When it comes to marketing, business owners often have a choice to make. There are multiple tools and techniques that can be used to promote your products and services, but which are best for your business?
With Internet usage increasing year on year, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and PPC (Pay Per Click) have emerged as leading marketing tools, but how do you go about deciding which option works best for your company?
If you’re looking to streamline your marketing strategy, and looking to create more leads, here’s a handy guide to SEO and PPC marketing to get you started.
What is SEO?
SEO is one of the most potent modern marketing methods. Search engine optimisation capitalises on the popularity of search engines, providing consumers and web users with links to websites and landing pages based on their query.
When you use a search engine, you type some keywords or phrases into a box, and seconds later, you’ve got a list of results in front of you. With Google processing more than 40,000 searches per second , this is a marketing channel that can be incredibly lucrative and powerful for businesses.
The aim of SEO is for companies to get their results as close to the top of page 1 as possible. Statistics show that 75% of people don’t bother to scroll down past the first page, so it pays to be on top.
When a potential customer searches for a product or service that is relevant to your business, you want to ensure that your content is visible. If you have a prime position on the results page, the chances of attracting a customer and creating a lead are much higher.
The Pros and Cons of SEO
SEO can be an incredibly effective marketing tool due to the staggering popularity of search engines. The trouble is that it can often be challenging to get to the top, and if you’re languishing on page 5, your investment in SEO would need to be substantial to achieve page 1 results.
Like all marketing methods, there are pros and cons of SEO. Here are the most significant advantages and disadvantages:
Cost: While many companies choose to hire professional digital marketers to handle their SEO campaigns, it is possible to run your own SEO strategy and try it for free if you’re starting out, and you don’t have a large budget.
Long-term impact: Search engines are incredibly popular, and the majority of people now rely on them as a go-to source for information.
If you invest in SEO, and you’re willing to stick with it, you should enjoy long-term results. SEO doesn’t work overnight, but when it’s done well, it can enable you to reap the rewards for many years.
Brand promotion: To rate highly on search engines, you will need to create and share high-quality, informative, useful content.
This helps to improve your search ranking, but it can also enhance your brand’s reputation and raise brand awareness.
If you’re at the top of the page, consumers are more likely to trust you and view you as a reputable business, and this could help you to win customers and beat the competition.
Impressive ROI: SEO has the ability to offer an impressive ROI, especially if you don’t have a huge budget. Local SEO is particularly cost-effective, and it generates a much higher click-rate than paid adverts. For example, The top organic search results represent around 25% of organic keyword searches, compared to 2-3% for paid ads.
Time: It is very unlikely to see results overnight when you launch a new SEO campaign. It can often take months, even years to enjoy the full effects of a successful SEO strategy.
Complexity: It is possible to run your own SEO campaigns, but this is no walk in the park. SEO is complex, there are rules and algorithms in place that dictate search ranking, and you’ll be required to create high-quality content.
Not all business owners have experience or skills in marketing and content production, and in this case, it’s often better to enlist the services of a professional, which increases the cost.
Unpredictability: Google changes the way it works on a fairly regular basis, introducing new algorithms and making adjustments to existing formula.
This means that SEO can be unpredictable.
Difficult to test: Using SEO gives you control over your content, but unfortunately, this still doesn’t make testing easy.
Sometimes what you do may not work as intended and investigating why can be a time consuming exercise.
What is PPC?
PPC, or pay-per-click, is a popular form of marketing, which is often used alongside SEO.
With PPC, you create and publish advertisements through Google Ads (previously known as Adwords), paying a fee every time somebody clicks on your ad.
PPC marketing targets customers who are likely to have an interest in a specific product or service, as the ad appear when you conduct an online search using a platform like Google, with keywords relevant to the search query that you set up within that ad campaign.
If you’re looking for a local plumber, for example, and you type in your query, you’ll be presented with links and a series of ads. If you click on the ad, the company will pay for that click.
PPC is a competitive form of marketing, and to perform well, you have to be willing to pay for the top spots. When you create ads, you’ll bid for a place, and the amount you propose will affect your position on the page.
The Pros and Cons of PPC
Like SEO, PPC offers advantages, but it’s not perfect for every business.
Here are the main pros and cons:
Rapid results: The best thing about PPC for most businesses is the speed at which it works. You can enjoy results almost instantly, making it a much swifter option than SEO.
More straightforward: PPC is not always easy to master, especially if you’re new to online marketing, but it is less complex than SEO. If you use services like Google Ads, for example, you also have access to tutorials and support from Google advisers.
Scalable: Once you’re up and running with PPC, it’s very easy to increase your budget and scale your strategy.
Reduced uncertainty: With PPC, you don’t have to worry about new algorithms, and you’ll know whether or not your ads have been approved shortly after you’ve created them.
Easy to test: With PPC, you can carry out A/B testing easily, using the results to enhance your campaign.
Buyer targeting: PPC enables you to target buyers who are likely to be interested in the products or services you’re selling even within a geographic area.
Payment: When you invest in PPC, you’ll pay for every click. This is fine if your conversion rate is high, but you might end up spending a lot of money if people click on your ads, but don’t take the next step.
Honing your skills: It can take time to get used to services like Google Ads and learn the tips and tricks that maximise conversion rates and minimise wasted capital, for example, removing negative keywords within your campaign.
Lower ROI than SEO: SEO increases your chances of pushing ROI figures up in the long-term, while ROI for PPC is calculated on a short-term budget based on how much you pay for ads and how much you generate in sales of that product. If you stop bidding for ads, your income cannot grow in the same way as SEO, as your adverts will stop being displayed.
Growth is reliant on increasing your budget: If you want to increase leads with PPC, you’ll have to spend more. This can be costly if your service or business is competitive within the platform.
So which is best for your business?
As you can see there are many pros and cons of SEO and PPC.
SEO and PPC offer incredible benefits for businesses looking to take advantage of the ever-growing popularity of the Internet.
In the vast majority of cases, companies can benefit from running both SEO and PPC campaigns.
PPC tends to offer the best short-term, swift benefits, while SEO can boost results in the long-term. If you’ve researched carefully, you understand the ins and outs of both methods, and you take advantage of analytics and feedback, you should reap the rewards of both of these impressive marketing techniques.
If your ready to take the plunge into SEO or PPC marketing for your business, but unsure on where to start, there is help at hand.
We have helped many businesses to design and implement an effective strategy that is tailored to your specific goals and objectives, so when your ready get in touch.