Strategic Link Building- An Alternative to Pay Per Click Advertising

This is a guest post by Ruben Corbo. To write an article for this site, please see our write for us guidelines.

For quite some time, Pay Per Click (or PPC) has been viewed as one of the most effective and affordable ways to advertise over the internet. The way a Pay Per Click campaign works is the advertiser promotes their website by paying for their ads to be displayed in the organic results of the search engines such as Google or Bing. The ads are triggered when a searcher types a keyword into the search engine. They then appear on the pages of the organic search results.

For example, on Google’s search engine the PPC ads are currently displayed on top of the organic results as well as down the right hand column of the page. Advertisers are not charged when the ads are displayed. Instead, they are charged each time the searcher clicks on their ad. Advertisers can also choose to have their ads displayed on websites in addition to the organic search results. Website owners can elect to place PPC advertisements onto their websites and receive a portion of the PPC fees paid by the advertiser.

In November 2001 Google announced they would be running tests to remove Pay Per Click ads from the right hand column of search result pages.

Google has been monitoring how the various positions of the Pay Per Click ads affects how many clicks are received. The company has decided to moved sponsored advertisements from the right hand side of the organic search results down to the bottom of the page. Google stated that they have found that placing the ads on the bottom of the page offers a better fit for the user as they scan pages from the top down. In Google’s tests, ads on the bottom of the page had higher click-through rates than those displayed on the side of the page.

The downside to Pay Per Click Advertising

The main problem with PPC, particularly on Google and other search engines, is people have caught on to them. A majority of people are aware that the ads appearing on the top and right had side of the pages are paid ads, which makes them suspicious of the sponsored results. If the organic results are relevant, why would it be necessary for a company to pay to have their ad displayed?

Perhaps Google is moving the paid advertisements down to the bottom of the page in hopes that people won’t notice that they are paid ads. However, sooner or later, people will become aware that these ads are sponsored.

Approximately 85% of search engine clicks occur on the results’ first page. If you don’t appear on Google’s first page of results, you simply will miss out on a significant amount of business. Therefore, it is imperative that you zero in on the most relevant keywords for your business and that you appear on Google’s first page of results for those keywords. A Pay Per Click Advertising campaign can get you a first page placement. However, you may not receive the number of clickthroughs that you desire. In any case, some online marketers don’t think the solution is Pay Per Click.

A Strategic Approach to Link Building

A lot of online marketers use strategic link building to ensure that the websites of their customers are displayed on Google’s first page of results. Fifty percent of the page ranking algorithm used by Google includes inbound links. These are links that appear on external sites that link back to your website. Google looks at the quantity as well as the relevance and quality of the links pointing to your website. Don’t even think about trying to get links for your website from all the free listings sites. It’s pointless to spam the free advertising forums and directories. Google will just discount or ignore links that they deem to be irrelevant.

Wise online marketers take a strategic approach to link building. They may hire designers to implement a campaign for you that acquire inbound links to your website in a strategic manner, by employing a mix of high quality, relevant resources, including blogs, forums, Web 2.0 services and social profiles.

The only downside to link building is the fact that it is very time consuming and a lot of the times you may even need a team of link builders and or outsourced content writers to do some of your work which can become expensive, but like most businesses smart investments are key to making sure you can keep your business alive. While link building can require a lot of patience, it’s definitely more sustainable than PPC and possibly less expensive in the long run.

Ruben Corbo writes for the website The Search Labs a global provider of link building, on-site SEO, and competitor link analysis services.