Two of the most prominently used methods of internet marketing are pay per click advertising and search engine optimization. How do they compare? When should you use either? Knowing how to properly use each can make a big difference in your ROI and traffic results.
- Speed of results. As much as some extreme cases for SEO may be flaunted, on average search engine optimization takes a while to have full effect. This can be a few weeks, a few months, even as long as a year to get desired results. Pay per click on the other hand will have results within a day. If you're interested in getting immediate results with a marketing method, PPC is your choice. You'll find out what keywords are more effective much more quickly and can adjust them almost real-time. SEO is better used for a researched keyword list using keywords you know will have desired results.
- Cost, immediate and long-term. PPC is very fast to produce results. You pay for the amount of traffic you want. If the traffic that searches for those keywords or browses the sites you advertise on exists, you can potentially pay thousands of dollars a month. For SEO, you generally will pay a large amount up front to get initial SEO work done, then a monthly amount to continue the SEO services. (This varies heavily, depending on where you pay for your SEO services.) On average, this is a higher cost than PPC for the same markets. If your PPC costs are high for every cost per click, chances are your SEO costs will also be high, and the same for markets with lower competition – both PPC and SEO will have costs relevant with the market value, and SEO is usually a higher cost.
- Results, long term value. PPC is good because it can provide instant results, and you can get immediate return on investment. SEO will not produce results immediately, but the long term value is much higher. The traffic growth on a good SEO campaign is exponential, and growth for a PPC campaign (if any) is usually linear. The difference between an organic position on page 2, position 9 on page 1, and position 1 on page 1 is immensely different. For PPC, the response for difference in positions is quite different, but the it is not as large as those from organic results. SEO will cost more but will provide a bigger long term result, if the keywords being optimized for are quality ones.
Knowing these details, it's recommended that you use PPC to do keyword research fully and test which keywords convert best before pushing into SEO. That way your costs can be adjusted quickly for different keywords, and the commitment to SEO can be done with tested keywords that have verified results. This will save you large costs and help produce definite outcomes.
As someone who is an avid link builder and search engine marketer, I spend half my day completely annoyed, wanting to pull all my eyelashes out. So many inexperienced link builders, more like spammers (just sayin), don’t know how to properly build links. Let’s go through a few of my link building pet peeves:
Dropping a link in a comment isn’t anything new, but what I hate most is when someone tries to drop dozens of links in one comment that don’t even apply to the post or site. Likely they’re comments placed by bots, but still. Come on people: linking to free porn videos on an eco-friendly blog 32 times is not going to do much for you. You really think you’re fooling anyone, especially a company worth billions like Google?
ESL Link Requests
“Dear Sirs, your site I find good. I like to procure link on site. Pay you for link. Thank you.” Wow, original right? Many are opposed to actually sending out link requests or paying for links, although they likely do it themselves. Whichever way you fall, it’s important to sound real and like you actually speak English when contacting sites and letting them know about a link you’d like to obtain on their site. Or heck, not even asking: just telling them about a great resource you found and letting them see for themselves whether or not it’s a great resource.
Outrageous Link Request Responses
“Why thank you for the link request. It’s people like you who degrade the internet and make it a hotbed for spammers. Go to hell you ***%#*@* *#$%^*&.” OR “Great resource you sent us. While we would like to link to your great content on our PR1 domain with 300 subscribers, it will cost you $1,000 a month. Our advertisers like our packages and we only place links on our site if you pay for them [up the nose].” There are always people on both ends of the spectrum, as is the case with link building. Those that hate link requests and proceed to tell you that you are the scum of the earth, or others who are trying to profit from something without actually understanding the value.
I wish I had a penny for every time I came across a site with hidden links, text or heading tags, or heck a hidden site! What were they thinking? Hiding anything from a visitor is just plain silly. Search engines can see it, so why on earth would you hide it from view? I know there are some components to a site that you want to hide, but text? Links? Headings? So annoying!
Link and Keyword Stuffing
Nothing grinds my gears more than seeing a page that is stuffed fuller than a turkey at Thanksgiving with juicy, delightful….links and keywords. “Keyword, link, keyword, filler text, keyword, link”. Not user friendly, and it makes my eyes hurt.
Massive Internal Links
Recently, I had a new client approach us to do some onsite SEO work. They literally had over 4,000 internal links to their homepage, many of which were linking using the words ‘click here’. And guess what? They weren’t even an eCommerce site! Ugh, talk about driving you crazy. But wowsas did their rankings increase when we fixed up their onsite issues.
