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Pay Per Click VS Search Engine Optimization

Pay per click advertising is one of those “sure” ways to get traffic to your website instantaneously. All you have to do is throw up an AdWords campaign (make sure you get that $100 free coupon first though) and you will start seeing instant traffic to your sites. Is it the type of traffic that you want to receive though? Many of the times the Ad traffic is the worst type of traffic that you will ever get to your website – and the worst part about it is that you actually have to pay for the traffic!

It’s no secret that Google doesn’t want you to do a lot of SEO (and when I say SEO I mean doing a lot of link building). In fact, Google has run AdWords campaigns that simply tell you to “forget SEO” and invest all of your time and money into AdWords.

Well I am here to tell you that that is one of the worst ideas that could ever go through your mind. First of all, only 18% of clicks go to the ads, and a lot of those clicks can sometimes be “fraudulent” or misleading. There are however, many other different reasons.

First of all let me start with the positives about PPC – because even though Google’s only goal is to maximize their profits through AdWords advertising, there still is some pretty good positives with it.

As far as website traffic goes and direct calls to your company, if you are looking to increase performance with mobile optimization, then pay per click advertising is definitely one of the best ways to go. There is usually two ads above the fold on a cellular device, and when you click to call site links it definitely is good for getting direct calls off of mobile devices.

Here is another good example of how Google AdWords can work for you through the display network. Given that it has to do with a major brand that has a lot of money and a lot of resources, there is a lot to be learned from Nike’s “story” display network ads (ads on relevant websites), and I really do believe that one of the main positive effects that can accomplish from it is the rippling effect of “natural” links that you can pick up from doing so. For example people started linking to the “Jordan Story” like crazy because they loved having the display banner on their website so much.

Remember that a good ad also increases the value of a website to some extent. It definitely makes it look more professional, so if you can create an ad or a story behind an ad that webmasters love then there is a great chance that you can actually do some form of link building through your PPC display network campaigns.

However here are the cons…

PPC traffic gets you God awful traffic. There’s all sorts unpreventable fraud and you always have to pay for it. It is one of the lowest converting forms of traffic and should really only be used sparingly.

Another reason is because Google is constantly just trying to make a buck off of you. Their programming interface and the whole AdWords program is one of the best sales workers of all time. Who needs a salesman when one of the most advanced ad programs is telling you to constantly increase your bid because it has a “low quality score.” The quality score system in the Google AdWords program is one of the most frustrating and ridiculous systems out there. It seems like no matter what keyword you plug in there, even if it is highly relevant, you will start off with a low quality score. I could go on a rant about this forever but I will cease right here.

Another example of how Google is always trying to maximize profits at the users expense is the fact that when you look at the opportunities tab ( a section of AdWords that gives you automated suggestions on how to better optimize your campaigns) there are never any suggestions that have to do with lowering your budget. The closest suggestion to lowering your budget that Google makes is suggesting to turn auto bidding on – which doesn’t guarantee lower bids – however they are always mentioning areas and keywords of the campaigns where they think you should raise bids.

Now Google is going to do whatever any other company does, but when it comes to ROI and marketing your company or website it is always better to use inbound marketing tactics rather than the outbound tactics of PPC. Stick with SEO!

This article was written by Philip Rudy. Philip works in Internet marketing and has been since 2008. He enjoys SEO (his strong suit) but dabbles in SEM as well when time is permitting.