search engine result pages

SEM or SEO? Pay Per Click or Display Ads? In a perfect world businesses wouldn’t have to ask either / or questions about their internet marketing strategy, but companies everywhere are working with tight budgets and have to choose carefully where they are going to spend their online marketing dollars. If you find yourself asking these or similar questions, here are a few questions which might get the decision process started.

Organic Rankings v. Paid Search Rankings

internet marketing organic search engine results internet marketing ppc ads

Are you looking to rank better in organic search engine rankings or show paid ads? The two types of content may show up next to one another in search engine result pages, but they are very different animals. Have you set aside a budget for media costs? How competitive is your industry? Doing some background research about traffic projections, competition and estimated cost can help with your analysis.

How Quickly Do you Want to See Results?

graph of seo versus ppc in traffic growth

We like to lay out strong internet marketing strategy and plan ahead here at Eastern Star, but if you’re working with a tight timeline or your business is highly seasonal, that can effect your decision. Generally speaking, SEO is slow and steady, whereas SEM instruments like Pay Per Click or Display marketing can bring in quick results. Many clients choose to use an ongoing monthly SEO strategy in combination with seasonal Pay Per Click advertising for their busiest seasons.

Goals, Milestones and Timeline

The financial analysis of your SEO or SEM efforts may not be the most exciting part of the journey to better keyword rankings or higher ROI from Pay Per Click ads, but it makes for better strategy and results. How much is a lead worth to you? What is your profit margin on the average sale? How long a test run can you afford before going back to the drawing board?

One of the major benefits of internet marketing is that progress and results are highly trackable. You can see how your keywords are ranking and how your ads are performing in real time. That said, starting a new campaign or rethinking your strategy is an experiment that may need to be refined over time, so it’s prudent to plan out your break even point, initial goals and stretch goals ahead of time.

Hopefully these points will help organize your thoughts as you consider your next internet marketing project…these decisions can be tough, but with some guidance from an internet marketing firm, anyone can create, build or grow a brand online. Let us know if we can help with your next steps online.