Every web site owner knows how imperative search engine results are if their site is going to generate business. There are two main ways to get good search engine results.
The traditional, and for many the hardest method, is to get what are called organic results. Experienced designers can use the site's coding and text to gain high search results based on merit. While professionally created sites can be more expensive initially, you can get a much wider range of search results.
Unfortunately, site owners who have been unsuccessful with organic results have to go with the second option, Pay-Per-Click. The Pay-Per-Click premise is simple. Site owners tell a search engine, 'If someone types these words and you show a link to my site, I will pay you if they click it.' Google's PPC system is called AdWords, and is vastly used by companies who are unable to get results by traditional means.
One of the biggest hooks of PPC is that you can 'set your own budget, as low as only $100 a month.' This sounds reasonable, until you do further math.
As a test example, one of our clients, Connie Todd owner of Connie's Kids, wanted to be found for 'Children's Clothing' or 'Children's clothing stores' searches. We went to Google AdWords to calculate how much just those three words would cost.
If Connie set her budget at $100/month, her site would only be clicked 2-3x a day. Since most search engine users are comparison shoppers, those clicks may not even become sales.
This is where the slippery slope begins. If you don't get needed sales, you can just increase your budget. Google recommended that for best results, Connie should be seen around 300 times a day, for about $7,000 a month.
Another important point is that AdWords is only for Google. You still have to pay the other searches if you need their hits too.
Luckily, thanks to our own FirstPage SEO system and tools, Connie is already on the first page of Google for both of those terms without using Pay-Per-Click. Connie has about 5,000 other search terms a month bringing visitors to her, and not just from Google.
The Bottom Line: Connie's Kids gets an average 15,000 unique visitors a month using First Page. If she were paying even 60¢ per click for these, her PPC budget would need to be $9,000 a month, an incredible $108,000 a year.
We know that is way beyond small business budgets, which is why we do not suggest PPC. Instead, our FirstPage system gets excellent results organically, and costs $100 per month to maintainfor a brochure site or $150 for e-commerce.
If you are ready to grow your business, now is the time to research new web technologies such as our own WebUpdate Site Management systems. These have many advanced features designed to give your business the best competitive edge online.
Terry Young is the founder and CEO of Internet Marketing and Design,
the award winning web and multimedia design agency in Chesapeake.
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