Renting or owning ads

Most advertising contracts are short lived. The marketing firm needs to guarantee a steady stream of income, and if you’re not interested in making the next month’s payment it’s pretty easy for them to cut off the service. The same goes for most broadcast advertising on television, radio, and in the newspapers. Even online advertising in PPC formats has the effect of rented marketing. As soon as the budget has been spent, your campaign is inevitably paused.

When you’re renting equipment, space, or ads, you’re never fully in control. Maybe you’ve got a successful marketing campaign – but the firm behind it starts suddenly struggling because of problems with other clients. Maybe there’s an inevitable change in leadership or your contacts or the manager on your project.

Reinventing the ad agency? Not quite

It’s quite possible to take ownership over some of your advertising portfolio – and I don’t mean starting up an internal advertising agency inside your company. Even a third party digital marketing firm can help you to create ad copy that will provide returns for long after you’ve stopped paying for them to be produced.

Any third party agency specializing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will be able to build up a published portfolio that’s ultimately yours to keep. While sites with more constant updates and recent evidence of user engagement tend to rank better, there’s no final expiration date on a great collection of content. Best of all, you’re in full control with full ownership of the domains, the content, and all brand related materials used in the promotion process.

Of course, there are annual fees for owning a domain name and monthly costs for hosting, but that’s like comparing property tax to rent. You pay the registration of $10 or $15 a month to an ICANN accredited registrar for the domain name, but you own it – and that’s a lot cheaper than it would cost to rent. You’ll also get the hosting for just a few bucks a month unless you’re running a heavy traffic project.

That alone doesn’t do much, but it does provide a blank slate that your inhouse marketers or third party SEO firms can build up an empire of content and sales routes. One you own – not rent.

SEO is longterm ownership of brand authority

SEO works by optimizing for your brand’s presence and popularity online. By structuring your websites and crafting your content to match user search intent, you can turn your expertise and ability to help customers in to traffic from highly motivated searchers.

Be aware, though: unlike rented ads, there’s no way to cut ties fully with your SEO past. Since you are the ultimate owner of the product and the effort of your brand’s SEO presence, it’s important to realize that things can go wrong if the work is done by an inexperienced or unethical agency. Shortcuts, hacks, and “too good to be true” promises can lead to penalties that might overshadow the other positive SEO factors your company’s website has.

So it’s important to go with a trusted provider – or train someone to do the work within your own company. Either way, the product of the work is so valuable that it’s pretty important that every business invest in this mode of advertising. What? Did you think your customers were still reading the phonebook? There’s a whole generation and a half that will use their phones for anything but making a phone call.

SEO pros & cons

In summary, here are some of the pros and cons of starting up an SEO campaign:


  • Ownership
  • Long term results
  • Growing market
  • Quality cuts costs
  • Global reach potential


  • Can be intimidating to learn
  • Bad SEO can also have long term results

With the business transition to digital accelerating through 2020, it’s more important than ever that your marketing and advertising strategy gets updated for the new decade. If you’re not taking in to account the long term effects of search engine traffic and online visibility, you’re leaving money on the table. Take the leap today and ask your friendly, local SEO about how he or she can help you take advantage of all the outlets that are available to you! Stop renting your ads when you can own them!

2 thoughts on “Renting or owning ads

  1. Hi, this is a great point about the longevity of a well crafted SEO campaign! I’m interested in learning more about owning my own ads instead of just renting our visibility from a marketing agency and I might just give you a call about that later this week!

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