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Could a Monkey Sell Search Engine Advertising?

As a tactic, search engine advertising practically sells itself. Here’s just one example:

I was recently asked by a somewhat price-sensitive client which tactic I would recommend they should do first: perform search engine optimization (SEO) on their Website or run a search engine advertising campaign for a few months.

I said go with the search engine advertising campaign, and here’s why:

  • They’d start to receive qualified traffic to their Website almost immediately versus waiting weeks or months for the SEO to kick in;
  • This traffic could be directed to a very specific landing page (or set of pages) that could be fine-tuned to increase the conversion rate;
  • The traffic they’d get would be from people within the client’s specific geographic target market (in their case, Ontario);
  • The client would quickly learn what people were searching for, which search terms generated the most clicks, and – most importantly – which search terms converted the best into leads;
  • Learning from the search engine advertising campaign could then be applied to the SEO project and, perhaps, the client’s offline campaigns; and
  • All of this was guaranteed to happen within a fixed budget (agreed to in advance by the client) leaving little room for any last-minute surprises or overages.

Needless to say the client agreed with my recommendation and gave us an immediate green light on the search engine advertising campaign. We will also likely be doing the SEO project, but for now the client is happy to be receiving qualified traffic so quickly and so affordably.

I wish all Internet marketing tactics were as easy for clients to buy!


  1. Jon Beattie
    Jon Beattie June 14, 2006

    Agreed. Traditional SEO tactics will become progressively less relevant. Google and others don’t want you to do SEO and they have billions of dollars to try and ignore all the little tricks and scams. Build your site from the ground up so that your content can be indexed and then put your money into SEA.

  2. Marc Poirier
    Marc Poirier June 15, 2006

    I agree with you, but you’ll probably eventually find that some clients want exactly the opposite.
    These are usually those people who have had some degree of success with an aggressive SEO service provider, have since lost all their search traffic. They will come to us because they want it back just the way it was in the good old days.
    It’s not easy to sell these guys PPC because they have yet to face the facts that they’ll never get their old traffic back.

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