Teach a Man to Fish

Give a man a PPC ad, and you promote his site today. Give a man a keyworded marketing blog, and you promote his site forever.

OK, it's a bit of a vague analogy, but it holds true. Pay per click just isn't an investment - it's the online definition of "You can't have your cake and eat it." Pay for a PPC ad to appear and it will... until it's clicked on. Then you're out of pocket by whatever your chosen cost per click might be.

I'm not saying you can't earn a positive return on investment from PPC advertising. But I'll bet that's not why they created PPC ads in the first place. They're a continual income stream for search marketing companies, as opposed to one-off contracts for overhauling a website then leaving it alone.

What About Blogging?

I know what you're thinking - hiring a blogger to help bulk up your website gives him (or me, in this case) a steady income too. And you're right, although if you just want one-off content I'll happily do that too.

The difference is that I won't delete my content as soon as someone's paid an interest to it. You buy blog articles, you buy an investment. Online real estate. Article pages that compete for top-ranking positions across your target key words.

Put it this way - with a five-page website, you can realistically put five key phrases in 'perfect' positions on those pages for search visibility. If you're cunning about it, you can maybe get another two or three phrases on each page before you start to look too obvious about what you're doing. But they'll be competing with your own calls to action and traditional marketing text as screen space starts to get eaten up.

With a 50-page website, everything changes. You've got room now for 50 primary key phrases, each in its own heading tags and URL structure, and all the other places you'd want it to go. Each page can cover a different topic, increasing the relevance for incoming search traffic. Each can have a different call to action, if that's appropriate - some driving customers directly to your order form, others encouraging people to comment or sign up for your email newsletter.

Significantly, you're assured of a larger number of pages that will continue to rank for your various chosen terms for some time to come. Even algorithm changes are unlikely to cause much harm to your ranking if your site is regularly updated with good-quality content - that's the very thing the algorithms are designed to promote.

So if you're struggling to drive a return on investment from a limited PPC marketing budget, why not take the long-term view and reinvest that money in blogging or landing page creation instead? Contact me by email or on Twitter if you need a hand with that.