Life is filled with choices. We learn this lesson from a very early age. For most people they think back to a time when they were about 5 years old, holding the hand of their Mother, walking down the aisle of a store. It may have been a grocery store, a big box retail store, or a toy store.
Ah, yes, the toy store; the magical destination for every child. If you were lucky you got to go twice a month and walk those aisles filled with hundreds of things you wanted, desperately wanted. Your Mother would tighten her grip on your hand, smile, and say, Okay, you can have one toy but just one.
The older you get the more choices you have, but often time those choices boil down to just two. Do I do this? Or do I that? When you are a small to medium sized business owner you are faced with choices every day about how and where to spend your marketing budget. For many SMB owners, this will be one of the most important choices they make all year.
In an ideal world, an SMB would allocate its digital marketing budget to covered both SEO and pay per click advertising. But what if you are faced with a choice between the two? Which one works better?
Pay Per Click Advertising: The Quick Fix
When you think of pay per click advertising services think of it in terms of a quick fix. You need clients or customers. You need phone calls or foot traffic through your front door. What is the fastest way to get them? A paid ad on Google. Whenever somebody searches a keyword related to your business they see an add for your business somewhere on Google.
Pay per click advertising is a great way to drive immediate traffic to your website and to your business. The disadvantage? You pay for every click. In certain verticals, you may pay as much as $100 for a lead and there is no guarantee that lead will become your customer.
SEO: The Long Term Fix
The advantage of SEO is that it is permanent (or as close to permanency as internet marketing gets) and that, while you pay for an agency to work their SEO voodoo to get your site onto the first page of Google, you do not pay per lead. It’s a more natural and far cheaper way to generate leads.
The disadvantage is that modern SEO takes time. A lot of time. Some companies can expect to wait almost a year before ranking on Google. While they may see early returns on their SEO investments, it will be months before a business owner will see a full return.
Which is Better?
The answer depends entirely on your objectives and the needs of your business. The best-case scenario is to spend some money on both SEO and PPC so that you are reaching the widest audience possible.
But sometimes that can be as rare as the weekends where your Mom would let you buy both Optimus Prime and the G.I. Joe Tank. Sometimes you just have to make a choice.