Search Engine Optimization Or Pay-Per-Click?

Which Web Marketing Approach is Right For Your Business?

Which Web Marketing Approach is Right For Your Business?
Everyday we have clients ask us which marketing approach should they take with the search engines. Should they do Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or one of the numerous Pay-Per-Click marketing approaches like Google AdWords.

My Old Philosophy
Just a few years ago, I would help our clients implement a two phased approached. We would begin a SEO campaign with them,knowing that any Search Engine Optimization campaign that was really trying to drive real traffic was going to take about 9 or 10 months to really get where we were seeing really great results. I’m not talking about trying to get ranked for your company name or words that have little or no traffic, but real words that drive buyers.

Knowing that getting those high rankings was going to take a while, we would then begin a pay-per-click campaign. The plan was to begin driving traffic instantly. Even if it wasn’t organic traffic. You have to have targeted traffic to have a successful web site, and if done correctly, pay-per-click is a great way to drive that traffic. It also allows you to start testing parts of your site like your copy and call to actions.
If everything went according to plan, and the clients started to get good organic rankings from the Search Engine Optimization, we would then greatly reduce, or in most cases turn off, the Pay-Per-Click campaign.

The New Philosophy
After talking with our clients about SEO and PPC at Infomedia Lunch and Learns last year, I literally changed my philosophy over a two day period.

Here is what I discovered:

  • A lot of people still don’t know the difference between organic search engine results and paid ads. I was surprised. They knew there was a separation but weren’t sure why.
  • They didn’t care if it was an ad or not, they just wanted to find what they needed.
  • Most important – They thought that being on the first page meant that Google was saying that you were a good company to work with. From time to time, we all do this subconsciously.

The Power of Front Page Repetition
Now a lot of you are thinking, “I know the difference between the organic results and the ads and I never click on the ads”. I agree with you and hardly ever click on the ads but I do every now and then. Here is the kicker: There are only 10 organic results on the home page and a max of 12 ads counting the top and sides ads. Most of the time, there are not the full 12 ads. By showing up in the organic results and the pay-per-click ad on the side, your name is now on the front page twice out of a maximum of 22 places.

Why Does This Matter?

Well we know this is a good strategy for a few reasons:

  • Like I mentioned above, everyone from time to time either concisely or subconsciously thinks that the companies on the front page are the best to work with. There is something very powerful about having your name there twice. It is great for brand building if nothing else.
  • Having your ad show up in pay-per-click doesn’t cost you anything unless they click on your ad. Even if you are organically ranked number 1 for a term but they also click your ad, it allowed you to show them twice that you are a company worth working with. This is also great for brand building
  • The best reason– It pushes one of your competitors off of the front page. With the limited space and the short attention spans of searchers, you greatly increase your chances when you push a competitor to page 2.

There is no cookie-cutter approach to web marketing. We’d love to sit down with you and discuss a strategy to drive quality traffic and increase sales. Please contact me at 205-271-8433, email me at jerry(at)infomedia.com, or follow me on Twitter at @infomediajerry.

Jerry is not afraid of a good fight. Not with other people mind you, but with your competition. He loves to help our clients get web traffic and high search engine rankings for terms that are usually dominated by big box retailers and Fortune 500 companies. This doesn't happen overnight, but when it does, it will transform your business. He is one of the pioneers (he hates that term) of Web Marketing in Alabama and is scary good in his understanding of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising, analytics, and online user behavior. You definitely want him in your corner.
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