If you run a website-driven small business, SEO is basically an everyday part of your life. And for the vast majority of business models, SEO is totally the way to go. It’s a bit of an investment upfront for a long-term payoff that amounts to nearly-free traffic. But it’s not the right model for every single business out there — there are many that could benefit more from a solid pay-per-click marketing campaign with a solid PPC management team at the helm.
SEO vs. PPC
Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is much more expensive than SEO if you look at it in terms of a per-visitor cost. But unlike SEO that takes months to really build up to a point where it’s highly effective, a properly-managed PPC campaign starts sending decent traffic within hours of getting set up.
You have to pay for every visitor you get, unlike SEO, but if your website is converting visitors into sales at a decent margin, you should be able to make a profit even after paying for your visitors. But more importantly, you make the profit in the same business cycle as you spend the money. That can mean a lot if your problem is cash reserves rather than cashflow.
If you’re a business with a model that involves a decent supply of money to invest up front, SEO is a killer app. But if you’re one of the plethora of small businesses who have cash constantly flowing in and out and you can’t afford to make a large investment without seeing an immediate return, PPC can be much more effective for your situation.
Because the return on PPC is immediate rather than delayed, pay-per-click marketing can open up profits that you couldn’t get from SEO. It won’t be as profitable in the long run, but it can get you started in the short term — and clever entrepreneurs will turn around start investing some of their PPC profits into SEO so that they can get off the PPC hamster wheel and onto the train toward cheap targeted traffic in the long run.