When it comes to cosmetic surgery marketing on the Internet, getting to the top of the search engine listings is key. The majority of visitors to your site will likely find you through the search engines. The higher up you are on the results list, the more potential patients you’ll get to your site.
There are two different ways to get into those top search listings, using search engine optimization (SEO) and using pay per click (PPC). With SEO, you can boost your rankings in natural results. With PPC, you can buy your way to the top of paid listings. Both methods will help to promote your website, but one may be better than the other or you may even want to try a combination of the two.
With pay-per-click programs like Google Adwords and Yahoo’s Overture, a small text ad for your website is placed in the sponsored links section of search results. You pay a specific amount of money for every time that someone clicks on you ad. The amount is set by competitive bidding with the highest bidder being listed first, the second highest listed second, and so on. Costs will vary dramatically for different keywords, some being as low as $0.33 per click and others as high as $12.98 per click. As such, your PPC efforts can quickly get very expensive, running as high as thousands of dollars each month. Nevertheless, PPC can provide you with instant results, whereas SEO can take much, much longer.
Optimizing your website for the search engines can be a long and often complicated process. Your pages must be optimized in order to rank well in the search engines, but different search engines use different algorithms to determine page rank. Elements like keywords and link popularity all help to determine the relevancy of your site. Choosing your keywords and using them appropriately and building links all takes time. Results with SEO will take quite a bit longer to be apparent, as much as three months or even longer before you reap the full benefits. On the other hand, SEO is inexpensive compared to PPC. Further, studies have shown that Internet users are far more likely to click on natural results than on paid listings.
Often times, the best approach is a combined one. PPC can provide a quick, short-term solution. While you’re getting results with your paid listing, you can spend the time necessary on SEO, which is better for the long term. Another added benefit is that your PPC efforts can often help you to find the right keywords to target with SEO. You can experiment with different keywords with your PPC ad, ultimately finding the most effective ones and then applying them to your SEO efforts.