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Understanding Search Engine Optimization and Paid Search

Driving traffic to your website is a challenging task to organize.  It is very important that you have set plan in place.  The two major ways to drive traffic to your website are organic search engine optimization and paid searches.  Below is some basic information you may want to consider as your formulate your marketing plans.

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, has one distinct advantage.  It’s free.  Because of this many people will opt to use this approach only.  The biggest down fall is that it takes time, and sometimes lots of time, to be successful.  If you are in no hurry to grow your website traffic, then investing the time into an organic approach may be your best bet.

Pay per click, or PPC, is the flip side of the coin. It does require a monetary investment, but your results will often be instant.  Search engines such as Google, amongst others, allow you to choose key words relevant to your website and place your link in a predominant place that will catch the searchers attention.  When they click on your list, you are charged a predetermined fee.  While the fast results may be a good thing, utilizing this type of marketing campaign can be costly over time.

Because of the slow start up involved in SEO and the cost of PPC, a mix of these plans may be the best option to consider.  Below are two examples of combining SEO and PPC that may be advantageous to your plan.

SEO with PPC Stopgap is a plan that involves spending some out of pocket money on PPC advertising while growing your SEO strategy.  When you start to see results on the SEO plan, you scale back the PPC accordingly.  The idea is that eventually you can eliminate the PPC aspect of the plan completely.   If you have a fixed monthly budget this type of plan can also be a good one for you as you can control your monthly expenses without limiting your traffic.

A hybrid model is very similar to the stopgap plan, but instead of scaling back until you can eventually eliminate PCC, a hybrid model generally will use tons of “long tail” key phrases.  As you hit top search rankings with each key phrase you then remove that phrase from your PPC plan. As your SEO side grows, you’ll find you need less and less PPC targets, but these are not eliminated totally from your mix.

Lastly, if you have the budget to do so you may simply opt for a full out SEM plan.  This type of plan tackles both SEO and PPC full force.  As long as a justifiable return on investment is shown you continue to put forth the effort.  These types of plans are costly, but generally give the desired results.

Each of these types of plans have their merits and their disadvantages.  Realistically only you will know which plan makes the most sense for your goals and budgets.