Submitted by: George Miles
Nowadays, competition on the web means displaying your products or services to the online world can be a million mile marketing race that many might not finish. With many competitors paying online marketing agencies to provide them with high online visibility, those of you who aren t, are bound to find obtaining traffic difficult. However, whether you are paying a digital marketing agency or doing your own marketing, deciding on the search engine marketing strategy you employ may make or break your business. Is pay per click (ppc) really that profitable for the products or services you are selling? Or is search engine optimisation (seo) just out of the question with high competition and well-known brands already firmly established on the front page search engine results?
Although your products may be great, your services exquisite, and your website design impeccable, if you cannot draw traffic to these things, then they might as well not exist. So how do you draw traffic to your website and products? Social media marketing, email marketing, and other offline marketing strategies may help, however the most obvious way is getting your website displayed somewhere in the search engine results, where so many people go to find the products they are looking for these days. So ppc or seo, which one do you want, or do you want both?
Pay per click: Using Google AdWords to display company websites on the front page of the search results is a very common marketing strategy. However why is it so popular? Is it because it really is so effective for any business, any product, or any service? Or is it because Google, who persistently try to dominate the online world, want you advertising with them so they can get your money?
Before things get confused, AdWords is an effective online marketing strategy; however in many cases it might just be draining your money. Consumers want to find the best value deal on the product they are looking for, so they are going to be browsing around a fair bit. This is particularly so for expensive long-lasting products such as TVs or laptops. So paying for every click-through to your website when the people clicking are simply browsing with no real idea what they want yet, may not be a good idea. One of the most important things is creating a very specifically targeted AdWords campaign, and in doing so many of the problems associated with AdWords are neutralised. If you are in such a scenario selling expensive goods to online consumers, targeting very specific keywords may be the only profitable way of using AdWords. Paying for endless numbers of wishy-washy browsers to enter your website is likely to make your business unprofitable. This contrasts to a business selling lower priced, short-term products such as flowers. If browsers are looking for nice flowers and you believe you have them, then displaying your ad as often as possible may be the right way to go. People don t browse as much for such products; if they find your site and see flowers they like, then they re going to go ahead and buy and not press the back button to check elsewhere.
Search engine optimisation: search engine optimisation is an alternative or an accompaniment to AdWords, however it is a slower process, and many are too impatient to wait for it, and go ahead with AdWords instead. Displaying your website organically on the front page of the search results is what everyone wants. It s free every time someone clicks through to your site, so any traffic is good traffic. However the problem is there s only so few spots on the front page of the search results, and getting your website there can be expensive and time consuming. So should you go ahead and seo your site?
If long-established, well known brands are already in the top spots in the results pages, then competing with them could be tricky without AdWords. With the Google algorithm (perhaps particularly the new Penguin update) giving weight to well-known brands, and long-established websites, knocking them off the front page may seem completely out of reach. The only way to compete may be to invest in seo and pay an online marketing agency a lot to do it. If you are selling expensive products which involve a lot of consumer browsing time, then this may be a worthwhile investment. However, if you are selling products like flowers and luxury chocolate boxes, then AdWords may be the worthwhile way to go.
In summary, the use of AdWords must be treated with care, and it may not be a good marketing strategy for you, even if Google tells you it is. Front page organic listings is what every company wants, however, investment in seo can be expensive and take time, and if competition is already high, this investment may need to be large if your site is going to reach the first page of results.
About the Author: George Stevens director at Nebstone Digital Marketing. Online marketing including ppc, seo, and other digital marketing services may be an important part of your business marketing strategy, go to
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