If you’re trying to promote a website online then you’ll probably be familiar with two common terms relating to search engine marketing. The first being ‘Google Adwords’, also known as PPC advertising, and the second being ‘SEO’. They are both acronyms for ‘pay per click advertising’ and ‘search engine optimisation’ respectively. We explain them below, so if you already get all that, you can skip past it.
With PPC, you have a custom ad on Google and you only pay if someone clicks on it. SEO is also known as organic rankings, where you don’t pay. Once you know the ins and outs of each you can then decide which is best for your particular needs and where you should be spending your online marketing efforts.
‘PPC’ stands for ‘Pay Per Click’ which in our case refers to Google Adwords. As the name suggests, this form of advertising means that the companies only pay (directly to Google) when someone clicks on one of their ads. This business model has been replicated by the likes of Facebook too.
By ‘bidding’ on how much you’re willing to pay for each click, you can then increase how regularly your ad shows up on Google or how prominent it is compared to other businesses also bidding for the same keyword. So it is an auction, but the quality of your ads, your website and the structure of your campaign all have an affect on your costs.
SEO on the other hand stands for ‘Search Engine Optimisation’. This describes the various methods used by webmasters, or just regular people like us who are good at it, to get their websites ranking highly in the results on Google. There is no cost per click, but it is a time consuming process so there is a higher fee for the service.
It can include tasks such as web coding, copywriting, link building, and just making your website better all of the time.
Both of these search engine marketing options have strengths and weaknesses. It will often depend on the goals of a business, particular marketing campaign objectives and the industry the business operates in. Sorry there is no exact answer. For me though if I had to choose just one, I would do SEO. The reason is that the work carried out is on my website. I own it. When I stop doing anything, I can still get enquiries / sales.
Both of these strategies can work well for most businesses as long as the person driving it has experience and a sensible plan. We will often run both side by side to take advantage of both of the benefits they provide.
I, like many clients, don’t like paying a monthly Adwords bill. As long as it can be measured, and proven to deliver leads or sales beyond your desired cost per sale, then it is a valuable tool.
As the guy doing the work though, I usually get more of a kick out of a clients SEO success. It’s where the big money usually is.