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Pay per click or SEO

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Customers quite rightly ask: If we are doing Search Engine Optimisation why should we use Adwords or other pay per click advertisements? Or Visa Versa if we are using pay per click why should we use SEO which can take as long as between 6-12months to start getting results from word go?


Well overall it is down to your end goals and strategies. If the web is not a major part of your business you may wish to opt for one or the other. But as more and more business is going online if the internet is not where you currently conduct business in the future it will be and if not you then the competition.


Both pay per click and SEO have their benefits and shortfalls.


Pay per click advantages are:


  • Easy to use (no need to be an expert SEO)
  • Pay as you hit so no gain no spend
  • Give great return on investment
  • Budget flexible (turn on and off at will)
  • Easy to monitor for campaign success
  • Easy to optimise for keyword success
  • Controllable via geography and time ads are shown
  • Great for promotions


Pay per clicks disadvantages are:


  • Controlled by daily budget and once this runs out your ads stop showing meaning you can lose potential customers when your ad goes offline
  • More competitive because they are easier to set up every man and his dog can have one meaning the cost per click can be high
  • Open to click fraud if not monitored; competitors clicking on your ads to cost you money
  • Can often be ignored by surfers who prefer the natural rankings


SEO advantages


  • Once placement is found traffic can find you 24 hours a day 7 days a week
  • You can reach a global market
  • You site can be optimised so that you get well targeted traffic
  • Hits are free – you never pay per hit
  • As you don’t pay for hits you do not enter a keyword bidding war
  • Also as you don’t pay for hits click fraud is not a problem
  • If you are in the top ten ratings it gives the surfer the impression that you are a reputable large company


SEO disadvantages


  • You have to be patient it can take 6 months plus to get results
  • Results cannot be fully controlled
  • Can be expensive and time consuming to get and stay in place especially for generic terms
  • Due to algorithm shifts results can change overnight and months of work can suddenly be lost
  • Very competitive and can be frustrating


The point is that both have their advantages and disadvantages. The above bullet points are to quickly show to anyone new to either format of eMarketing as to the pros and cons to both.  At SEO advisor though we like to make people aware of the cons but not focus on them, rather focus on the pros of both.


Both pay per click and SEO are advised for greater search engine market penetration and brand/keyword coverage.


In the short term, when launching a new website we would advise more aggressive pay per click campaigns until your SEO kicks in and natural rankings take hold. When natural rankings are working well use pay per click for specialist promotions and offers as well as filling in any keyword gaps where your SEO is not performing for those keywords.


We always suggest that where possible you have in place both an SEO campaign and a pay per click campaign using Adwords etc so that you are getting a more complete search engine coverage and having more chance of being viewed by your target customers.

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