When you're looking to build your online traffic and customer base, you're probably going to run into two different concepts: Pay-Per-Click and SEO. These words have become ubiquitous with digital marketing, but they each offer a distinct purpose to your campaign and can result markedly different trajectories.
"What's up with Pay-Per-Click, anyway?"
If you're familiar with Google, you're familiar with Pay-Per-Click. The website listings that come up first on Google - you know, the ones with the little yellow "ad" squares? - those are Pay-Per-Click promotions. With this kind of marketing, your site pops up whenever someone types in a certain keyword or phrase into a search engine. You only pay when users click those ads. So, it takes you to the top of the search results and only costs you when someone has an interest in your site. Sounds like a winning combo, right?
Well, yes and no.
This gray area is why SEO is an important counterpart to Pay-Per-Click promotions.
SEO is the Way to Go!
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of enhancing your online content to affect where it will wind up within a search result.
It looks like this: A user logs on, types in a phrase to a search engine, sorts through the results, and then selects your site because it fits his or her needs. This is an example of "organic" traffic encouraged by SEO, and it costs you nothing for that click (of course SEO takes time and effort, which have their own inherent costs.) In that respect, implementing quality content to your site is the best alternative to Pay-Per-Click advertising.
Content vs. Pay-Per-Click
We've written about the importance of quality content before, and we're sticking to our story on this one. From your "About Us" page to optimizing your URL, there are lots of ways of implementing stellar content throughout your site. Our favorite alternative to Pay-Per-Click-only strategy is (you guessed it) blogging. Blogging gives you an opportunity to write about topics relevant to the service you're providing while showing off your expertise on the subject. This credibility can result in both increased traffic and a sustained audience.
There are lots of ways to create your business' image through producing quality blog content, and its cost-effectiveness can also be measured in the relationships you build through this practice. Blogs leave room for your own personal touch and a demonstration of great customer service. A "How-To" post can get leads invested in the service you're offering, while a "Best of" list can tell customers that you're invested in them finding a great product or service.
The good news is that Pay-Per-Click ads and quality content like blogging can work together when strategized correctly. Pay-Per-Click works for smaller-ticket items and provides data that marketers need to produce content that suits the searches of customers.