What are some of the link building or SEO tactics you see that just grind your gears?
When you’re new to link building it’s easy to get discouraged. Getting links can be challenging work, fraught with failure, rejection, mistakes, and sometimes character assassinations. Just like politics. Someone can learn how to speak in public, fund raise and debate. But you cannot teach charisma, tenacity and integrity. Those qualities are simply instinctive. Well, we may have fewer babies and grandmas to kiss, but there are certain instinctual qualities that help with learning to build links. And over time those skills can be cultivated and honed. Sure, not every link builder will turn out to be a Superstar, but with the right training most people can learn to get quality links on a consistent basis. Here’s how.
It’s important to establish some ground rules for link builders. Make sure they know what kind of link building they are doing, and what kind of links they should be getting. Not because the link builder is stupid or a slippery character, but because certain things are just dangerous and a new link builder won’t know any better. You don’t want a new link builder to accidentally email http://www.mattcutts.com offering money or talking about Page Rank and getting links for rankings. Most people who are new to link building just don’t understand the mine field they are walking into and could easily set off a series of explosions which could rattle your entire business. Set boundaries; teach them to pay attention to details and instruct them as to where the really dangerous traps are, BEFORE they fall into one.
The best course of action is probably to provide a full scale education on the ins and outs of SEO and the function and risks of link building as a whole. But if that’s not possible, a specific set of rules is essential. And a little fear of God for breaking them never hurts either.
Set specific goals
Along those lines, link builders also need goals. Clearly the purpose of any link builder’s day is to get links. But what kind of links? What level of quality? I can go out and score 50 directory links a day or 1,000 links across one site or a network of sites. But are those really the links we want? Beware of a goals structure which is purely numbers based. Emphasizing the ends without any attention to the means can (and often will) result in cheating, corner cutting and flat out bad decision making. Define good and bad links, and use measurements which reflect those characteristics.
Teaching link builders to understand links as a part of the “big picture” can help them become more invested in the process. Obtaining a specific number of links is somewhat gratifying, but seeing the positive effect links can have on a web site can be truly exciting. A link builder will find more satisfaction when the emphasis is placed on the larger goal as opposed to the micro-chasm of simply getting a certain number of links. There will be a greater sense of fulfillment and a stronger tendency to make the right choices.
Create a system
If you let a bunch of link builders loose on a stylistic free for all you will get erratic results at best. But by creating a system for getting links, you have a process to follow. And in using a process, you can gauge strengths and weaknesses, both within the system itself and the link builders. Each step of the system should be simple and easy to replicate. It’s also helpful if each part of the process can be examined on its own and tailored to suit each link builder’s individual style.
Templates in general are good, but humanized spam is bad. If your link builder is simply a human version of a robot, then it might be cheaper just to create an automated system to serve the same function. Auto-bots don’t require health care, lunch breaks or whine when the bathroom is out of paper towels. But they inevitably lack the judgment and insight that a humans bring to the process. And everyone who’s ever gotten an automated email knows that SPAM reads like SPAM no matter how may smiley emoticons you put in the message.
The other benefit to using human link builders is that they are unique, and will excel in different areas. By watching how a link builder meets their goals and performs various functions of a link building system you can begin to see where their talents lie. Whether the strength is in identifying what will get links, who will give links or even just exceptional hand to keyboard speed, recognizing each link builder’s talents can be a crucial part of the training process. When link builders are allowed to focus on their fortes and use some creativity, managers will usually discover a host of new ideas, new techniques and, of course, their future trainers.
Over time most people can develop a talent for link building. Most link builders will inevitably grow the gut reaction to just know when something is right or wrong, possible or impossible, a good idea or a bad one. Yes, those instincts themselves may be difficult to “train” in someone. But with rules, goals, a system and a focus on utilizing strengths where they naturally occur, you will create a staff that is eager to learn, produce, and excel at the art of getting links.
Twitter is an awesome example of how a basic idea can be evolved into something huge. Started as the way to tell the world "What you are doing", it now has hundreds of various uses.
This is how social media works: you start a social media project and people will make it into what it should be. There is no way to control that.
Various people have different opinions on how Twitter should be used. To my mind, it is up to everyone. I am not a big fan of Twitter ethics: if you don’t like someone, just don’t follow him!
That being said, everyone has the right to use Twitter the way he wants. Would you like to know which group of Twitter users you fall into?
Here’s a quiz I made (with Gerald’s help of course) that will help you define your Twitter user type.
You are highly encouraged to share your result in the comments. You can also Tweet your result, embed it to your blog or share on facebook. Good luck!