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Is PPC more effective than SEO at generating traffic?



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Is PPC more effective than SEO at generating traffic?

Personally I think that SEO is the best way to increase traffic to your site. It may be harder to implement and require more effort, but at the end of the day it is the most effective and it is a long term solution for promoting a site properly. I agree that PPC could be used to supplement SEO strategies. Yet, I know that there are many who prefer to opt for PPC only. Is PPC just an easy way out?

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idealmike

PPC is an art. It's an exact science. Some people make a living and a half using only PPC. What it comes down to is finding something you can pump $100 for example into on PPC ads and then double that outlay with a good ROI (Return On Investment).

So if you've found some product/service that is selling well, and you spend $100 on PPC ads for it, and the traffic you get from it converts into enough sales to earn double or even somewhere near double that outlay amount, then that is a good ROI.

However, finding that winning strategy can involve a lot of research and often a little bit of luck. What you have to realize is that you're not going to be the only person who's running PPC ads on that same keyword/phrase so you'll be sharing the traffic with them. It does involve a lot of testing, testing and more testing before you finally find something that does provide a good ROI. However all this testing can eat up your budget quite fast as you must be prepared to loose money to find out what's working and what isn't.

That said, even a loss isn't a loss because you've learned something from it. You've learned what isn't working and you can adapt that into something that is working. With PPC it can get quite expensive before you finally stumble on the perfect PPC ad that converts.

The good thing is, there is tons of information out there today, both on websites, YouTube videos etc by people who have gone through all of this and have shared what they have learned. You've probably heard the saying "Smart people learn from other peoples mistakes, others learn from their own"? It's the same with PPC. If you're smart and savvy, you can learn from other peoples mistakes so you don't make the same mistakes they did. Otherwise you will be learning from your own mistakes.

I personally prefer to do SEO as I know that SEO can work and when it does you no longer have to pay for that. As opposed to running a PPC campaign which requires constant funding. Once the funds have been depleted, your ads no longer show. Also it can involve a steep learning curve and lots of investment before you find the perfect working PPC campaign for you. Not so with SEO. Once you get those top spots, you might not have to do any more SEO in which to stay there provided the competition isn't too fierce!

But there's so much information out there for people starting out in PPC today that they don't have to make the same mistakes the early birds did and that makes it easier to create PPC campaigns that will actually convert and make it all worth while.

But if you can do both, do both! Do SEO along side it just in case your PPC campaigns don't pay off. The good thing about SEO is that it doesn't need to cost any where near the same amount that you might loose in testing which PPC ads work best for you.

Hope that helps!? Is PPC more effective than SEO at generating traffic?



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robertman11

Wow, amazing post! Have a thumbs-up! Have you perfected the art of PPC and ads? I find it incredible hard.



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idealmike

Thanks Rob, I haven't myself no. I used to have some joy about 7 years back running PPC ads on my mobile recycling sites but eventually that fizzled out and other places were paying more per click and I flipped my sites at that time and got out early as they say. But yes it can be hard if you're starting out in it for the first time. Mainly because it can all seem so overwhelming and like its something only for the professionals to do but even they was noobs once and nothing worth doing or worth having is ever rarely easy to come by. When you do exact and perfect the science, it can pay off big time! There are actually more and more people today that are earning big money by just repeating something they know that works over and over again. But to get there can require a lot of dedication and research and experimenting experimenting experimenting from your behalf. As said though there's a lot more information out there that you should look up on the matter by people who share their mistakes and findings and insights that make it much easier for people to find success with PPC in a much shorter time. Check out videos on YouTube, read articles found online searching for things like "PPC tips" "Adwords tips" etc etc and you'll find a wealth of stuff that will get you up to speed with even some of the biggest professionals in the PPC game today.



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EliteWriter

Thanks that was indeed helpful. I think that it ultimately all depends on three main factors, namely one's goal, the budget one has and the time factor also comes into play.


The first question one needs to ask is what you want to achieve with the traffic that you get? If one want to get a lot of web traffic merely for exposure or to rank highly, than PPC is the best choice. For one who prefers to focus on a long term objective SEO is better.

