When it comes to Web marketing strategies, sometimes it's difficult to know where to start. A question we hear often is:
Should I start marketing my website with search engine optimization (SEO) or pay-per-click (PPC)?
The response from our three in-house experts was unanimous! You need both. Here's why...
Stoney (@StoneyD): While both SEO and PPC results are displayed on the same search results page, they operate very differently (and independently) from each other. PPC can be set up much quicker and get results sooner than SEO can. But don't let that make you think you'll "instantly" get ROI out of it. PPC takes optimization before profits are secure. SEO, on the other hand takes along longer to work. My suggestion is, if you can afford it, get started on PPC right away to start bringing in profits sooner. While the PPC campaign improves, be working on the optimization of your website, targeting keywords, building links, growing your social base and improving conversions.
Craig (@craiggeis): SEO takes time to gain ground, so starting asap is important. SEO also improves site usability because it takes visitors into account. You need PPC because it helps fill the traffic void while SEO is ramping up. Together they generate a synergy effect on visibility and conversions.
Mike (@mflem25): There are going to be keywords up front that you know you want to rank for. Begin both PPC and SEO for those keywords immediately. Your long term goal is to dominate search results pages for keywords that work at growing your business. The best way to do that is to have listings through both PPC and SEO. Each reinforces the other, resulting in overall lift of visitors and conversions. In fact, with the rise of universal search (including product listings, local listings, product extensions and the like), you can have more than two options for the searcher on a page, all with different messages.
After you've ranked well for keywords, you know should be hitting home runs. Use PPC experiment data as intelligence for where to go next and how to proceed. Since SEO typically takes 6-12 months to begin seeing significant results (if done right), here are some advantages that PPC offers that make it a channel you don't ever want to leave behind.
Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.
If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.
Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.
Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.
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