When dealing with marketing and advertising on the internet, one of the more popular models that are used is known as PPC (pay per click). With this type of advertising model, someone puts an ad up on their website that is advertising another website. This is done free of charge to start with. When someone clicks on the link and goes on to visit the site that was being advertised, then the site owner is paid, hence the name “pay per click”. There are other models out there that follow similar patterns, such as CPL and CPA. With those models, the site owner is only paid for lead generation or when someone actually buys something.
Sometimes on search engines, a business can have a list of keywords associated with their site and when that word or phrase is searched for, an ad may be displayed, trying to get people to click on it. These advertisements that are placed at the top of the page of search results are PPC ads, but they are more commonly referred as sponsored links. Sponsored links are contrasted with organic SEO. Organic SEO refers to using keywords or key phrases on your websites and trying to be found on a search engine within the regular listings, rather than having an ad right at the top.
This has become a topic of discussion for those that deal with SEM (search engine marketing). If you have a site set up, no matter what you use it for or what you sell on it, you will have to find a way to let people know that the site exists and get their attention enough to get them to visit the site. So you have to choose which path to take. Do you go with sponsored links which appear as ads, but most people can’t tell the difference between the sponsored ads and other search results? Or do you go with organic SEO, which may appear farther down the page within the search results?
If your business is looking for immediate sales, using sponsored links is a much better approach than using organic SEO. The organic approach could prove to work out better when looking at the long term potential of bringing in new customers through search engines. But if you are looking for sales right now, the best approach for lead generation and SEM is to get a sponsored link put up at the very top of search results.