You will want to read this entire article if you are paying for your traffic. But if you don’t have time to read all of this, check out the video below.
You see, PPC is easy. There is no shortage of digital marketing consultant claiming they have the perfect recipe for placing ads online that can return amazing ROI. And yes, if you have an amazing product that fits the universal consciousness of a large number of consumers, perhaps you just need to run an ad to watch the sales and profits roll in.
But you are likely a local business owner which means you provide essential services or products, in other words, not sexy.
Everyone needs a roof repaired or replaced, we all need our car fixed, the Dentist should be on all our calendars, etc. – but these are essential needs with a difficult to predict time window of when your consumer will be shopping. e.g. you either have to advertise all the time, “rain or shine.” Or you may end up with campaigns that are out of sync for when your buyers are looking for you.
In recent years, the comparison between SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising models has generated much discussion. This question is which offers a better benefit and with all arguments, opinionated sides have been taken by proponents of both models. So let’s start by looking at the difference between SEO and PPC
SEO COMPARED TO PPC
For a number of good reasons, there has been a surge in the use of the Internet (digital) for advertising as opposed to traditional advertising means such as newspaper, yellow pages, etc. Though direct response mail is still quite popular and for some effective. As consumers have shifted to using a browser and mobile device, so is their attention shifting online, beginning with the search engines.
In a study by Jupiter Research, 81% of consumers were found to determine a purchase decision based on search engine results. For this reason, it is pertinent to engage in online marketing to reach a higher percentage of prospective consumers.
Everyone knows they need to be online but many small business owners don’t know the difference between organic search engine results and paid search engine marketing; SEO and PPC have distinctively different characteristics.
Following are a few ways which you can make a distinction between organic traffic and PPC.
Search Engine Optimization is the process of setting up your website and it’s content so that your site will be ranked as highly as possible for the targeted keywords that will drive sales. The purpose of SEO is to attract more visitors to your page as a result of improved relevance to the search terms being entered by prospective customers.
For instance, if you are a financial advisor in Phoenix, appearing on the first page of organic search engine results, is what you want. This is free traffic, and it’s highly valuable.
PPC advertising is different from SEO. PPC advertisements are sponsored and appear in various places on search engines or websites. Google AdWords is the most popular and well known, though Facebook advertising is very similar, the only difference being that the ads only appear on Facebook which for many local businesses is where you can reach the majority of the market, so this is acceptable.
Google AdWords ads appear alongside search engine results, though they can differ from search to search.
If you search for auto dealers in Scottsdale, you will find the trending SEO results (known as search engine results page or SERP), but alongside these main search results will be sponsored PPC ads. An interesting phenomenon that advertisers are trying to understand and search engines are working to disrupt is something known as “banner blindness.” Banner blindness is when a consumer who has been so acclimated to online advertising, begins not to see it.
The click thru rate (CTR) of PPC is on average between 1.5% and 2.5% while the organic search CTR is approaching 30% if you are in the first position. Just being on the first page of Google can yield greater than a 3x click thru than PPC.
HOW SEO AND PPC CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS
As aforementioned, SEO and PPC results are employed in different ways and the research buttresses this point. Assume you are a newcomer to into a market and you hope to gain grounds with the use of efficient search engine results. The fastest way to achieve this feat is through the application of the PPC advertising model but is it always the best way to go about this?
Organic SEO results from a search have a higher chance of being clicked than a PPC sponsored link. In a study published in an article by Moz, it was discovered that for every PPC sponsored ads that are most likely to be clicked, 8.5 SEO search results have been clicked on. That is a gaping margin.
Taking into consideration individual search engine behavioral patterns, most of us would most likely click on organic search results before we consider clicking on a sponsored ad link to the side.
This spells out the fact that even though synthesizing your webpage content to contain relevant terms to keyword searches may not generate much traffic at first, it remains quite clear that your business stands a chance to get customers and the desired results 8.5 times more when you utilize SEO.
BENEFITS OF SEO AND PPC EXPLAINED
Considering the overly wide margin in the statistical comparison between SEO and PPC, a lot of people may wonder why anybody would choose the seemingly lesser option of the two.
It is actually a question of which model is more appropriate for your website and not about which of the two is superior. There are numerous reasons to employ PPC. Here are some of the reasons:
For newcomers to the marketplace, PPC ads may be a good option in order to introduce yourself and your product to an audience previously oblivious to what you have to offer. It is also especially good if your products have limited quantities. Staying there for too long is not a good option but still a viable option if you have an introduction and are trying to move higher up the search results ladder in a short period of time.
If you have a limited-time special offer running, you may want to consider PPC. this is effectively employed if you ensure you rise to the top of the PPC results. You definitely will not get as much popularity as you would with organic results but many advertisers believe strongly in the PPC results for limited-time offers.
This is especially employed by those who are already on top of the SEO results but are simply trying to out-match competitors or simply push them out of the market. You have to pay each time your ad is clicked through but if you have already made a name for yourself in the marketplace, then the use of PPC will only solidify such.
If you’re oblivious of the extremely low click through rates of PPC and you thought you were doing your business a great deal of good, then PPC may be for you. Research continues to point strongly to the fact that SEO is an immensely superior platform to use when compared with PPC.
