Here’s a question I’m often asked:
“Which is better: optimising my site for “free” search engine rankings, or paying for clicks on Google Adwords?
My answer is always the same – if you can profitably generate website traffic with both, it’s best to do both to generate maximum returns.
But you should also keep in mind that free search engines and paid search engines are very different animals.
Let’s look a little deeper so you understand the pros and cons of Search Engine Optimisation for the “free” search engines (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click optimisation on paid search engines (PPC).
SEO vs PPC
PPC (paying for clicks) is good because…
- It’s a very fast way to generate targeted traffic – you can literally generate visitors to your website within 10 minutes. SEO takes much longer to see results.
- You can easily decide where to send each visitor (e.g. if a visitor searches on “blue widgets”, you can direct them to your “blue widgets” product page.) With SEO, the search engines decide for you.
- You can easily test multiple headlines / copy / offers by testing ads in Google Adwords.
- You can easily drive traffic for a broad range of keywords. With SEO, you’re wise to focus on fewer keywords.
- Your website doesn’t have to be “search engine friendly” for PPC to work. (Websites built with “Flash” are notoriously UN-friendly to search engines, but they don’t necessarily affect PPC traffic.)
- You’re optimising for conversion results, not the ranking formula for a