Pay-per-click advertising is, no doubt, one of the most effective ways of getting new leads and prospects to come to your website. Within a period of 24 hours, any business—large or small—can appear at the top positions for any keyword that’s applicable to their business.
However, it does have its downfalls. Primarily, at the point when you stop paying for the clicks, your ads disappear from the search results. In other words—no money, no honey.
SEO is different
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a different animal. It is accomplished by optimizing your website to make it more search-engine friendly and increasing your link popularity by purchasing or exchanging links, so that it will rank higher in the natural results.
SEO is quite difficult, and nobody has the right, sure-fire way of doing it. It takes months to get up to the first pages of results for specific keywords and, even then, there are no guarantees you will stay there.
Also, while you don’t have to pay for individual clicks, you may wind up either paying a professional to work on your website to optimize it or spending a lot of time learning to do it yourself.
Long term, big results
In any case, over the long term, well-done search-engine optimization can yield terrific results and even surpass pay-per-click in terms of effectiveness. If you manage to get your website high up in the rankings for popular keywords relating to your business, you will have a steady stream of new customers without paying anything for each one. This is especially true because most searchers tend to click on the “natural” listings before they click on the “sponsored” ones.
So, ultimately—is one method better than the other? Not necessarily. If you have the opportunity, you should approach both techniques to get the most out of search marketing. PPC should be used as the short-term (although it will work quite well in the long term, as well) way of acquiring traffic from the search engines, while SEO should be planned for the long term (six months and more). Together, they will produce the most results for your business.