Everyone that has a website is looking at ways of drawing traffic to it.
You know that the traffic is out there, the problem is how to get it.
So the question is, how do you attract visitors?
First and foremost, you need to research your Keywords
Keywords are the actual words and phrases that people would type in to find your website.
The problem is, that if you type them into a search engine, if you are not showing on the top of page one, there is a slim chance you will attract any of the visitors.
So, the problem is, how do you get onto the top of page one for the ‘keywords’ that you are looking to target?
PPC (Pay Per Click Adverts)
These are the adverts that appear at the side of search engines. The idea is that if you are not appearing on page one for your search phrases, then you can pay to appear.
There are pros and cons to PPC advertising as it is not quite as simple as it sounds:
If you are not on page one, you can pay a little bit and appear on page one at any time of day you want
You can target specific keywords and ensure that only people that type certain words or phrases will see your advert & link
You can control enquiry numbers (if things are busy you can just pause your marketing campaign).
Each click will cost you, and the clicks normally are not cheap. The cost of each click is determined by the popularity of the word/phrase. If it is very competitive (like car insurance) then each click could cost you up to $20.
There is no money back, you pay for people to click (students, competitors, foreign companies) and there will be a high % of waste. Competitors that are researching will click on your links which cannot really be helped or blocked. Controlling who clicks on your adverts, is down to chance.
To make a focused campaign work, you need to spend a lot of time focusing on the words that are profitable and productive, and ensuring that certain words are blocked (negative keywords).
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO is the name for the method of getting a website to appear on search engines (hopefully on page one for the keywords desired).
As with PPC there are pros and cons to SEO and as with PPC it is not quite as simple as it sounds.
Once you are on page 1, there is no charge for enquiries. All ‘organic’ enquiries are free, if you are on page one for your keywords then the world is yours.
If you are on page one at the top, you will get a lot of visitors (especially if you are targeting competitive keywords) and all being well, this should not change (making your website a valuable asset).
SEO is time consuming, very time consuming. The work never really ends either, once you are at the top of page 1, you need to continue building your ‘cyber footprint’ to ensure you stay there.
The key to SEO is only known to the search engines (who use a complicated formula to calculate who is on page one and who is not). There are ‘standard’ things that can be done, but the key is only known to the search engines
The more competitive the keywords are that you are targeting, the longer it will take to get to pole position. Remember that many other companies will be doing SEO to get to spot one also.
So what is the answer – do you choose PPC or do you choose SEO?
For the long term, having a strong website that is appearing naturally on search engines will be more beneficial, also the more established and ‘visible’ the website the more valuable it will be.
For the short term, you can get onto page one for any phrase or keyword, but it will cost you. If you spend some time (or get an expert to set up your PPC campaign) you can ensure that the money spent on clicks is overshadowing the enquiries/sales you get from visitors.
The ideal situation is having a website that is steadily climbing up the pages towards page one for natural listings, while having a profitable and effective PPC campaign running in the meantime – but both of these will take time to get in place and run efficiently. The PPC should not take too long to get set up (maybe two weeks to research and get going, then a month to make changes and adapt); but the SEO will take longer to become fruitful.
The best approach is to talk to a web specialist that has experience of your industry and market and a track record of producing results that are quantifiable.
Authored by David Blackburn
David Blackburn is the owner of Marketing Quotes which is a free price comparison service to help UK businesses to get free advice and quotes from local SEO companies.
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