Okay, so it might be harsh to come straight out of the gate, tossing the entirety of search engine optimization (SEO) into a damning, all-encompassing category like “snake oil.”
The Only Problem, Though?
Chalk it up to a lack of client understanding, complex sales jargon, sidestepped accountability or painfully high service fees, these days, far too many brands are investing in SEO, only to see an insignificant return on investment (ROI).
Grab a bag of popcorn, people—this rant is just getting started …
Generally speaking, I’d confidently say that I’m a kind, fun-loving guy. Truth be told, there aren’t many people I can’t readily learn from or get along with.
However, seeing myself as somewhat of a Defender (complete with shining shining armor) of the Digital Realm, it’s hard for me to sit back and watch as numerous poser SEO wannabes scam dedicated entrepreneurs out of their hard-earned dollars.
Do Authentic SEO Specialists Even Exist?
That said, lost amidst concourses of imposters, they’re becoming increasingly harder to identify. Unfortunately, more often than not, when an up-and-coming business is looking to improve their digital presence, this is the response their met with when inquiring about SEO:
“SEO? Oh yeah—no doubt we can do that! There’s tons to do on our end to bring your digital presence up to speed, so it’ll cost you about $3,000 a month for a minimum of six months. By that time, you should start seeing some results. We can’t guarantee anything, though. I mean, you know how Google is—it’s always changing.” — Some Random Digital Marketing Dude
Does Any of This Sound Familiar?
Listen, I’m not here to knock SEO off the pedestal upon which it’s been placed—after all, no industry worth $65 billion pops up for no good reason. Additionally, there are some very concrete numbers out there to support the validity of the field.
Still, with so many magazine, used car and snake oil salesmen ditching their areas of assumed expertise for a career in SEO, it can be hard for companies like yours to know where to turn.
No worries—this is where pay-per-click (PPC) advertising finally comes into focus.
Below, you’ll find three of my favorite reasons for why PPC trounces SEO 100% of the time. Though by no means a comprehensive comparison of the two product- and service-pushing fields, if you’re currently on the fence about which is right for you, keep reading:
1) PPC Is Both Speedy and Expansive
The majority of SEO firms will tell you that it takes anywhere between four and six months to start seeing the fruits of your investment—just to put things into perspective, that’s the same amount of time it takes to grow a beard of this jaw-dropping caliber:
Come the end of that period, the idea is that your results will continue to grow over time. Sometimes things work, and sometimes they don’t—that’s just the risk most businesses run.
On the flip side of things, however, PPC is both speedy and expansive.
Though costing anywhere from pennies to dollars per click, right from the get-go your brand can find itself on the first page of Google or Bing for a host of highly targeted terms.
The best part, though?
Recent studies have shown that the top 3 paid advertising spots earn 46% of the clicks on the page—not bad, eh? As such, if you’re launching a website, looking to build brand awareness or hoping to quickly generate interest in a limited-time offer, PPC is your best bet.
2) PPC Is Capable of Producing a Measurable ROI
Remember that flimsy ROI of which I made mention at the beginning of this post?
When you tackle PPC the right way, not only does it product enough of an ROI to account for the money you put into your initial bids, but it’s incredibly reliable, consistent and predictable.
In fact, as of 2016, businesses pocket an average of $3 for every $1.60 they spend on AdWords.
No, PPC might not be as sexy as social outreach, digital public relations, content marketing or SEO, but the end results are almost always the same—a more robust bottom line for your brand.
And here’s why—when you know the hard numbers behind what’s likely to take place from the beginning, it’s much easier to justify the forking over of cash for some digital marketing mastery.
Conversely, when you’re at the mercy of some mysterious, shape-shifting algorithm that’s updated between 400 and 500 times a year, there’s no telling what the thousands of monthly dollars you’re spending will lead to—scary, huh?
Sure, you might strike digital oil, but there’s a good chance you’re left with an empty wallet, too.
3) PPC Isn’t Going Anywhere—Like, Ever
By the time you read this post, there’s a chance things have changed, but when I first sat down to put all of my thoughts onto paper, this is what Google’s autocomplete function immediately spat back at me when I typed in, “Google is …”
Pretty wild stuff, right?
And before you take to the comments section to demand my head on a silver platter, please know now that I don’t think SEO is dying—it’s just extremely unpredictable. So, though all is well in Zion as of 2016, who’s to say that the field doesn’t fall flat on its face in five years’ time?
We simply have no real way of knowing …
PPC, on the other hand?
Not a chance—it’s here for the long haul. Think about it—Google is a publicly traded company. Because of this, even Google is very much responsible for pleasing its shareholders—this means a steady uptick in annual profits.
At the end of Google’s first quarter in 2015, the company had brought in an astonishing $17.3 billion in revenue—up 12 percent from the year prior. That’s all fine and dandy, but the most interesting tidbit? 15.5 billion of those dollars came straight from advertising sales.
Put the calculator away. I’ve got you covered—that’s nearly 90 percent of its quarterly revenue.
Needless to say, while the future of SEO is unclear, one this is for certain—for Google to continue its bid for complete global dominance, Adwords is only going to improve.
The Truth of the Matter
Wrapping things up, let’s close with a question—is SEO an inherently evil practice?
Not in the slightest.
Heck, take a look at DigiMar’s various service offerings, and you’ll see that I’m serious with my response. Still, having spent the better part of my life either growing businesses or helping others do the same, immediate, proven results are what matter most.
Step aside, SEO—in our very digital day and age, PPC is king.