You have basically two choices to drive traffic to your website – SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (Pay per click) advertising. The SEO approach helps you build free traffic to your website through ranking high in the search results. It takes relatively longer time to rank high. Google’s Panda and Penguin updates increase the cost and unpredictability of SEO. On the other hand, the PPC approach drives instant targeted traffic to the landing page of your website through advertising programs such as Google Adwards, Yahoo Search Marketing, Microsoft Advertising and many other programs. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad. It can be costly and difficult for beginners.
SEO or PPC, who is the winner? Which approach is more effective? The debating has been going on for a long time.
Wordstream.com has revealed some interesting statistics about SEO and PPC in their infographic – “The War on Free Clicks”. It shows that PPC gets 64.6% of clicks for high commercial intent keywords while SEO only gets 35.4% of clicks. The high commercial intent keywords are the keywords where a searcher is looking to buy a product or service. For example: “buy stainless steel dishwasher” These types of keywords are worth a lot more to businesses than basic informational keyword searches such as “World War II”.
So who is the winner? SEO or PPC? Neither side can declare the victory yet. Even though the power is shifting towards PPC, I don’t think SEO is dead. I agree with Chris Pitt’s statement about the future of SEO. He said:
The SEO industry will not die. Not while there are a) digital landscapes b) options and c) people to use and search for them. Of course there will be change, but then every industry changes. What remains is that there will always be a need for search; and if it can be searched, it can be optimised.
The SEO approach is still a good option for small businesses if you do it properly. However, you can not depend solely on SEO. If you ignored PPC before, it is time to give it a serious consideration, especially when you have a solid product or service to offer. PPC brings you instant targeted traffic and allows you to test the market. If you run PPC with non-Google programs, you don’t even need to care about Google!
The best way is to apply both SEO and PPC approaches to drive healthy traffic to your website in order to achieve the short term and long term goals of your online business. What do you think? I would love to have your comment.
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