Competing for visibility in the search results continues to be one of the challenges online businesses inevitably face. Especially now that more and more businesses are going online. You already have an idea about how fierce the competition is and that’s why you’re here. You may have also learned about how necessary SEO and paid advertising are to your business.
So, what are the differences between SEO and PPC? Which one is right for you? Which method of gaining traffic and conversion is better?
Let's find out.
What is SEO
Search engine optimisation or SEO is the process of improving a website to make it more visible on search engine results pages (SERPS) whenever a user enters a query related to it. The process is organic which means unpaid traffic is coming into your website.
Understanding how SEO works is crucial in the success of an online business. At the moment, unless you’re part of the 8.25 percent of people using Bing, Yahoo and other search engines, we all use the same search engine to look up information: Google.
Google holds the position as largest search engine market share in the world with 91.75 percent, and in a day, garners over 4 billion searches worldwide. A percentage of those searches involves your business.
No matter what industry you’re in – whether it’s fitness, health care, law, food or textile – what you want is to be on top of the results when a user enters a keyword or key phrase related to the business you’re in.
There are many aspects to optimising a website so that it gets prioritised by Google. Which is what you want in order for more people to discover your business. In optimising a website for search engines, there are three categories.There’s on-page SEO, off-page SEO and technical SEO. These three should work in unison to make sure that both the user and search engine will find your website relevant and valuable. Business owners who optimise their sites can then expect an increase in visibility through organic or unpaid traffic.
Benefits of SEO
Long Term Results
One of SEO’s most appealing characteristics is its long-term results. It isn’t magic that happens overnight. SEO does take time, however, if the website is properly optimized, the position will be kept for a longer period of time.
The unstable state of the economy is driving businesses to cut down costs and this includes marketing. As an enterprise it’s best to find the opportunity in this state. Look at it this way, while businesses are giving less priority on their marketing efforts and while your competition is slowing down in fear of draining out the budget, you can then jump into this opportunity and invest money where it will serve you the most in the long run – Search Engine Optimization. The strategy that a lot of businesses have yet to understand is to gain an advantage today that will also translate long term.
The value that SEO will bring to your website will accumulate as time goes on and for as long as you aim to have a strong business presence online.
Being savvy at SEO has its perks, it’s understandable that not everyone can automatically assemble a functional SEO team, that’s why outsourcing SEO Services is a viable option. Look for SEO companies that offer everything from web audit, on-page SEO, off-page SEO up to technical SEO, and more so there really is no excuse for not implementing an efficient and effective digital marketing strategy.
As effective and necessary SEO is, it’s a skill that takes a while to master but if you really want to, you can start with learning how to do keyword research and content creation with SEO in mind.
There are on-page SEO hacks that can be done quickly, however there are businesses who take their SEO campaigns seriously. They make sure that their website is responsive and have implemented advanced practices when it comes to on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO. If you plan on competing with these businesses for the top spot, then study how you can optimize for RankBrain and Google Bert (Google’s ranking factors that discerns the context of the queries and matches it with what you have on your website). You can also improve your link building efforts to increase traffic and lead conversion.
If you’re going to partner with an SEO specialist, make sure that on top of mastering these skills, they should have the ability to read and analyze data in a way that will enrich SEO and marketing strategies. An experienced SEO company will have advanced resources and quality SEO specialists that should be able to provide you with the kind of expertise you need.
Improved traffic translates to improved ROI. Following SEO best practices means you have optimised your website so that the content, title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, image ALT tags, meta keywords (among others) give the users exactly what they’re looking for. In turn, your website will have an increased chance of closing leads especially those that already have the intention to purchase.
The credibility and authority of your site can be increased if it appears on top of organic search. A lot of users skip ads and trust organic results more. Why? One of the reasons is because ranking on top of organic results means the page scored high in Google’s ranking system which takes many factors into account. The main ones being the quality of content, usability, security, how many credible websites link to the page and how relevant users find the content of the website is. Compared to paid search which is visible because the position was paid for.
