether your ROI is positive or negative.
How competitive are the SERPs in your niche?
You also will want to determine how competitive the search engine results in pages (SERPs) are for your target keywords.
In the most competitive industries, you may find that authority websites dominate results pages for your target keywords. They can be nearly impossible to displace without a significant investment of time and money. In such cases, it may ultimately make more sense to pay for traffic via PPC promotions.
But it isn’t always necessary to make an “either-or” choice. When combined, PPC and SEO can be quite powerful. Ask yourself these three questions and determine the optimal mix of PPC and SEO for your website.