When you need search engines to send new potential customers your way – as most of us do from time to time – you have two basic choices: search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising (also sometimes referred to as search engine marketing). For inexperienced web marketers who just want to meet buyers, though, these two similar-sounding choices can be confusing.

So, do you need search engine optimization, search engine marketing, or both?

Despite what you may have heard in the past, there isn’t going to be any one answer that works equally well for everyone. A lot of business owners and executives prefer search engine optimization because they aren’t paying for individual clicks, which leads them to believe it’s less expensive. On the other hand, most online retailers rely heavily on pay-per-click advertising because it’s targeted and efficient.

When designing your own campaigns, or getting help from an Arizona web design team, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Generally speaking, organic search engine optimization is more effective than PPC ads in bringing traffic to your site. Most people look to the organic search results first when trying to find general information or advice, so SEO is a great way to capture the attention of more potential customers over time.

Pay-per-click advertising works a lot faster. Depending on which keywords and phrases you are trying to rank for, a good organic search engine optimization campaign can take months, or longer, to show results. Pay-per-click campaigns can be put into place in hours, on the other hand, with ads showing on the same day.

Paid traffic can also be more efficient. Although we’ve mentioned that people looking for information tend to favor organic search results, there is some evidence that those looking to make immediate buying decisions will tend toward paid ads. That means a higher percentage of your paid visitors might turn into customers

You don’t have to choose between SEO and PPC. A lot of companies use both, and for different purposes. SEO can be the perfect tool for capturing people early in the sales cycle, while PPC is great for maximizing conversions and testing new ideas or keyword/offer combinations.

For most businesses, the best option when it comes to search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising is to simply use both, emphasizing one or the other more based on short- and long-term needs. The reality is that they are different tools for different jobs, and making the most of them requires you to understand that and balance your budgets and efforts accordingly.

If you need an Arizona online marketing firm, get in touch with Effusion today!