The time that can you can put into SEO is also a critical factor. How much time you feel you have at your disposal to get results matters. PPC can drive traffic to your site practically immediately, and will keep delivering as long as you keep paying for the ads. SEO will undeniably take longer to offer results but it is worth noting that it will continue to deliver later on and the investment on it is mostly based on time not money.

And this is where the budget comes in - how much can you afford to spend to get traffic? Have you got enough funds to be able to sustain a profitable campaign or should you use it for SEO?



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MasterA

PPC is fake traffic and it is nowhere near as good as SEO traffic. The only advantage with PPC traffic is that you can drive large amounts of traffic to your website in a short period of time. However, SEO traffic will have a much higher conversion rate than PPC traffic as PPC traffic are people who are only paid to view your website. PPC traffic only gives you short term traffic unless you keep putting money every month to get this traffic. Whereas, it is not compulsory to keep funding SEO in order gain traffic continuously; once you rank well on Google, you will rank well for a while and continuously get traffic even if you stop the investment.

As in which one is more effective, it depends what you mean by effective. If you want to drive large amounts of traffic to your website for the short term, then PPC is effective. For long term traffic, SEO traffic is more cost effective. PPC won’t help your SEO. SEO has no relationship with traffic and therefore paid traffic will have no effect. PPC is only a decent method if you want to increase your traffic for a short period of time.



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EliteWriter

Very well explained thank you. I agree that the choice depends on one's needs and preferences. However for a long term goal of success SEO definitely is the way to go. PPC can be used to supplement it but no more than that as I agree that it is better to focus on the type of traffic that is getting on the site rather than merely on the number. After all it is quite useless to a certain extent to have someone arrive on a site, take a 2 second glimpse and leave.



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TommyCarey

I try to run both an SEO campaign and a PPC campaign at the same time for my websites. This way I can generate instant sales with the PPC and long term sales with my SEO.

Why do I do this?
I set up my PPC campaigns first in order to generate sales right away. This happens because once I start pumping money into the PPC campaign I'm instantly (within 24 hours) I'm at the top of the search results. Now this is an artificial ranking and only lasts as long as you can keep pumping money into the campaign. This is the main reason start to do SEO on their websites.

Doing SEO for my websites while my PPC campaign is running is like a win win later on if I want to keep my PPC campaign going after my website is ranked and pulling in traffic. After about 3 months of running my PPC campaigns I can normally pull back on a lot of my PPC keywords since I'll be ranked on the top of the first page, or close to it. Why pay per click on keywords you're already ranked for? Sure you'll get a few more clicks with your site being above the natural rankings, but it doesn't always benefit you.


Since SEO takes some time, you'll want to start it as soon as your website is launched. No one wants to wait 3-6 months to start making sales and that's where PPC campaigns come in handy.


Conclusion:
- Run a PPC campaign as soon as your website is set up and fully configured.
- Monitor and tweak your PPC campaign so that it converts as best it can.
- Begin your SEO and Marketing in order to build your brand and rankings over 3-6 months.
- Start filtering out PPC keywords as you begin to rank for them naturally.


Thanks,

Razzy



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EliteWriter

That was a very interesting suggestion. Thanks for sharing. It is a good way to put PPC campaigns to good use, but I can see that you still make use of SEO afterwards. So it is a great mix and match idea.



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robertman11

Just generating traffic? With no restrictions on money spent for PPC? PPC. I say this because with SEO you have to rank for terms people are searching for and for any term, there is a limited amount of people searching for anything.

With ads and PPC, you can advertise to everyone. People who are interested in your website, people who aren't, even people who hate your website/product/idea. With enough money, you could literally put your website in front of almost every person online and generate substantial traffic to your site.

Of course, this isn't targeted and will like have very little conversions which is where I'd say SEO would excel. Conversion rate was not specified in the original thread though.



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Corzhens

I agree that PPC has the advantage of earning a bigger profit because SEO is not an exact science. But if you hit the SEO right on target then your website will be getting free traffic from the search engines. I have read some webmasters who say that they get more than 50% of traffic from search engines and their SEO work is just minimal. That may be the reason why webmasters are focused on SEO because of the immeasurable traffic that you site can get when you get to the upper position on the page 1 of the search list.



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