Pay-Per-Click Advertising & Search Engine Optimization
There are pro's & con's to both Pay-Per-Click advertising and optimizing for natural search engine traffic.
PPC advertising has many great benefits. First of all, you get your traffic going quickly. I have used this advantage many times. I test new products and even new websites through PPC advertising before making a decision to promote or scrap my new website or product idea.
I am a firm believer in testing new products before throwing large amounts of money into advertising. PPC advertising is a great way to do this. For example, with Google's Adwords program, you can post your ad, pay a $5 sign-up fee and have highly targeted traffic to your website within an hour. How is that for efficiency?
Also, you can moniter your click charges and stop them before they get too expensive. By the time you have spent your budget on clicks, you should have a pretty good idea of how successful your product is going to be.
I think of PPC advertising as being the most useful when starting a new business or product. WIth PPC advertising, you can quickly and efficiently find out which keywords you need to target and which products are the most popular.
Once that testing period is over, however, it's time to look into Search Engine Optimization. PPC advertising can be very expensive, costing hundreds, even thousands a month in advertising costs. Once you know what keywords to target, it's time to put together a plan on how you are going to optimize your website. The drawbacks to search engine optimization is that it requires a lengthy amount of time to get your site to rank high with your keywords. That is why I suggest using this method after the testing period is over, when you already know your business will be profitable.
Search Engine Optimization is definately a slow way to get your website traffic if you plan on not using PPC traffic. It could be a long, expensive road before you even begin selling your product. Search engines can take months, even years to start pulling up high with the search engines. But, natural search engine traffic is definately the best long term way to get the majority of your traffic.
When getting your site to start pulling up in SE natural listings there are 2 main things that need to be done:
- Add Content
- Add Backlinks
Search engine traffic requires you to submit your site to many different search engines and wait, maybe even months for them to spider your website.
I have had much better luck with another route. You can pay a fee to have your website listed in a very high ranking directory like www.dmoz.com (free), www.yahoo.com's directory ($299), sbd.bcentral.com (only $50), or another website where your link is on a page that has a page ranking of 4,5,6 or higher. The sites I mentioned above have rankings of 8 or 9. When you have your link on a site with that high of a ranking, the search engines are spidering those sites constantly and will find your website and spider it very quickly. Not only will they find it quickly but because you are linked to a high ranking site, you will also rank higher with the SE.
When looking for backlinks, focus on sites with content related to yours and high page rankings of 4 or higher.
As for content on your site, try to include about 200-500 words of content or text on most of the pages of your site. Text makes your site bulkier. Make sure to integrate all of the keywords you want to target within the content of your site. Don't worry about cramming the same keywords in over and over. Search engines may possibly even blacklist your site for keyword stuffing, if you try to do that.
There is a lot to know about Search Engine Optimization but, those are the 2 main factors when getting started.
In summary, when starting out, I suggest using PPC advertising for testing products and keywords. Spend time optimizing your site for search engine traffic after you have tested your products and keywords.