When it comes to search engine marketing, there are two major choices that outline the scope of your goals with regards to traffic on your website. These two choices are pay per click advertising services, such as those offered by Google AdWords, and search engine optimization, which you essentially do yourself through the structure and indexing of the website in question.
Finding out which one is the best for your particular business is key to gaining the highest amount of traffic in your field. In many cases, it pays off to invest in both, but certain websites and content tend to respond better than others in each of these cases.
What Search Engine Optimization Is And When To Use It
Rather than paying a small fee per click for search ads targeting web users who are searching for products and services like yours, search engine optimization relies on strengthening the relevance of your website’s content towards the keywords that people use when searching. The benefit of this approach is that you do not need to pay any search engines for it.
Search engine optimization is largely considered the “free” alternative to targeted advertisements but you will likely still need to pay for the service of optimizing your website if you do not already have experience in doing so. The advantage to this deal is that this is a one-time cost – or at least one that retains its value for as long as engines like Google and Yahoo! continue to index their sites according to certain indicators of relevance.
Those indicators do change occasionally, but if you use optimization techniques that are not manipulative (repeating keywords and linking without context, for instance) your site should naturally climb to the first results page of a search engine for those keywords.
Using Pay Per Click Services Like Google AdWords
With this search engine marketing medium, you pay for the advertisement of your website to people searching for specific keywords. The price depends on the level of competition for those keywords, so you can benefit if you have a dedicated target audience.
The cost per click for highly desired keywords (such as, “auto insurance”) could run prohibitively high. Often, established big-name companies have already gathered authority on the market, making it difficult to displace them. If your website tends to a niche market using keywords that are not sought after competitively in this way, however, you can gain a lot of traffic by this means.
One other consideration is the cost for ppc management companies if you are not versed in pay per click marketing. These companies or agencies can charge either a flat fee or percentage of the ad budget. Although it may seem obvious, if you are not an experienced pay per click advertiser having a ppc agency managing your account can be well worth the investment.
No matter the route you take, both pay per click and organic search engine optimization will cost you something. Understanding the pros and cons of both will allow you to choose the path that makes the most sense for your business.