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Avoid Internet Marketing's Costliest Mistakes

May 6, 2008
Companies resorting to services of an ad agency for an online campaign often find themselves with a single option, the pay per click scheme (PPC). This falls under the broader search engine marketing scheme (SEM). The PPC scheme is recently popularized by Google's Ad words and is primarily the cause of the company's stellar rise in Wall Street's stock portfolios. With this marketing scheme garnering so much attention with the clients the cost per click have also steadily risen, a single click may cost a company as much as $12. Why shouldn't it be so grossly-priced, it's what everyone wants, after all? It is precisely the popularity and high price of PPC campaigns which make this scheme in the forefront of an ad agency's marketing strategies, it is the ultimate cash cow and leaves the relatively unknown SEO services in the backdrop.

In contrast to PPC campaigns, SEO creates so called organic traffic for websites and uses less visible means of generating site hits. To illustrate, when a person searches for the term "cabbage", an SEO site may turn up on top of search results. Since this person is interested in cabbages, he'd naturally click on this top ranking site, hence the term organic traffic. PPC ads, for its part, turns up on websites in an almost unpredictable fashion. Using the same example as above, the person who searched for cabbage online may find PPC ads for tomato wholesale crowding his screen. In all probability he would not click those ads since he's interested in cabbage and not tomatoes. All things considered, despite being more reliable as a scheme in online advertising, SEO is relegated to a lesser status because of the conceived danger it causes to PPC advertising.

SEO services, however, are starting to catch up with PPC ads. PPC campaigns just cost too much these days and companies running on a limited budget are forced to look for alternative means of strutting their stuff online. Ad agencies to a certain extent may feel that a revenue niche is being threatened but this should not be the case. Instead of undervaluing SEO, ad agencies should understand its true worth in making things work for the client.

If revenues from PPC are affected when clients opt for the SEO solution, the more reasonable solution is to increase the value of the latter and not relegate it to the background. Otherwise it might spell doom for the client, and doomed clients endanger an ad agency's revenues more than SEO, to say the least.

A suggested option for client is to avail both PPC and SEO services in their online campaigns. These schemes should not be viewed in isolation of the other when they could actually work together. Diversifying a website or even putting up several sites which either PPC or SEO also gives a chance for a client and agency to evaluate which solution works best for them. Some may argue that diversifying the means of conducting an online ad campaign or adopting PPC and SEO in tandem increases costs for the client. However, increased costs may easily be subsidized by allowing third party advertisers to likewise show their stuff on a client's website.

A site utilizing both PPC and SEO is bound to have a higher ranking and a revenue generator for a client and such a site is the most attractive place for other companies to put up their ads.

Necessity is the mother of invention and inventions are solutions for problems. In the present case, invention of an alternative for high PPC campaigns is no longer required since the solution already exists, in the form of SEO. Despite this, SEO remains largely undervalued and unknown. As companies start to realize the importance and value SEO can bring to their online presence, ad agencies sometimes cannot help but feel threatened because it may undermine the importance of their blockbuster and profit generating PPC ads.

As hammered at above, profits need not be threatened by SEO as there are other ways of compensating for the possible decrease in profits. Increasing its value, adopting several schemes, etc. are just some of the means to compensate for possible losses. Moreover, whatever is better for the client benefits an ad agency in the long run. Indeed, PPC advertising is not an end of itself, increased visibility of the client is the goal. SEO should not then be viewed with contempt but with favor because of its benefits for a client. After all, a happy client is a paying client.
About the Author
Moe Tamani is a consultant with Dallas based Internet Marketing company specializing in Natural SEO.
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