Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Pro's And Con's Of Pay Per Click Advertising vs Search Engine Optimization

Your success with either Search Engine Optimization or Pay Per Click advertising can be determined by one single word. "Relevancy". This is especially important to Google and should be to you too. Relevancy is what it's all about in Search folks. When you are trying to find something online don't you want the best, most accurate information that you can possibly get on the topic or would you rather find some software generated page that has a few of your keywords on the page, but the rest of it makes absolutely no sense? Anyone that's been online for very long knows exactly what I'm talking about. The search engine's, with Google leading the way, are determined to provide their users with the best, most relevant experience that they can possibly provide, so if you've been "spinning cobwebs" of crud and trying to make a few bucks, your days are numbered.

The Pro's of Pay Per Click advertising are that you can have an ad up and running in as little as 10-15 minutes, once you have your account set up. Once you get a good idea of what you're doing you can be running multiple ad campaigns, testing new headlines for web pages AND sales letters that can be used on or OFFline. Pay Per Click has practically changed the face of the way advertising works, both on and off the internet, for those "in the know". It has allowed an average person to run a business from a small room in their home and compete with the largest companies around the world. Some people make 100% of their incomes from Pay Per Click advertising methods and others make extraordinary incomes.

The Con's of Pay Per Click are that it costs money, in some cases, a lot of money, unless you learn to use it properly. When Google first came out with Adwords it was easy to throw up an ad and get traffic that was relatively cheap. As a matter of fact, until last year, ads only costed a nickel per click for the end position if there were less than eight advertisers on the page. Not so anymore. Google now charges a designated amount for each keyword and phrase, some of which can be extremely expensive. With the explosion of it's popularity, it has also become extremely competitive.

Summary - Pay Per Click advertising is still one of the best, most profitable methods of advertising available. However, if you do not get the proper education before you jump into this snake pit, you could waste a lot of money and get little in return.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - This is a method in which you use keyword phrases and relevant content in order to compete for the free listings the search engines offer. The competition for phrases like "dog training", "life insurance", "internet marketing" and other similar high traffic phrases are nearly impossible to even rank for. However there are literally millions of terms that get less traffic, but they have little if any competition. If you're willing to roll up your sleeves and go to work, you can potentially dominate small markets. Also, many of these less traveled keywords are what is known as "long tailed". There has been confusion about this term for many people and I'd like to finally clear this up as to what "long tail" means. This does not refer to any term that is 4-5 or more words long, it refers to terms that are this long that are "buying phrases". That comes directly from SEO expert, Jerry West.

The Pro's of SEO are that you can get free traffic, if you are willing to work for it. This is where you could have a huge advantage over most people because they're lazy and aren't motivated enough to do what it takes to succeed.

The Con's of SEO are that it not only takes a lot of work, but it can also take months before your pages are indexed by the search engines. There are methods that you can use, that are ethical, to make this happen much faster, but for someone that is new to SEO, you'll be at a serious disadvantage. Also, because SEO is free, you will have competition for the first page of your chosen keywords, so even if you are willing to work it still won't be a cake walk.

Summary - I recommend that you diversify your marketing efforts to include both Pay Per Click and Search Engine Optimization methods. This way you're getting traffic from two different sources, you're getting immediate traffic from Pay Per Click advertising and you're also investing in your future interests with SEO. There are people making enormous sums of money with first page rankings for both SEO and PPC.

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