In every kind of business that is conducted in part or wholly online, having a steady stream of traffic is vital to business success. Without consistent incoming traffic, you will lack leads. Without leads, you don’t make sales. Traffic is the foundation of any successful online sales process.
There are two main ways to get traffic to your website’s landing pages, squeeze pages, and sales pages. Pay per click advertising and Organic SEO or search engine optimization. Pay per click advertising is running ads on one or more advertising platforms and directly paying when people click on your ads. Organic SEO is when you create content online with specific keywords so that people find your content when searching for those terms.
Both of these types of traffic have their place, but when starting out, it is best to focus on one type of traffic generation until that traffic is consistently profitable. Let’s look into the pros and cons of each type of traffic so that you can make an informed decision when it comes to which method of traffic generation is best for you.
The Benefit of Pay per Click Advertising
Pay per click or PPC, advertising’s main strengths are speed of implementation and speed of scaling. With PPC, you can get an advertising campaign set up, set a budget, and start driving traffic right away. Additionally, once your ROAS, or return on ad spend, is at a number that you’re happy with, you can increase your budget and scale to drive even more traffic.
Another benefit of PPC advertising is that most advertising platforms allow a lot of detailed targeting so that your ads get shown only to the people most likely to take the action that you require.
The Downside of Pay per Click Advertising
PPC advertising requires you to have some funds to start with. This can be anything from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. No matter the advertising platform, it will take some time and money while you learn to tweak and optimize your ads until they are profitable and you can reinvest your profits.
The Benefit of Organic SEO Advertising
The benefit of SEO is that there is essentially no initial cost unless you pay someone else to handle it for you. You simply create content like blog posts, try to rank in the search engines for specific keywords, and free traffic will come to you from people searching for those keywords. It’s a mostly free method of traffic generation, it only requires time and effort.
The Downside of Organic SEO Advertising
SEO can be tough to learn how to rank, especially for competitive keywords. Creating content takes time and effort, and it can be a long time before you see any significant traffic to your website. Also, even when your websites are ranked, a small change to the search engine algorithms can drop your rankings overnight, halting your leads.
Which Is Right for You?
If you have significant funds to start with and want to see results right away, PPC advertising will help you grow much faster. Not only that, once you’re initial campaign is profitable and you reinvest your profits, you can scale your business incredibly quickly.
If you’re a lean startup with very little funds for ads but don’t mind patience and sweat equity, learning SEO can give you the initial boost you need. Also, the content you create can continue providing free leads for years to come. You can always add PPC advertising after that initial SEO boost hits your business.
Jeff Morales took up a marketing degree in college. He worked in a retail company for a few years. Now, he is an advisor and a freelance SEO for various companies.