Are PPC/SEM/Google Adwords worth it?

Do you want more more traffic?  Do you want more quality traffic?  Do you want to control costs?  Do you want to increase brand awareness?  If you answer ‘yes’, then it is.

If it were only that simple though.  PPC/SEM/Adwords may be good for your business, but if it is at the expense of Search Engine Optimization, the answer should be a resounding ‘no’.

I recently met with a client who was in the process of cutting ALL their marketing dollars.  I don’t mean just cutting back, I mean to $0.  That is with the exception of PPC/SEM (Pay-Per-Click/Search Engine Marketing).  He cut out radio, industry pubs and online sales directories.  He was sold on the idea by an extremely convincing sales person who is going to get a heck of a paycheque in the near future while this business is going to be left behind his competition.

Don’t get me wrong.  SEM/PPC is a key element of an all encompassing online marketing program, but to put all your faith in what I’d refer to as a second tier product (in most cases), is not a good business practice.


SEM/PPC – The Bad Stuff

SEM/PPC – The Good Stuff

you can generate instant traffic.  As soon as your ad is online, someone can click on it.  SEO works differently.  I usually describe the difference between the two as, SEM is like a water faucet – either on or off; SEO is more like the flight of a plane – takes some effort to get it off the ground but once you are up, you can go a long way on sheer momentum

There are many different elements to consider in regards to your online marketing strategy.  In my mind, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the foundation of everything you do online followed by a strong website design that works to actually convert traffic not just look pretty, properly researched/targeted SEM-PPC, Local Search Optimization and a proper Social Media play.


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