Today I thought we’d take a look at the pros and cons of PPC and SEO, if you’re quite new to internet marketing and haven’t come across those terms yet, then they mean pay per click and search engine optimization.

This isn’t going to be a PPC or SEO tutorial so I won’t be going into a lot of detail about how it’s done, more why you might want to concentrate on one or the other, who knows, you might even do both?

So let’s take a look at PPC first.

Pay per click is a form of advertising where you basically pay each time someone clicks on an advertisement that you’ve set up. You can do this in a number of places but the most common are probably Google Adwords, Yahoo, and even sites such as Facebook now have PPC ads. Usually they will be text ads, although you can also use images and video ads as well.

The main single benefit of pay per click advertising is that you can get instant traffic, and lots of it!

Once you’ve set up your campaign, which might only take a few minutes, even if you’ve never set one up before, you start getting traffic once your ads have been approved. This doesn’t take long so you can literally be getting hundreds of visitors to your website on the first day.

Now if you’re not familiar with PPC this is also where the problem lies, those hundreds of visitors are costing you every time someone clicks on your ad, so let’s say you get 500 clicks during the first day because you where tempted by some high traffic keywords such as “weight loss diet.”

A quick check with the Google Adwords Keyword Tool shows this:

adwords keyword tool

You can see that “weight loss diet” gets 673,000 searches a month so there’s loads of traffic but Google estimates that it would cost you $2.38 per click to be in position 1-3.  So 500 clicks could cost you $1,190!

Now before every one starts jumping up and down, I know the figures can vary in a lot of ways, and you can set daily budgets to control what you spend, but the point is that if you don’t really know what you’re doing, and you just have your “traffic goggles” on, you can burn through your funds very fast!

A lot of new marketers start with pay per click, but after a couple of months of trying, and probably spending a few hundred dollars, they still can’t made any money, or turn a profit. One of the main reasons for this is obviously lack of experience, they probably don’t really understand about relevance, landing pages, campaign structures, conversions, tracking, and a lot more.

How much does it cost before you optimize a campaign and get it to break even, and then turn a profit? Even if you only need to make $600 a week to get by, and you could optimize your campaign to double your money, then you’d still have to be spending $1200 a week on PPC to achieve that. You also have to work out how long it’ll take before you get your commissions paid back to you as well.

It’s important to work out your cash flow projections, and how much you’ll need to have to cover your costs? For example, if you don’t get paid your commissions for four weeks, then you’re going to need at least $4,800 available to run your campaigns, and probably more.

Then just as you’ve got it optimized and turning a profit, another marketer with “big pockets” can come in and out bid you!

So pay per click marketing can be very challenging to begin with, but if you can get it right, and you have enough funds, the rewards can be vast, and achieved very quickly. It’s big business, and worth remembering that in some cases the advertisers you’re competing against might not even expect to make a profit on their initial campaign. They might intend to make most of their money using up-sells, return purchases, or other methods.

Let’s turn our attention now to search engine optimization, and see how using that as a way of driving traffic compares to pay per click marketing?

Read the next article about the pros and cons of SEO