There are two primary ways to get visitors to your website: organic search engine optimization (SEO) and Pay-per-click (PPC). Both are useful parts of your total marketing strategy and you will probably want to use a combination of the two methods for the best results. While SEO is free and it is every website owner’s goal to get their website listed at the top of the search results for their search terms – there are some situations when it makes more sense to use pay per click advertising instead of SEO.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising vs. SEO

Pay per click advertising is exactly how it sounds – you pay for each internet user who clicks on your ad. The most commonly used PPC programs include Google AdWords, Facebook, and Yahoo advertising. You can use PPC marketing to get your ad into the sponsored results section of the search engines when someone types in words that relate to the keywords for your advertisement.

Search engine optimization is the phrase used to describe the various techniques people use to try and move their website into the first page of search engines.

Since 80% of website traffic comes from search engines, getting your site into a position where people will actually see it and click on it, whether through free SEO techniques or Pay Per Click advertising, is extremely important to the success of your business.

6 Situations When PPC is the Better Choice

While you want to get as much free traffic to your website as possible, there are at least 6 situations when it makes more sense to rely on PPC advertising:

1)      Use PPC when you need very specific website traffic. When you use pay per click advertising, you have the ability to display your link only to people who meet your demographic criteria. You can promote to a certain age group, to people with a specific level of education or career, or even to people based on where they live. If your business provides extremely targeted services or products, PPC is a great way to ensure your link is displayed to the right people. Having five targeted visitors per day is always better than having hundreds of people come to your website who have no interest in what you’re selling!

2)      Use PPC when you need immediate results. Search engine optimization takes time. You can target keywords and work on getting your website into the top of the search engine for long term results, but if you need website traffic immediately, you should use a PPC campaign. As soon as your advertisement is approved, your ads are displayed and people will start clicking the link to your website. If you are launching a new product, participating in a seasonal promotion, or advertising an upcoming event – PPC is the ideal method for gaining instant website traffic.

3)      Use PPC when you get a new website or your SEO isn’t working effectively. Because SEO techniques take time, if you set up a new website or are not getting results from your SEO efforts yet, PPC can help you get website traffic.

4)      Use PPC when you’re using a squeeze page. In order for SEO techniques to work, you need a website full of informative content that is regularly updated. A squeeze page, or a landing page, is not a website that offers this and will not likely get indexed or listed in the major search engines. Because landing pages/squeeze pages are often effective marketing tools, you can use PPC to bring traffic to the website instead of SEO.

5)      Use PPC when advertising a time-sensitive offer. If you are promoting a product, event, or service with a limited amount of time, you’re not going to get the results you need from a typical SEO campaign. Use PPC to get traffic to your offer immediately so you can take advantage of the limited-time offer before it’s too late. You can run the campaign for a few days, or even just a few hours, if that is all the time you have for the offer.

6)      Use PPC to get to the top of the search results for your keyword. Studies show that most internet users will click on the top 3 sponsored links when searching for a site. You can use PPC to get to the top of the organic search results because PPC campaigns are displayed on top of the organic search results. About 50% of traffic will click one of the top three sponsored links.


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