If you have a limited budget to spend on internet marketing, it can be a tough decision whether to invest your money in natural search engine optimisation or Pay Per Click advertising. Whilst many people argue that SEO is free, it is simply not the case. At the very least it is extremely time consuming and requires a huge amount of knowledge. If you do not have the knowledge, you will need to pay a professional optimiser; and if you do have the knowledge, it is likely that you will need to spend some money with link building.
Although both SEO and PPC will cost you money, they have very different strengths and weaknesses. SEO can give the greatest Return on investment in the long term – once you have achieved first page listings, the maintenance costs are relatively cheap and the traffic far exceeds that of a PPC placement for the same term. Of course, getting a strong search engine position takes time and there is no solid guarentee that your hard work will pay off. Many companies and individuals do not have the patience for this kind of strategy and opt for PPC instead.
Pay Per Click advertising has the huge benefit of providing instant traffic. A campaign can be set up and running in a matter of minutes, directing quality traffic to your site. However, it is important to remember that PPC campaigns need constant attention. PPC listings are far from static; when a competitor changes his bid price it may affect your position and reduce traffic to your site. Furthermore, getting the most out of a PPC campaign requires a huge amount of knowledge and effort. A lack of knowledge often leads to people spending far too much money on the wrong keywords, making it difficult to generate enough profit to make the process seem worthwhile.
A good piece of advice is to split your advertising budget between PPC and SEO. This will give instant traffic from PPC while you wait for listings to materialise from your SEO efforts. It is also worth noting that this will give some mutual benefit – good seo techniques will increase the quality score of your PPC campaigns because your landing page quality will increase. If you do not have the specialist knowledge required to carry out PPC and SEO campaigns effectively, you should always enlist the help of a professional – this will save you money in the long term.