There are two major options for boosting traffic to your website: search engine optimization (SEO) or pay-per-click (PPC). Companies like Google Adwords allow you to pay for traffic coming to your website with PPC advertising programs. The cost depends on how popular your chosen keywords are and whenever a viewer clicks that keyword through to your website.
On the other hand, SEO is a free way to build traffic to your site by achieving high rankings in natural search results. Natural search results are the results that show up right after the paid or sponsored results at the top. SEO needs more investment in time than it does money like PPC. SEO takes a while to slowly reach the top of natural results, but you will find that it pays off.
So which method is better? PPC is better if you have the budget for it, however, if you are operating with a small monthly budget, it may be better to take the time with optimizing your search engine marketing. Besides examining your budget, here are two questions to ask yourself when making the decision.
1. How high are the average Cost Per Clicks in your industry?
It is smart to take a look at what other people are paying for ads for their websites. Cost per Click (CPC), is how much people are willing to pay for a single keyword click. You can use the Google External Keyword Research Tool and type in a phrase or keyword to see the average CPC for that phrase. If the average CPC for the phrase or keyword that you need is way too expensive than SEO will be a better choice.
2. How competitive are the SERPs in your niche?
SERPs are search engine results pages. You will need to determine how competitive the SERPs are for your targeted keywords. You can also use the Google External Keyword Research Tool which will tell you how many people are bidding on your keywords as well as the estimated competition level. Unfortunately, if your keywords are being bid on by big fortune 500 companies, it is going to take you too much time and money to outbid them. In this case it is smarter to pay for traffic using PPC.
In conclusion, I think it is best to use a mix of both SEO and PPC. You can maximize on PPC while taking the time to build up search engine marketing for your website in the background. Use PPC only for keywords that are absolutely necessary and do your proper research before investing time and money into anything.
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