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There has been a long debate as to what is the best way to go about generating traffic online. Pay per click (PPC ) advertising can provide contextual traffic quickly and easily, but at a price. Search engine optimization (SEO) can do, near enough, the same, for free, but at a time cost. The debate is always constantly evolving for the simple fact that Google continually pushes SEO and PPC with updates to each platform, shaping the future of search engine results pages (SERPs) as we know it. With this, here are some of the main argument points for using PPC as opposed to SEO, and vice versa, for 2018.

 

Using PPC

The majority of people that use PPC as a traffic source use it because it gains quick targeted traffic. The level of customization, with regards to the type of audience you want to expose your advert to, means you are very likely to hit the right target market to interact with your advertising campaign.

An inherent problem, though, with PPC is the fact that it is based on competition. As more and more advertisers join the PPC platform, keywords are going to naturally increase in price if you choose to bid on them. This makes it crucial to understand how to use PPC effectively, such as the addition of negative keywords, and niche targeting.

 

Using SEO

The main benefit behind using SEO is the fact that it is free. You do not require any funding to perform SEO, except your own time. This makes it a case, for many, it is a weigh-off between budget and free time.

The main problem with SEO, even in 2018, is the fact that it will take time for the results to come in. From performing SEO in the past, it takes anywhere from 2-6 months for yourself to start to see good results.

This does depend on the website that is having content published onto it, though. For example, a website like the BBC will have extremely high organic ranking. Therefore, new content is updated by Google quickly and ranked accordingly, almost instantaneously. For the likes of new websites, it will take months for the ranking of content to gain any momentum towards the top of results pages.

Therefore, if you choose to use SEO, try and perform it on a website with a high page ranking already. If not, part of your SEO effort will be to get your website’s page rank higher.

 

Ultimately, choosing PPC or SEO will depend greatly on your specific scenario. On the whole, answering the below questions should be able to give you an insight as to which traffic generation source is the one to go for, if not both:

  • Do you need the traffic quickly, or can you wait a while?
  • Have you got any budget to work with?
  • What type of team do you have to work with?
  • Does your team and your expertise lie with PPC or SEO?
  • What is the page ranking of the website that would have got SEO? Is it high?

After completing a Masters degree in Automotive Engineering with Motorsport, Will moved on to work at McLaren. He created AskWillOnline.com back in 2010 to help students revise and bloggers make money developing himself into an expert in PPC, blogging, SEO, and online marketing. He now runs others websites such as PoemAnalysis.com and RestoringMamods.com. You can follow him @willGreeny.

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