Lots of journalists, pundits and 'experts' online say that search engine optimization (SEO) is free. However this is not true. Whilst it will not necessarily cost you much money, implementing SEO in the right way will consume time and effort on your part. That said, SEO done right will deliver far more benefits, consistently and over a much longer term than you will get through alternative search engine marketing (SEM) and other online advertising techniques.
When your site is receiving 'free' hits and traffic from organic search engine results, and links on other websites, there is not much need (in many cases * no need *) to spend additional dollars on pay advertising. SEO done right therefore, will save you money. PPC and other marketing campaigns will usually work only while you are paying the provider. SEO on the other hand carries on working long after you stop investing in it, provided that it is content centered SEO.
For many sites on tight budgets (despite all of them?), Correct and effective SEO can be the difference between survival and death of an internet business. Because of this, it really is worth spending some time and effort in the planning and development stages of your website, to build SEO into the DNA of the site's design and architecture. This will only pay dividends in the long term.
Adopting SEO from the beginning and as a central component of your online strategy will make many other things easier in the long run. When your web designers, your technical team, and your marketing department are mindful of SEO in all their decision making, the rewards you will get from SEO will be many times more than if you only try to implement SEO as an afterthought.
Below is a summary of the pros and cons of PPC and other search engine marketing strategies.
* Can provide immediate traffic from the second you start the campaign
* Is easier to start up, with most search engines providing you tools
* Is easier to manage because you can just turn it off and on
* Can become very expensive very quickly, particularly for expensive or popular keywords with low conversion rates
* In placements, the top positions will go to those advertisers paying the most
* There is not much trust in PPC as there is in organic results
* Once you stop your ads, the visitors stop coming
* Can be significantly less expensive to start
* The benefits are more longer term and sustainable
* Helps to increase trust for your website and brand
* The click through rate is often higher than with PPC
* The increase in your website traffic will be more natural, and depends on your site's content
* Achieving the initial results can take a bit of time
* It takes brain power, and effort to get it right
* There are no guarantees of success.
Whilst it is true …