We’re trying to decide whether we should set up a business blog or do pay-per-click advertising. Which will provide a better return on investment?
–Marketing in Maine
We’ve never recommended putting all your eggs in one basket, be they proverbial or free range. Both blogs–which help with your organic search rankings–and pay-per-click (PPC) ads–which appear on page one—can help deliver qualified traffic to your website.
One way to look at this is the difference between cooking in an aluminum pan vs. a cast-iron pan. The aluminum pan heats up quicker, but it also cools off quicker.
PPC advertising is a lot like that aluminum pan. If you need to get page one results on Google or Bing, you just need to pay them and your ads will start running immediately. Same day results. That’s fantastic for sites that may not otherwise do well in the organic results, such as new sites or sites that rely heavily on Flash.
However, the moment you stop paying them–whether because you hit your daily budget or you’ve decided that PPC is no longer for you–that traffic stops just as quickly. You’ll get no more benefit out of the money and time you’ve invested.
Compare this to blogging: you may not enjoy much search engine visibility for the first few months of your blogging and you’ll be putting in a lot of work…we’d recommend 2 – 3 keyword-rich posts a week of 300 words or more. However, once you’ve established your blog and built up trust and inbound links, your blog stays hot like a cast-iron pan.
In reviewing the top ten traffic generating posts this month at our web marketing blog, five of the posts are at least a year or two old, the oldest one was written in 2006! Five years later and it’s still pulling in hundreds of new visitors each month…that’s a much better payoff than most PPC campaigns in our opinion.
So, if your budget allows it, we might recommend setting up a small budget for PPC, but develop develop a business blog for your long term success.
Photo credit: Jeremy Noble