Online marketers are spending billions of dollars in the U.S. alone trying to use pay-per-click advertising to promote their products. The return on investment would assume at first that this is money well spent. But is it really?

While only 15% of the people who use Google, click on paid ads, this results in a substantial amount of traffic. But then you need to consider that 85% of the users are clicking on links to websites that are not paying a cent to be posted.

This is why SEO tends to be a much more lucrative form of promotion. However, pay-per-click is not necessarily a bad thing to try in the meantime for two reasons.

First of all, pay-per-click is a great way to start branding yourself in the early stages of your business when you don't have much of an image yet. Then, when your site starts ranking well in Google you will be able to get better results because people are more likely to visit a site that they are already familiar with.

Secondly, using pay-per-click services is a good way to research which keywords are effective. I would hate to spend three months optimizing a website for a keyword only to find that it wasn't going to give me the conversions I was looking for. You can also use pay-per-click to get traffic from competitive keywords you might not be able to optimize for through organic SEO.

Therefore, the wisdom of SEO gurus may not serve you as well as you would think. Investing a little bit of money in pay-per-click marketing may be a good way to increase the exposure of your Internet marketing campaign and give you some valuable feedback at the same time.

Just don't fall into the habit of relying on it. Remember that SEO should be the goal of your website, as long as you have the time to invest in it. Pay-per-click strategies may only serve as a long-term marketing strategy if you are too busy running your business to do SEO. Even then, there are lot's of quality SEO consultants who can help you for less money in the long run.