This is going to be a short post, only because I think the argument could go on forever. But for your purposes, it should be an easy choice. Before I get started, I want to make sure we are on the same page when I say SEM or search engine marketing. I am basically talking about pay-per-click advertising such as Google Adwords or Bing or Facebook or any other way to pay for placement online.
With that, here is why I think SEM trumps SEO
1. With PPC, your contracting company can be on the first page of Google in an hour. With SEO, it could take days, months, years or never depending on the keyword you are trying to rank for. I say depending on the keyword because you are probably never going to appear on the first page of Google for “plumber” but you can for “plumber in Schenectady NY with a blue truck”, just no one will be searching for that.
2. PPC is a pretty straight forward endeavor. Create a relevant ad, send the traffic to a relevant page on your site, and hope it converts. SEO changes every day, and the only people happy about that are SEO specialists.
3. For the most part, you never have to worry about Google banishing your ad from their service. They will always want your money. On the other hand, put some shady SEO techniques to use and your site can now be found on page 283,329 of the search results…good luck with that.
4. While SEO specialists charge thousands of dollars and take weeks or months to optimize your site to appear on the first page of Google, you can get on the first page in under an hour for the cost of a click, and if you’re good (like me 😉 ) you can do it for the fraction of the cost your competition is paying!
5. PPC is easier for the cash-strapped, time-strapped contractor who would rather run his business than dick around with optimizing web pages.
6. The minute you are in the top three organic results on Google, people are tearing your site apart trying to find out how you did it. In order to stay there, you have to keep paying the SEO guy to keep you there. Again, good luck with that.
Now, maybe it makes sense to spend that kind of coin to keep your site in the top 5 on the major search engines, I don’t know. I do know there are better uses for your money which will bring in better results than trying to win the organic search result game.
If you think I am crazy, let me know. And before you tell me about Google Places, realize you are having a good run now, but that will change before summer, and I will still be beating you with a $2 click on Adwords!
By the way…so much for short!
Photo Credit: Jolante