PPC v. SEO
A question I get all the time. A prevalent mindset for small business owners is that an either/or scenario is occurring when considering the two strategies. This is not always the case. Consider the differences between the two:
SEO is always the best long-term strategy to drive traffic and leads to your site, but if you’re just getting started, or are in a really competitive market then it will be a LONG road to get where you want to be as far as traffic and lead goals. Don’t listen to any “guru” who tells you that significant SEO traffic will be anything resembling immediate. It can be a long and time-consuming process, but the huge benefit is that it does have a snowball effect, and once you start seeing progress, you’ll start seeing an increase in the the “free” traffic and leads that everyone talks about (although we all know that time, blood, sweat, and tears are anything but free)
PPC, however is immediate and instantly measurable. Any small business can bid on a keyword, and if the bid is competitive, can be showing up in search results in a matter of hours. The obvious drawback to PPC is that it costs money, and if one is not meticulous about upkeep of the account as well as the strategy behind paid search, then it is easy to throw large sums of money at advertising and seeing poor results.
The important thing to remember is that one should not come at the cost of another. Business owners should view them as peaceful co-habitators rather than two forces pitted against each other. If all focus were to be put on SEO, then it could be 6 months before you would potentially see a lead. Very few business owners can afford that. If all focus were to go to PPC, then you would be in a constant position of having the same margins for leads that could perhaps shrink if keyword bids go up considerably.
Simply put, having all your eggs in one of these baskets is most likely not the answer for your small business. To stem the frustration that can arise from having to wait a while for SEO to kick in, it’s probably a good idea to have a healthy Adwords account running. As time goes on, and you begin to see traffic and leads arising from your SEO efforts, it may be appropriate to scale down your spend for Adwords. There’s a balance that should be adhered to.
if you have any success stories involving a healthy combination of PPC and SEO please let us know in the comments below!