It is undeniable that with the unpredictable economic shift, the need for SEO has increased now than ever before. While it will take a few months to see the results with SEO, the actions you take with it will carry on for years if you have applied. Simply put, spend time, energy and use only the best preactices in your SEO efforts and you will see better results for a longer time.
What is PPC
Pay-per-click (PPC) also known as paid advertising is a digital marketing model where ads are placed anywhere the advertiser chooses to place their ads. Paid ads have a pre-set fee that’s charged for every click of the ad.
One of the most popular forms of paid advertising or paid media is search engine advertising. These are ads which you see along the sides of search pages whether it’s Google, Bing or Yahoo. Advertisers are able to bid for ad placements on sponsored links. This is great for securing website visits as your page or website will appear whenever a user enters a relevant keyword.
PPC is a quicker way of getting traffic into your site. Compared to organic traffic, the results are instantaneous. However PPC management is important. You have to intelligently know who to target and how to target them. Which PPC campaign works best for your target audience. There are so many PPC management services available and you have to choose wisely. Avoid jumping into trends just because your competitors are doing it as you don’t want to waste resources on avoidable mistakes.
Although the length of the ad visibility depends on the amount of budget allocated, Google charges less per click if it evaluates that your ads and landing pages are valuable to searchers.
Benefits of PPC
PPC lets you dominate any position you choose to place your ads. A potential customer will automatically see the paid ads no matter if they decide to scroll over them. Targets can be set according to keywords, time, location, device and user-behavior based on previous visits.
Here are factors that go into a well-designed and well-targeted PPC campaign:
- Well researched keywords that are relevant to your business
- Organise keywords into focused ad groups and campaigns
- Optimise and set up landing pages that will connect the user into your verticals
- Optimise content to ensure that the traffic gained through PPC converts
Like any form of paid advertising, you have more control over the ads, the amount of space you want to occupy and the kind of ad you want to display. PPC enables you to have visual ads that can show users what you’re offering from the get-go. This kind of feature isn’t available in organic search.
Unlike the organic method which can take weeks or months before you can see results, paids ads can be executed in a matter of days and the results are instantaneous. Your ad will quickly show up in front of customers.
Predictable and Stable
Unlike organic search where you don’t know when and where your page will appear, paid ads are more manageable. If you see that your competitors are getting ahead of your ads, then you just have to increase your ad spend to stand out more.
It's also predictable and measurable so you can easily adjust your strategy as you see fit. Here are some data you can gather from PPC ads:
- Who clicked on your PPC ad
- How many leads the ad generated
- Which keywords generated the most leads or traffic
- Cost per lead
- Traffic data that AdWords were able to bring to your website
Which one is for you?
So the question still lingers, should you go for SEO or PPC? The ideal scenario for any business is to have them both work together. There’s really no reason to choose, but if you really have to and you want to focus on just one at the moment then you have to reevaluate your marketing goals. Review your data and delve deeper on what you really need to achieve. Then choose if SEO or PPC is the one for you. Otherwise, you can always do both and devise a hybrid SEO-PPC marketing plan.
What do you get from utilising both SEO and PPC?
Combining the strengths of the two strategies will enhance your traffic and conversion during competitive and unstable scenarios:
- Increase in search engine visibility
- Enables you to reach previous visitors
- Recovering lost interest and lost clicks using PPC
- PPC allowed you to experiment with new keywords to help your SEO efforts
- Gain more data for smart marketing decisions
If you’re still thinking about choosing which is best for your business at the moment then it might be helpful to consult with a PPC management company for a more in-depth evaluation of your needs.
Just remember, if you're setting up a new business and you want instant results, then PPC is the better option. Meanwhile, any SEO service is your bet when it comes to cost-effectiveness and prepping your website for long term results.
However, if there’s a time to execute both, that time is now. Most of your clients prefer no-contact transactions, which means many are dwelling online to look for what they need. To learn more about what strategy is best for your business and to learn more about the topic, you can consult with us anytime.