Chances are if you own a website, the basic goal is to have people looking at the content you are creating. There are several different tactics when it comes to driving traffic to your website, but the two heavy hitters in the industry are search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC). Both of these strategies can be impactful in increasing views for your website, but they work in different ways and on different timelines.
SEO strategies are generally considered the more patient approach to growing web traffic. SEO entails a methodical approach to researching appropriate keywords and adding quality content that helps your website rank higher on search engine results. The higher your website ranks on search results, the more likely you are to receive organic traffic, which can be both more sustainable in the long run, as well as more cost-effective. Essentially, you are trading your time and some hard work researching and writing with strong keywords and phrases in place of spending money to jump the ranks of search engine result pages (SERPs).
PPC strategies are basically the opposite approach, as they can be a quick and effective way to drive traffic to your website. This method involves creating specific advertising campaigns that allow you to jump to the top of the search result page for your selected keyword. When a viewer sees your website advertised at the top of the page and they click through, you pay a fee for the click. The more competitive the keyword is, the more it will cost. Since this method can be highly competitive, there are Pay-Per-Click management teams that can help manage your keywords and campaigns.
There are a couple of considerations to take into account when developing your strategy for increasing your traffic;
What is your advertising budget?
If you are working with a very small budget, then SEO is often regarded as a good start. You can plan and implement high-quality keywords throughout your website and content that can slowly allow you to climb the ranks and be seen. As your budget grows, integrating PPC campaigns can prove to be highly effective if you target the right keywords. It is important to note that the PPC realm highly competitive, and keeping on top of your PPC campaigns is crucial.
How quickly are you looking to drive traffic?
Similarly to cost, major differences arise in regards to time. PPC can be used to infuse quick bursts of views to your site by making it more visible certain time frames. Ultimately, with PPC models you are able to get larger amounts of traffic quicker than with the more gradual build-up of SEO practices. An important note to consider is that there are overlaps of keywords and phrases that can allow you to pursue both strategies simultaneously.
Both strategies have proven to be highly effective in the realm of driving traffic to websites, and ultimately the best strategy depends on your specific needs. In most cases, having a solid mixture of both strategies accompanied by strong keyword research will yield the best results.