One expert has highlighted some of the different benefits offered to small businesses by search optimisation and pay per click (PPC) strategies.

Tom Chant of Search Engine Watch said the first step in any marketing effort is carrying out "in-depth research" into keywords to get a feel for the viability of a campaign.

Once this is complete, brands need to choose their approach carefully.

Boosting a small firm's online profile through search engine optimisation (SEO) will often require upfront investment – particularly if a site is completely new and unknown to search engine crawlers – and breaking into results pages can sometimes be a "fuzzy process".

However, SEO will potentially deliver higher levels of traffic than paid ads and its benefits will continue even if investment is stopped.

By comparison, PPC campaigns tend to deliver an immediate return and, unlike optimisation, they are "completely measurable" with results tied directly to particular actions.

The choice of PPC or SEO will depend on a particular brand's business and audience, so developing a knowledge base about their different features and timescales is crucial in picking the right option, Mr Chant noted.

Figures from Econsultancy show that 60 per cent of British companies plan to increase their spending on optimisation efforts this year, while 52 per cent will up their budgets for paid search.

News brought to you by ClickThrough – a provider of SEO Services & Pay Per Click strategies.

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