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Which is Better, SEO or PPC?

There are online forums for everything. Have an interest? There’s a forum for that. I enjoy visiting a few SEO and PPC specific forums out there, though I don’t contribute too much. One little debate that keeps coming up is this: Which is better – SEO or PPC?What is the benefit of SEO?

Of course the PPC forums say “Pay Per Click Rules!” and the SEO forums say the opposite. I think that the reality is that each has its use and both are good marketing tools.

Let’s take a look at “Pay Per Click” and figure out what the benefits are.

Benefits of PPC

1. It works right away. Even if your website is only minutes old you can start driving traffic there right away if you’re willing to spend the money on the ads. Good campaign design can bring a high percentage of search engine users to your site within moments.

2. You can target lots of keywords. If you want to bring customers in for many different search terms, you can do that with PPC. For example, if you own an outdoors shop you can create ads for “boots” and “backpacks” and “tents.”

There are a multitude of problems with using Pay Per Click as well, but a good PPC manager can help you avoid them.

So if PPC is so quick, and brings in results quickly, what is the point of using SEO at all?

Benefits of SEO

Consider this: when you buy an ad on Google, your ad might run at the very top of the search results. Or it might be third. Or it might be off to the side in a side-bar. Or it might not show up at all. There’s really no way to guarantee that your ad will show up, or where it will show up.

With SEO there’s one enormous benefit. Your site shows up every single time. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that every time somebody searched and saw an ad for your competitor, they also saw your name? Every time.

Secondly, there are a lot of people who won’t click on ads at all. Ever. They’ll always go to the organic search results or to the local results. It doesn’t matter how much you put into your ad budget, you’ll never get those people unless you’re also showing up in the regular search results.

Obviously, the best path is to use both PPC and SEO to market your company. PPC to attract those people who are just going to click the top link anyway. SEO to attract those who never click ads, or who use local results, or organic results.

Some people predict that Search Engine Optimization will eventually disappear and every marketer will be an Adwords professional. I disagree. As long as the search engines make their money off of providing relevant searches they will never be able to get rid of organic results. Imagine using a search engine which returned only ads. Would you use it? Of course not. This means that organic search is going to be around forever. Thus, SEO is here to stay as well.

What is the benefit of SEO? Being recognized by the search engines as an authority in your area means more customers, more brand recognition, more income, and a brighter future for your business.