March 10, 2008

PPC vs SEO

I was in the middle of engaging in a PPC campaign when I had to jump into a conference call about SEO. Now, even though it might seem easy to switch hats, I found myself fumbling. PPC and SEO are synonymous to SEM and are like brother and sister. Most companies who know enough about the power of the Internet, engage in both programs. But still, they are as different as well, brother is to sister.

PPC or Pay-Per-Click is the when you pay the Search Engines a certain amount for every click that your website receives in the sponsored results. Of course its a little more technical than that - choosing the proper keywords, creating proper landing pages, bid management, stat tracking. If you are a newbie, I suggest you read up.

SEO or Seach Engine Optimization is when you develop your website to appear in the natural results of your industry keywords. Again this has many dimension to it and if you are a newbie, please go here.

What I like about PPC is that I worry more about conversions than I do about traffic. In natural results, I like worrying about traffic.

Traffic = no. of hits
Conversions = no. of clicks (in this case, when they submit an email)

Its much easier to get more traffic than it is to get a conversion for the simple reason that people will click on anything but will not just give their emails away without a good argument.

What is more effective? Depending on your industry and market competition, I have to say that working together, both PPC and SEO are more effective than just one - either PPC or SEO. I see this on all websites that I work on. As a result more and more companies are engaging in both lucrative online schemes.

If you had a limited budget, the way to go would be SEO. Its far cheaper and you will be able to maintain your position given that no one else starts optimizing their websites for your industry.

So I guess the title of today's blog should not be PPC vs SEO but instead be PPC & SEO.

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