If you are looking for a highly targeted and effective way to promote your business or product then you should strongly consider building a website and using SEO to rank the site. SEO, or Search Engine optimization is the practice of ranking websites on specific terms within the Search Engine results. It is targeted traffic that can capture searchers when they have their wallets in their hands looking for a product or solution to their problem. No other form of advertising has the targeted power that SEO can have. Most other forms of advertising have the business person looking for customers. With SEO, the roles are reversed and the customer is looking for the business.
SEO is not a onetime process either. It is not something you do once, get your ranking and then maintain the rankings in perpetuity. It requires maintenance and ongoing work to keep the rankings. Otherwise, your competitors will do what they need to do in order to outrank you. It is an ongoing game that requires work and diligence, but is well worth it in the long run.
You can do the work on your own. But, you need to understand it takes a good deal of research and work to get started. And, as stated, it will take ongoing work to maintain the rankings once you attain them. If you are short on capital then that may be the best avenue to take. And, if you need free advertising because you are low on capital then, again, it can be a good alternative. It just needs to be understood that it takes time.
Alternatively, you can hire SEO consultants to take care of the work for you. The upside of this is they can do all the work for you to attain your rankings while you focus on doing the things it takes to run your business. It frees up your time, basically. The downside is that it costs money to hire them. And, since it is ongoing, it will be a fee you will have to pay to maintain these rankings. Many SEO consultants will offer monthly maintenance plans to help you maintain your rankings. They will usually set this based on how many words you are trying to rank on. It is a good idea to stay away from agencies that say they guarantee number one rankings. Since no one knows exactly how the Search Engine algorithm works it is hard to guarantee that. Plus, they may be doing things to get high rankings that you do not want being done to your site.
SEO is by far the most targeted form of advertising available. Being able to build something that attracts customers puts the business in control. They can then concentrate on other areas of their business while the prospects come searching for them. It means they no longer have to go out and actively seek customers unless they want to do that. It can replace all forms of advertising for some. And, for others, it can be a great supplement to their current marketing efforts.