SEO/PPC: Are You Spending Your Way to the Top or Bottom?

death of seo

In addition to many others, we get these two questions weekly from clients and the curious alike: “What about SEO and paying for ranking on Google”. Well, these two posts hit my stream as timely as can be this morning. First this on paid search (or more commonly known as PPC). It’s a great article and really covers much of what you should be asking when entering the fray of spending money this way.

The next one, shown above, is funny, sad, right, and wrong: SEO does have its place and certainly there are efficacious results when all things are in sync, managed well, and coordinated on an on-going basis, oh, and an ample budget to boot. Having a company that can show you a track record of success, based on a model that is similar to your own, will go a long way in helping you choose a great partner. Just don’t believe what they tell you, but rather believe what you can confirm for yourself. You’re seeking “knowledgeable”, rather than “experimental”. You need results, not promises. You also need to be cautious, so do a little homework. And truthfully (you won’t want to hear this), good companies cost good money. Be prepared, too, as this won’t be a “one and done” situation. If you go in this direction, know that if you’re getting good results, stopping will usually mean the results cool off, too.

Be warned: There are plenty of sleazy companies in these spaces ready to help you part with your money; they might even seem inexpensive compared to their pricier (and probably more qualified counterparts), but then are quite likely going to blame the poor results on your unwillingness to spill open the entire contents of your checking account. Don’t believe this. A company worth their salt can show you success stories, give you references, and will be very engaged in this process with you.

Now, I’m not going to get into the gritty details of how/why/what to do to make your SEO better so you can get throngs of people buying your widgets. That’s not OUR space. But, as a company that often guides small businesses from startup to launch, or established companies looking for their next best move, we do help them decide where to place their marketing dollar. And we do refer to some really solid companies in that space. However, we are big advocates for doing stuff as organically and authentically as possible when it comes to marketing of any sort, and in our experience, there is more than one way to arrive at the goal. Blogging, site updates, and well done social media can all help drive traffic to your site, and thus influence rankings, but for the impatient with some deeper pockets, the SEO/PPC path might be for you.

For some reason I’m thinking of a toolkit right now, and maybe that’s because that’s really what marketing is: It’s an ensemble of tools, all playing a role in your success. Some are better, more fine-tuned than others, each doing a little bit to drive some potential business to your website. I’d be very interested in the feedback from people who have gotten there without buying their way there, and also those who eventually pulled the plug on their SEO/PPC budget and diverted the money into other segments of their marketing plan.