When it comes to marketing a product or service online it’s easy to get confused by the alphabet soup of terms used.
There is SEM, PPC, and SEO as well as others.
SEM is search engine marketing and it is generally done using either PPC which is pay per click or paid advertising, or you can use SEO which is search engine optimization.
Although both of these strategies are used for the same end results and do share some similarities there are some significant differences that you’ll need to understand.
For that reason, we will take a look at the difference between SEO and paid ads.
SEO VS. Paid Ads
When someone is just getting started online they will ask the obvious question as to which of these strategies is best. The answer is not a straightforward “this one over the other”.
Each of these strategies has their advantages and their disadvantages. In the end, it is best to use both of them to get the unique benefits they each offer.
Pros And Cons Of SEO
When someone has developed an effective SEO strategy they will be able to enjoy a significant flow of highly targeted visitors to their site.
With Google alone having an estimated 2 trillion searches a month it is easy to see that having a page listed highly on the search results page can result in a tremendous amount of visitors coming to that page.
Because the visitor is actively searching for the topic that led to their finding your site they are as targeted as you can get.
People use search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo as well as others because they are searching for information or solutions about whatever problem or concern that they have at that moment.
Over two-thirds of those searchers will click on organic results that they find on the search result page. This means that those who have developed an effective SEO strategy, which results in having pages found in the search engines for specific keywords, will get regular and steady visitors to their site that are specifically interested in what the page is about.
One of the biggest advantages to having an effective SEO strategy is the fact that it establishes you as an authority in the particular area for which you have a site and for the product or service that you are offering.
This goes a long way in building trust and that in turn makes it more likely that those interested will purchase a product or service or take some other action that you want on your site.
One of the biggest cons to using SEO is that there’s no way to get around the fact that it will take time. It simply isn’t possible any longer to get instant SEO results. At the very minimum it will take days or weeks and in most cases, it will take months in order to develop an effective campaign.
Although SEO is often referred to as free traffic it isn’t.
Typically it will take an investment in order to achieve substantial results.
Because it takes time to develop this type of strategy it will mean that you will have to wait before getting a return on your investment.
Pros And Cons Of Using Paid Ads
One of the biggest pros of using paid ads is the fact that you can get something going immediately.
When a company or person is starting out online the best and only way to get instant results is by using paid ads.
Currently, paid ads dominate the top of the search engine result pages. Since most people click on the results that are closest to the top it means that many of them will click on your ad if it is there.
These type of campaigns are specifically designed to generate the most targeted visitors. You decide specifically what keywords and keyword phrases are used to find your ads.
This means that those people who click on those ads are people who are specifically looking for what you have to offer. It just doesn’t get any more targeted than that.
The biggest con of paid ads is the fact that they are only available as long as you are willing and able to pay for them. Unlike an SEO campaign that develops over time and can last, the paid ads are there only when you’re paying for them.
It is for this very reason that the use of SEO together with paid ads will ultimately achieve the optimal result.