YOUR VISITORS WILL APPRECIATE SEO MORE THAN PPC
Although the studies and results all point to the superiority of SEO over PPC, you should take into consideration your preferences when it comes to search engine searches and results.
Searching for something online through search engine trolling is very tedious, but the final result may be greatly gratifying. Evidently, SEO enables you to develop a more trusting relationship with your customer than PPC.
It has the same effect as when you discover a fine romantic restaurant, a keen doctor or lawyer, or that undiscovered retailer; you never forget it. They have stable online presence and provide services to their customers in ways that can not be matched by any other; this is what SEO does.
Another problem with the PPC ads is that most of the time when you click through them, they may not quite fit into the description of what you’re searching for. It may be similar to what you’re searching for but with a closer scrutiny, the PPC results may not be nearly as accurate or gratifying as what you originally set out to find.
If you click through and use that service you discovered through a PPC advertisement, you may be surprised that it may actually be satisfying. And this could spur you to continue to use PPC ads to search for want online.
It is not uncommon to get PPC ads for SEO searches for goods and services that are remotely unavailable.
CONCLUSION: SEO BEATS PPC
It would do your business a great deal of good if you invested a lot of time and energy into synthesising an SEO ad that targets your prospective customers. Research results gives credence to the fact that SEO is better PPC. It may not yield immediately fast results, but SEO will yield the desired effect in the long run unlike the PPC ads which may actually be faster but uncertain as to how long its popularity will last.
Always call to mind the far-reaching ambit and the restrictions of your business; always have it in mind that your customers still prefer the local, consumer-specific services you offer, and I assure you that your online SEO marketing will yield the desired high-end results.
FUNCTIONS OF SEO
1. Crawling and building an index: while searching the World Wide Web, the search engine looks for the most appropriate link. Many related documents are found by the search engine also known as crawlers. Once these crawlers find the appropriate pages, they decode the HTML code, copy all the pages they visit for later processing by a search engine which indexes the downloaded pages so the users can search much more efficiently. There are many databases all over the world simply for holding trillions of pages that can be view in milliseconds.
2. Providing Answers: these search engines provides answers to queries by web surfers. It basically performs two functions: firstly, it returns those results relevant to the search query and secondly it ranks these results according to the reputation of the websites.
THE SEO HIERARCHY OF NEED
– Usability and Web Design: The convenience and ease of use of a website for its users helps the users maximize their encounter with the site. A convenient web design eradicates problems that usually arise for an average site user. Websites don’t necessarily have to be complicated to be classy. A usability testing could be used to assess users’ experience on the website and results applied to improve their experience.
– Keywords and contents: Useful, helpful, significant and related keywords should readily available on a website because over time internet based search engines and web surfers have come to terms with knowledge of the site, its specialty and what it has to offer through these keywords provided on the website.
– Link Development: The link development has been rated as the most valuable characteristic of a search engine. As a website grows and develops in structure, content and design, so does the inbound links to that website. Thus the success of an SEO largely lies on the development of its links.
– Analytics and Web Intelligence: By applying web diagnostics and systems from the onset, the importance of SEO can be determined. Web analytics and diagnostics is the core of all thing put up on the internet, thus the advertising job done at the initial stage goes a long way in attracting visitors to the website.
– Site Architecture and On-Page Elements: when putting into consideration the search engines as related to page elements, site architecture and server performance must be maximized. Siloed site architecture usually creates the theme content sections of the site which are in line with the theme of the website.
PROCESS OF SEO
1. Research your keywords
Keyword Research: recognition of keywords applied in maximizing user experience is included in this process, mainly because it is an important aspect of the process searching for high viewership by users with a far less significant patronage for its competitors.
Competitive Research: analysis comparing a website with its competitors whether online or offline is over immediately an accurate keyword is located on the website.
2. Reporting & Goal setting – measure to ensure positive outcomes
Once the development of the total depiction of the website’s take off point is done, the aims for SEO are then set. This is pertinent to retrieve facts and figures from the site traffic.
3. Content Building – “content is king”
When the content is bulky with top notch quality, it becomes even better for the search engines.
4. On-Page Optimization
The following steps are used in page optimization:
– Page Titles
– Text Based Navigation
– Prominence of Targeted Keyword
– Site Map
– ALT & Meta Data
– Clean Up the Code
5. Social and link building
Building In-Bound Links: people searching for services and products offered on a website as well as search engines searching for same services and products, will be greatly aided if a reliable link is available.
Social Media: Social media presence can not be over emphasized in this matter; the companies must be ready to showcase themselves by conducting promos and sharing freebies online to attract people to use their website more.
6. Follow-Up Reporting and Analysis
Many aspects are related to pre-optimization levels which could include Site traffic level, social signals amongst others. Hence reporting is done at regular time gaps at post-optimization stage just as was done regularly at the foundation levels.
Social networks, ad networks and other digital / online marketing tricks may come and go, but there is one universal search mechanism that will never “go away” and that is the Internet search engine – specifically, Google. This is why putting the energy and investment into ranking your website is the most cost effective marketing initiative you can undertake. 10x your business today with SEO!