Search engine optimization is a great source to get traffic. Pay-per-click advertising is a great source for traffic. Which one, or both, are right for your business? Well, that depends on many factors. Time, budget, energy, resources, finances, staff, etc., just to name a few.

If you need traffic fast, there is no better way than investing in a pay-per-click campaign (PPC). Whether it is Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads or other paid traffic sources, you can literally have traffic up and running in a few short hours.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on the other hand is a long-term play. SEO is a marathon, not a sprint and much thought and work goes in to ranking businesses for the long run. Sure, there are many SEO companies that will use black hat methods to rank sites quickly. I prefer not using those types of methods, as those methods may lead to getting penalized by Google and the business may lose their rankings and traffic.

I recently heard someone talk about SEO rankings. They had a new client that had not done SEO in the past and were wondering why they weren’t ranking on Page 1 Google for competitive keyword phrases. The SEO provider said to the business owner, “Look you are a smart person and certainly understand that your competitors have been doing SEO for years and is why they are on Page 1 Google for your coveted keywords. They have invested a lot in to good SEO and have done so for years. Now you certainly don’t expect to just get started doing SEO and outrank your competitors, do you?” Of course, the client gave the sheepish look and said, “of course not, it will take time and effort, I’ll just need to be patient.”

With SEO there is no certainty. You can do all the right things and still not rank, or you can rank really well and then Google does an algorithm update and you lose your rankings. I cannot stress enough to utilize white hat SEO practices, as they are the practices that stand the test of time. Build quality links and create shareable content. Be the thought leader in your niche and Google will reward you when you build out your site and SEO properly. I have seen it time, and time again.

PPC, on the other hand, gets you on Page1 Google almost immediately. Be sure to have focused keywords, quality ads and optimized landing pages for best success. PPC is quantifiable and tracking shows the ROI. If you have not invested in PPC yet, consider setting a $1,000.00 budget to give adequate testing times for your ads. By the way, you will get great keyword data that you can then take and build out new web pages and optimize for Google.

So, if you need immediate traffic, PPC is the quickest way to be seen on Page 1 google and start getting clicks and calls today. SEO, takes more time, but hen done properly, and when you get to the top of the search results, then you will get abundant traffic for no cost. But, remember, there is no such thing as free traffic from SEO, because someone has to put the thought, energy and time in to the SEO strategy.

Good luck as you continue your online marketing efforts. It is a marathon, not a sprint!