Search engine optimization or SEO has definitely become the “buzz word” in marketing lately. In trying to remain objective I must state that I am a strong believer in “search engine optimization” and that includes using all three of the above campaigns for marketing online. I definitely lean more towards traditional search engine optimization and social networking versus pay per click (cost per click) advertising and I will explain this very shortly. So with that being said, let’s begin.

Pay per Click (PPC, CPC)

For those that have not heard this before or are completely new to internet marketing, these are the advertisements that you see on the right hand side of your screen or at the very top of your Google searches. Usually you will notice a “sponsored links” text by these advertisements. I know that many of you have much experience in internet marketing and already know this so bear with me for a few seconds while I explain to those who do not know. PPC or CPC advertising is paid for by the advertiser.

In a pay per click campaign you will set up an account with whatever search engine you are advertising with, you will “buy” or define keywords that searchers would use to find your product or service and then bid on those keywords. Depending on your bid, you will show up on the 1st page or perhaps the 5th depending on how you bid. You can control the amount of money that you spend on these types of campaigns by defining a daily budget and how much you are willing to pay for the keywords defined in your campaign.

Strengths, Achievements:

With PPC or CPC advertising you are able to achieve a very high page ranking (as long as you bid high) at a very fast pace or in a very short time frame. You do not really have to work at obtaining high amounts of traffic to your site, it is extremely convenient and time efficient.

So PPC or CPC goes in line with the golden rule, you know, “He/she who has the most gold makes the rules”. You simply pay enough and you are in front of all that coveted “front page” traffic that everyone is after, as long as you have followed the terms and conditions of the search engine that you have placed the campaign with.

It has been documented in some studies that PPC/CPC advertising attracts 14% of the overall traffic; however, when you consider the sheer volume of some keywords 14% can add up to tens of thousands of searches every day. There are other studies that have shown PPC/CPC obtaining a total of 30% of total traffic. So while it is hard to say just how many searchers trust or look to PPC/CPC to find the solution for their search, pay per click advertising does deliver results and for many companies (especially newer domains or sites) it is a necessity.


Man it was certainly tough to cover the strengths and I had to bite my tongue to get here. Threats and weaknesses to a pay per click campaign are many. To start, once you have initiated your campaign for PPC/CPC and “gotten the ball rolling” you can definitely expect to see traffic, but what kind of traffic? Could it be that your jealous competition is simply clicking on your ad to use your budget for the day? Google and other companies that offer PPC/CPC advertising cannot prevent this type of activity from occurring; although they have put some protocol in place to avoid it as much as possible it is still absolutely going to happen.

I don’t necessarily condone this type of behavior (clicking on PPC ads to drive out the competition) but, for those that believe business is war (especially among small to mediums sized businesses) I know that this is a daily occurrence having heard it from the mouths of many prospective customers. At the end of the day spending your competitions budget on PPC is a strategy just like any other. The sooner your competition spends your budget for the day, the sooner they can take your advertisement down and then perhaps if they have an ad of their own, theirs will surface from the bottom of the heap where they have bid a much lower amount for the same keywords you have bid on.

Another weakness to PPC is that once you have spent your budget for the day you are off the “board” unless you are willing to go in and change your budget and spend more money. So in PPC/CPC you are sincerely at the mercy of the market. Whether your ad is visible to that prospective customer you are hoping to meet depends on whether or not your ad has been clicked on enough times to spend your budget for that day. If you think about this, what type of advertising have you ever done in the past where your ad disappears? Maybe with passing out flyers, or television ads, both of these campaigns tend to be just as effective in today’s market as PPC (maybe even more effective in my opinion).

Getting back on topic here, I thought I might mention that keywords in PPC/CPC seem to be less forgiving here than in search engine optimization. I say this because it seems to me that if you have not defined the keyword exactly as it is typed in by your searcher than you will miss that traffic as well. An example of this is “Denver Attorney” versus “Attorney in Denver”. In my experience in the past, if I purchased “Denver Attorney” and did not place “Attorney in Denver” in my campaign, than I would not show for it as a keyword. Makes sense as Google or any other search engine would not want to take charge of your PPC campaign and just assume that you would want to be in front of that traffic looking for “Attorney in Denver”. Whereas in search engine optimization you will be able to “net” the traffic from misspellings, variations of keywords, etc. I will explain more about this in our assessment of search engine optimization.