Search Engine Optimisation or Pay Per Click?

You might be wondering whether you should put your efforts into SEO or PPC for promoting your website, indeed we see a lot of small business owners asking this question. To my way of thinking the answer is, why choose? – use both!

We tend to think of PPC as being a short term solution while we’re waiting for SEO efforts to kick in or as a gap filler, i.e. using PPC to get listed for keywords we just cannot seem to get listed for organically. What if we use the two simultaneously?

There have been several studies large and small which show that paid placements convert at a better rate than organic placements, probably because folks clicking on PPC ads are now pretty much all aware those as are put there by the professional advertisers and the ads lead to quality results whereas the organic listings can include irrelevant material. Thus more tyre-kicking tends to occur in the natural results than in the paid ones.

Taking a simplistic view, having both an organic listing and a paid listing on the page increases your chances of capturing that customer, all other things being equal. It certainly gives you twice the opportunity to increase brand awareness.

There is however another reason for having both paid and organic placements. By running both you can uncover opportunities for the other! I have noticed previously unthought of keywords crop up in client’s PPC search query reports (where we have used broad matched keywords) where I’ve seen little competition in the organic results and vice versa, have seen organic traffic on specific product searches where there was nobody advertising in the paid placements! These are golden opportunities!

Don’t let the either/or decision weigh too heavily – use both approaches and reap the benefits!