You'll receive a better return on investment with natural search engine optimisation although it will take a little longer. Pay per Click on the other hand is immediate and can be used more tactically, around above-the-line campaigns or to support promotions for example.

Optimising web pages for natural search engine results involves a lot more work, at least 4 months, but, in the longer term, you'll receive a much better return on investment so is well worth the wait! The numbers speak for themselves.

  • 90% of Internet users use search
  • 75% prefer natural search

SEO is important because it drives active customers to your website who are interested in your products and services and you should see a return on your website investment as you won't have to pay each time a user clicks to go to your website. Listing achieved through an SEO campaign gives a psychological advantage over sponsored links. When a person sees sponsored listings he knows the link is there because the company paid money to the search engine to advertise. But, when he sees a site within the natural search results page, he thinks it's because of the quality of the site.

Consumers find the natural listings more reliable. Let's face it how many times have you clicked on a sponsored link only to find it's not where you wanted to be?

However, PPC is the fastest way to drive traffic to your website and it can start immediately. PPC ads (the boxes usually shown on the right hand side of search results and above the natual links) work by bidding on keywords and phrases; the higher the bid, the higher your ad is placed. One of the best features of PPC is that you only pay for your advert when someone clicks on it.

  • PPC is a regular, recurring expense. Traffic stops when you stop paying
  • It can be used as an interim solution until the SEO traffic pickups
  • Is excellent for seasonal sales or other time-dependent promotions
  • Is easy to measure and track performance and effectiveness

The downside of PPC is that many markets are highly competitive and bid costs are increasing fast. Plus, as soon as you stop spending, the campaign ends and traffic to your site stops.