Back in the day, it used to be TV vs. Radio, or TV vs. Print. In the current age of digital advertising, the discussion now surrounds which marketing strategy will work better for your business – Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or Pay-Per-Click (PPC), otherwise known as Google AdWords.
While both serve the same purpose in regards to your website being shown as high as possible in search results, they do differ in many ways. The good news is, they can both provide a great return on your investment.
Why is it so important to target those coveted spots at the top of Google? Because 93% of all web experiences start with a search engine, of which around 4 billion searches every day are conducted on Google. Let’s learn a little more about the benefits of SEO, PPC and a combined strategy.
Advantages of SEO:
The number one benefit of SEO is it’s all about improving your rankings so you show up in the top ‘organic’ positions in search engines. What we mean by ‘organic’ is that you can’t pay to be in those positions. The only way to get there is by executing a results-driven, comprehensive SEO strategy that focuses on relevant and informative content, high-quality backlinks and range of other technical areas of your website. All of these work together to tell/show Google (and it’s extremely complicated algorithm) that you are the ‘best’ result for that particular search term. Here’s what you can achieve through SEO:
Having your business name and products/services splashed on page one of Google will ensure that people get to know your brand, if they haven’t already. Your presence at the top of the search results can give your business the perception of market leaders.
As your brand builds visibility and credibility, consumers begin to trust you and will be more inclined to click on your search results compared to other businesses. Whether you show up in the top 3, top 5 or top 10 positions, people will be able to identify your website as a trusted source.
Once you’ve established this trust, it will result in far more clicks to your website, which is one of the main ranking factors that will keep you in the top few positions on Google. So not only does that mean that you maintain and increase your visibility, but it ensures that you’re driving a large amount of traffic to your website that can result in paying customers.
One of the most attractive aspects of SEO is that it is very cost-effective, and won’t require as near as large a budget as PPC does. That means that when the results start to show and your customer base begins to grow, you’re ROI will go through the roof!
The single most important consideration you have to factor in with SEO is that you can’t expect results overnight. This strategy requires time and effort, and with the right amount of patience, you’ll see some incredible results in the long run.
As you can see, there are many facets to SEO that need to work together to ensure your strategy is a success. Some companies have a dedicated SEO resource in-house, but with the amount of work involved in maintaining your website and coming up with fresh new content, most businesses – small and large – partner with a digital marketing agency to handle their SEO.
Advantages of PPC (or Search Engine Marketing):
In comparison to SEO, PPC is all about bidding to be in the top positions on Google. When people search for a term, they see a set of ads – usually 2 or 3 with a green label – at the very top of the page. If your bid is high enough compared to your competitors, then you will show in these positions. Every time someone clicks on your ad, you get charged for that click. The more competitive the search term, the more the click is worth. Naturally, this will cost more than SEO, but has many benefits in regards to brand visibility and converting leads. Let’s take a look:
High Traffic Volume:
Being in the top two or three positions on the page has huge value. Whilst some people are less inclined to click on ads, there’s still a vast amount of traffic that comes from these positions. Purely being what’s known as ‘above the fold’, meaning people don’t have to scroll down, they’ll see if your business is relevant to the search term and click on your website straight away.
According to an ‘Economic Impact’ report by Google, for $1 spend on AdWords, businesses can make $2 in revenue, which goes to show the value in which PPC can offer your business. Logically, the more you spend, the better market share you’ll be able to tap into and the more you’ll be able to make in return.
It’s so easy to blow your AdWords investment on irrelevant terms. We see it far too often where a business we come across is bidding on positions and keywords that aren’t actually resulting in more revenue. That’s why you need to have a clear strategy about the different segments of your business that you want to target, then under this, the keywords you want to focus on. Invest your time making sure that the keywords you’re targeting are not only bringing conversions (not just clicks), but also the right kind of enquiry. This way you’ll be giving yourself the best chance at generating a decent return on investment.
Ultimately, the point of PPC is quick wins. It’s about drumming up business here and now. And with the right tailored strategy, it’s very successful in doing so. You just have to be aware that you need to spend – in some cases, spend big – to get the results.
Advantages of combining both SEO and PPC together:
If your business is in the position to do so, combining the two marketing strategies together will bring about the best return. It’s a common plan of attack to start with PPC and move to SEO, or do both and continue to shift the budget towards SEO once you begin to show organically. The obvious benefit here is that although you need to spend quite a lot initially, you can scale your budget back over time and still get great results. Here’s how you can benefit from a combined strategy:
More Exposure = More Clicks:
Showing up twice, or more, gives your brand double the exposure. It also gives you more opportunities to get clicks and shows that you are a true market leader for that search term.
By seeing which search terms get the best results, you can use your PPC analytics to drive your SEO strategy. For example, if there’s a clear PPC search term that’s getting the most clicks/conversion and you’re not showing up organically, you can then target that keyword for your SEO. Once you do rank organically, it then means that you no longer have to pay for the click.
Short & Long Term Success:
The ultimate aim is to ensure you get the quick results with PPC and then gradually shift your budget over time to ensure sustained success through SEO. This is tailored to every business, as there’s no clear-cut timeline.
What’s the first step?
Consulting with a digital marketing agency will allow you to fully understand which strategy will work best for your business. With a targeted, results-driven approach, there are huge benefits for both SEO and PPC, whilst combining them together will bring about even better results.
If you’d like to kickstart your online marketing today, get in touch with our Digital Media Strategists!
Related Tag: SEO Agencies