The great debate between SEO and PPC is well documented and the subject of countless blogs and articles.
Basically the debate is this…do I want to pay as I go for search based advertising or pay a lump sum up front to get my company listed high in the organic results so that I don’t have to use pay per click advertising?
Obviously in Pay Per Click advertising the advertiser pays a fee each time a visitor clicks on their ad. The appeal of SEO is that you can get your clicks for free if they occur in the organic results. You pay for SEO too initially, but the idea is that that is a onetime deal (is it?) and then the clicks are free.
Like I said, I will let other folks debate the merits of one over the other.
What can happen in the debate, however, is that one side is viewed as the solution at the total exclusion of the other. For those that choose SEO, they could be losing a significant number of leads in the process. How so?
SEO and organic results can replace search pay per click advertising, but they cannot replace content pay per click advertising. It’s whole different game. For those who don’t know — content ads are basically display ads that are shown on other websites in Google’s (for AdWords users) network of participating sites. In content advertising, you set up ads just like you do in search and then suggest keywords to Google. Google then looks for other sites that have content that match your keywords and then places your ad on that site…provided you bid high enough.
(If you would like a more detailed explanation of content advertising , here is one from Google:
With content ads you can even experiment with various media ads. I have tried the image ads and there are video ads available as well.
But do the ads work? We’ll look at that in Part 2 and Part 3.