Traditional advertising vs search marketing

What's the best way to market your business?

Are you thinking about doing some advertising to promote your business, products and services? If so, you may be wondering whether to spend your budget on marketing on search engines like Google, or through more traditional mediums.

Below is a list of pros and cons for each to help you decide:

Traditional marketing and advertising


  • Enables your message to reach a wide market segment (especially when talking about television commercials, which can be syndicated nationally)
  • Great for creating brand awareness and getting your ‘name out there’
  • Audience can be ‘any man’ - they don’t need to be tech savvy or own a computer


  • Difficult to quantify if your campaign has been successful or not
  • Often very expensive to produce and run
  • Most of the people who see your ad or promotion are likely to be outside your target market - which means a lot of wasted money

Search Marketing

Also known as ‘pay per click’ marketing, this involves a bidding-style payment system where an ad for your product is displayed on the results pages in search engines when someone types in a related key word or phrase.


  • Highly targeted - since you're paying for particular search terms, you know that the people clicking your ad are looking for your product or service.
  • Cost effective - you only pay for each click on your ad
  • Visibility of data - you can easily track what works and what doesn’t
  • You can make immediate changes to your campaigns any time, day or night
  • High return on investment - since you only pay when someone actually clicks on your ad
  • Eco-friendly: since everything is accessed over the internet, no need for brochures or other paper-consuming tactics
  • No set up fees


  • Your audience requires access to a computer and knowledge of how to use internet search engines
  • Competitive - some of the keywords you may want to bid for your competitors will be vying for too, which pushes up the cost per click.

There is no right or wrong way for you to target potential customers - the best way to decide what makes sense for your business is to put yourself into the mindset of your customers. Where are they when they're looking for your services and how do they find them?

Perhaps you would benefit from investing in a little of both methods and then analyse the results.

Be sure to check out our
case studies section for some inspiration!

 [S1]link to why sell online

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