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In the 21st century more and more businesses are turning to the World Wide Web to grow their stature and increase their reach. However, just being online isn’t enough in this day and age; because of the competitive nature of the online business world, work will need to be done in order to highlight your Internet presence and make sure you are seen by the masses.
When it comes to online marketing, there are two main options. These being Adwords, Google’s form of advertising by which ads are shown depending on the term or phrase that is typed into the search engine and SEO, a process which helps your site rank higher in a search engine’s organic listings. So how does someone looking to market their business on the web go about deciding which form of advertising to use? Well let’s way up some of the pros and cons…
The main advantage of Adwords, or Pay Per Click as it is often known, is that it can get you in front of millions of people in a very short amount of time. Once your ads are created, they can be up and running in no time and you could see a return on your investment pretty swiftly.
Another good thing about this form of advertising is that it is very easy to track. With Google’s handy analytics tool, you can keep track of how your ads are doing and see how many conversions they are getting you. You can also see how often your ads are shown and then how much they are being clicked.
The main downside of Adwords, as opposed to SEO, is that is a paid form of advertising and if the keywords and phrases that you are targeting are competitive; you could end up paying a lot of money per click. Also, if you are not outbidding your competitors for these terms, there is no guarantee that your ads will ever be seen and therefore you could be investing a lot of time and not seeing much return.
Something else to take into consideration is the technical side of Pay Per Click advertising. Although the basics are relatively simple to master, if you really want to delve deep into what it can do for you, you may need some Adwords training.
One great advantage of SEO, or search engine optimisation, is that it is totally free. The main tactics involve releasing content to various parts of the web and then linking back to your own website in the process. This way you will build up your link profile and the more powerful links you have, the better Google and other search engines will see your website and therefore will rank it higher in their results.
Another good thing is that there is no limited space like there is with Adwords and you won’t be engaging in a bidding war with your competitors every time your targeted search terms are typed in. This means that even if you are not near the top, you could potentially be seen by anyone looking for your services. Also, a larger percentage of users tend to click on the organic listings rather than the paid advertisements.
One downfall of SEO though is that it is very rare to see quick results and so it may end up being a long and arduous road to success. Additionally, in most cases, if you are not on page one of the search results, or more importantly one of the top three websites; it is very unlikely that you will receive massive amounts of traffic.
It is also the case that for SEO to work effectively, you need to optimise your website too. This obviously involves more work and a deeper understanding as to what the world of SEO contains which can take more time off your hands that could be used elsewhere.
Lastly, SEO is not an exact science. Unlike its PPC brother, it is hard to track how you are doing and to even tell if the tactics you are using are having a positive effect. There are no quick fixes and no sure fire solutions.
The good news however is that both these forms of online marketing can exist side by side in your strategy and this is even encouraged. In order to truly see results and to customise your campaign so that it suits you and your business best; the double sided blade of SEO and PPC working in tandem could be your best form of attack.
Using PPC to increase your sales and to track your progress along with SEO to grow your audience and increase awareness of your products and services; will give you the best of both worlds. The main thing is you need to have some sort of online strategy and then implement it in the right way. But if all this sounds a bit too technical or time consuming; there are various agencies that will be more than willing to offer their support.
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