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SEO or PPC Which One is Right for You?

James Mahony

The only way to keep up with the latest about SEO is to constantly stay on the lookout for new information. If you read everything you find about SEO, it won't take long for you to become an influential authority.
There are two major search engine marketing strategies in use today: SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay-per-click). These two methods are very different, and deciding which one is right for you can be hard. Which one do you think will do more for your website? Well, that all depends on what your website's like.
One leading contributor to the difficulty in deciding which is correct for your site is that you don't really understand why you can't just use both. There is no real reason that you cannot implement both methods when marketing your site, in fact, I encourage this behavior as PPC can be integrated quite nicely into an SEO plan.
PPC is a good way to get users to become more familiar with your site. Once they are used to seeing your site, they will probably begin to stick around if they encounter it in a search engine. The more often that your site is visited the more that search engines will like it. This is one reason that it is so crucial to attempt to get as many quality hits as possible.
Reading up on the pros and cons of each program lets you sit down and decide in your own time which strategy would work best for your website. Since search engine marketing is undoubtedly the best source of targeted traffic out there at the moment, as people will continue to battle for the top search engine positions, even from day to day.  
As people continually try to find new and unique ways to being additional traffic to their websites, the SEO industry continues to grow. PPC refers to text-based advertising on a search engine, and you will be charged by the click whenever a visitor clicks on one of your ads. These order of ads is usually based on bidding prices, meaning that the advertiser who bids the highest price per click will be listed first. We've all heard of sponsored listings, right? Well, that's what they are: PPC listings.
SEO tries to change your search ranking by looking at a number of factors, including link popularity, PageRank, and so on. Rankings you get through SEO will appear on the main, 'natural' search results pages, not over in the box with the sponsored links. And you don't have to pay for your clicks!
So, how can we tell which method is better? You can't say that one method will always be better, because they serve different purposes. However, one is likely to be a better fit with your business than the others.  
The more authentic information about SEO you know, the more likely people are to consider you a SEO expert. Read on for even more SEO facts that you can share.
PPC.
PPC traffic, rankings and results tend to be more stable and predictable than SEO, and, combined with its low cost, this makes PPC one of the more popular ways of advertising. Most companies try PPC before they try SEO, because it's seen as more stable and respectable. 
In many cases PPC lets you rank high on the search engines, without having to do the tedious work involved in SEO - no finding link partners, posting links, and so on. As long as you have the budget for it, the ranking's yours, and another advantage is that the listing will get posted when you add it, not when the search engine gets round to it.
Sadly, PPC's popularity makes it a competitive market. You will find that CPCs (costs per click) are steadily rising, and that hurts the little guys. Prices work as auctions - the more people in the auctions, the higher the prices.
SEO.
The main benefit of SEO is that it can be done entirely for free, and let's face it, who doesn't like free traffic?
The disadvantages, though, are that your traffic is unpredictable. You have to guess, adapt, and constantly change strategies. One month you could just fall out of the top 10 without any warning, and there goes your income. SEO is also slower than PPC, as the search engines only update their natural listings about once a month.
So what should you choose? Well, it depends on how much money you have to spend. If you have cash then PPC should be your first choice, as it produces faster results. If you're on a low budget, you should look at SEO first. The best thing to do, though, is to use both techniques together - use PPC for some keywords and SEO for others, depending on the keywords' price.
Of course, it's impossible to put everything about SEO into just one article. But you can't deny that you've just added to your understanding about SEO, and that's time well spent.
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James Mahony is the founder of Search Engine Optimization Tips - A site dedicated to Search Engine Optimization
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