Options are a good thing, since there’s no single strategy that works for everybody when it comes to search engine placement and marketing.
Regardless of which strategy you choose, there will be pros and cons to each one – and it’s up to you to decide which option provides the most benefits.
Choosing the Right Search Engine Marketing Mechanism
As a beginner in the industry, choosing the right marketing mechanism for your business may seem like a daunting task. Not only are there hundreds of different factors to consider, but you also need to be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of each type of solution before going along with it.
In this article, we will analyze the benefits, strengths, and competitive advantages as well as the drawbacks and the dilemmas of these two powerful mechanisms. This will provide you with a better picture so that you can make the best possible decision.
Advantages of SEO
It can increase organic traffic
The major advantage of SEO is that statistically, it tends to get you better traffic and more trusting leads from engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. A well-defined SEO strategy will help bring in more quality traffic and will also allow your website to be located quickly.
It’s more sustainable
Contrary to the PPC campaigns, SEO results do not start to dissipate the moment you stop paying. SEO efforts will continue to generate traffic, help your website grow, and provide ongoing benefits for your business.
Trust and credibility
There are plenty of surveys available that clearly indicate that “Natural Search” visitors to a website are far more likely to trust you, your business or whatever you are offering to them. Ranking highly on Google for a keyword and showing up on Page 1 is a sign that you’re credible and will make you look more legitimate than a business showing up on Page 4.
The best thing about SEO is that once you establish yourself in the organic search results, it’s not possible for your competitors to just pay and beat you in the ranks. SEO is all about the quality, usability, and credibility of your website.
Disadvantages of SEO
Patience is required
It takes a while to see the results of SEO – better rankings don’t happen overnight and it might be months before you see a change in your traffic.
SEO is a complex mechanism as there are more than 200+ ranking factors that you have to consider. You should also be aware of black hat and white hat SEO techniques. Doing SEO without the proper knowledge can do more harm than good to your website. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it might be a good idea to use an SEO agency to help.
It is not free
You are fooling yourself if you think that SEO is free. Be it your time or your money you’re investing, SEO comes at a cost and may possibly cost more than you expect it to be.
PPC or Pay Per Click is one of the most popular forms of search engine marketing. It allows marketers to bid for ad placement on the search engine results and pay only when an online user clicks the ad. Search engines like Google and Bing provide pay-per-click advertising available on an auction basis. Advertisers bid for a keyword or a list of keywords related to the business they are offering. This SEM model is also determined by multiple factors such as bid amounts, ad relevancy, and landing page content.
Advantages of PPC
Quick entry in search results
The best thing about PPC is that even if you’re a decade behind your competitors, with PPC campaigns you can display your ads prominently and quickly achieve a little bit of optimization. SEO requires a lot of time and effort, while with PPC you can easily dominate the slots by bidding amounts on the potential keywords.
You can more easily reach your target audience
PPC provides you with the opportunity to customize the audience for your ads. This means you can get more relevant traffic by targeting keyword campaigns based on demographics such as location, device, time or day of the week, and even interests.
Better control over your budget
PPC also provides you the flexibility to run campaigns on a controlled budget. However, for this strategy to work, you must find longer, highly specific keyword phrases in your industry for which the top bid is a fantastic deal. This can generate targeted traffic at a fraction of the cost compared to any other form of paid advertising.
Data and flexibility
Another competitive advantage of PPC is that you have the facility to get reports to analyze and interpret the strengths and reach of your campaigns. This means that you can instantly turn off poorly performing campaigns or you can increase budgets on campaigns you realize are performing pretty well.
Disadvantages of PPC
Potential high cost
Jumping into PPC without proper knowledge can be risky, and you may end up spending hundreds of dollars without seeing any actual results. Moreover, if the keywords you want to target have a lot of competition, you may end up needing a large amount of money to get your keywords ranked high.
People often ignore sponsored ads
A recent Google survey shows that up to 85% of people ignore sponsored listings when looking at a Google search result. Why? Because paying for advertising can sometimes be seen as “of course the review is positive, the owners paid for it.”
Results might be temporary
The downside of PPC is that the traffic stops immediately the moment you are out of cash or turn off the campaign. In PPC, your listings will disappear when you stop paying and may end up appearing back on the 3rd or 4th page. PPC also requires constant monitoring and is a short-term solution.
**About the Author: Zeeshan Khalid is a Web Architect, an eCommerce Specialist and an Entrepreneur. He is the CEO and founder of FME Extensions, a leading e-commerce web design and development agency. Over the years, FME Extensions has successfully delivered projects in Magento, WordPress, WooCommerce, Joomla and other CMS/shopping cart platforms. You can find him on LinkedIn.