Getting stuck into online marketing for your business unavoidably means mastering a whole new skill set. As you get to grips with the many technicalities and acronyms of increasing your brand visibility, you will be faced with some first-time strategic decisions! Perhaps the most important of these is whether to focus your energy on SEO, PPC, or a combination of the two. In truth, this conundrum does not have a one-size-fits-all solution, but there are things you can consider as you decide what will work best for you. If it all seems a bit daunting, do not worry – getting your head around these terms will not take long. Before we get carried away, however, let’s begin with the basics! What exactly are SEO and PPC?
SEO, PPC and SEM: Letters In Every Direction!
If you have begun to explore online marketing, you may be scratching your head at all of the acronyms. The big daddy of them all is SEM, which stands for search engine marketing. This umbrella term addresses the ways that businesses go about getting their product or service featured on the first page when someone uses Google to hunt for something. SEO and PPC are the two most fundamental forms of SEM.
SEO, or search engine optimisation, means putting in the legwork to make your website as relevant and user-friendly as possible. Doing this will help search engines like Google rank your webpages higher, pushing organic links to your website closer to the top of search results. PPC, or pay-per-click, is a strategy that allows businesses to pay in order to rank higher. When looking at Google search engine results pages (or SERPs – yes, another acronym!) you will spot that some results say “Ad”, or “Sponsored” next to them. These appear because the business behind them has paid Google in order to appear on top! Such PPC Google Ads campaigns, come in the form of brief text ads, service offerings, product listings with images, and video content – all of which will be displayed in response to certain keywords. So, with that covered, lets dig into the ten things to take into account when considering your SEO vs PPC strategy!
1. Your SEM Strategy Needs To Reflect Your Marketing Budget
Using SEO to help your online content appear higher in organic search engine results means that traffic to your website will ultimately be free. Achieving great SEO does require a time investment, both in terms of exploring the how-to’s of SEO, and implementing them – but this is something that you can pay experts to help with, or do yourself, if yours is a smaller business. DIY can be another really handy acronym in the case of SEO! In contrast, traffic coming from PPC campaigns will come at a cost every time someone clicks on your advert.
2. Researching Your Market Will Give You Pointers
If you are a local business, without a ton of competition, a comprehensive SEO strategy can help you climb to the top of SERPs and stay there. If, on the other hand, you are an online retailer who needs to compete with the likes of Amazon and Ebay, you may be seriously outgunned without the help of a PPC campaign from Google! Here, the ROI, or return on investment, for PPC can be truly worthwhile.
3. PPC Can Carry You To The Top Faster
Achieving results from SEO can take time, as you build up your content through effective keyword strategies, high quality content, and other authority markers. Investing in PPC, in contrast, will allow instant results. Because PPC ads appear before the fold, (the portion of the page that people can see before they scroll down), they can be the speediest strategy to get your brand noticed.
4. SEO Is A Long-Term Investment
While traffic from PPC will dry up as soon as you stop paying, effective SEO can support higher ranking far into the future, making it an effort that rewards with marketing longevity.
5. Your Competitors May Copy Your PPC Strategy
Choosing to invest in PPC can sometimes mean taking a bite out of someone else’s pie. Competition in the world of PPC can result in bidding wars over keywords, that will drive marketing costs higher. You may also find that it is your pie being pilfered from! In this sense, recruiting assistance from someone with PPC expertise can help your strategy remain effective and adaptable.
6. Decent Ranking Thanks To SEO Will Boost Your Brand Authority
Today’s online shoppers are a savvy sort, and this means that many know the difference between content on SERPs that has been bought, and that which has ranked via Google’s authority-sniffing standards. For those who prefer to scroll past adverts to SEO driven results, your organic appearance will earn your brand greater validation. Having said that, PPC results still provide the reward of brand recognition, whether they immediately get clicked on, or not!
7. Pin-Pointing Your Target Audience Is Easier With PPC
While Google will try to place SEO driven results strategically, PPC allows you to control who sees your link more closely. You will be able to steer factors such as geographical location, device type, time of day, and day of the week, based on the analytical results you have gleaned from your website.
8. PPC Is A Great Way To Test New Products And Content
Setting an SEO strategy in motion takes time. Investing in short PPC campaigns can allow you to test certain products, landing pages, and so on – even A/B split testing to hone your approach. This can help you select the best approaches to take, and areas to focus your marketing efforts.
9. You Can Inform Your SEO Keyword Strategy With PPC
Likewise, PPC can allow you to test keyword strategies, and identify expensive keywords that are out of your PPC price range but can be moved across to your SEO plan.
10. Combining SEO And PPC Can Ensure Your Audience Find You At Every Turn
Becoming a brand that is on the tip of everyone’s tongue means coming at your audience from as many angles as possible. The larger your audience’s exposure is to your brand, the faster they will recognise or recall it in the moments that count! In this sense, blending SEO and PPC can help you achieve a high-level presence within the browsing experience of potential future customers.
Drawing A Conclusion For Your Business
So, as we mentioned earlier, there is not really a simple answer to the PPC vs SEO question. However, these ten top tips should have helped you to form a picture of what to take into account as you plan for your unique business. Both strategies can certainly provide fantastic potential for ROI when approached efficiently. For many, a pinch of one, and a dash of the other will provide the desired results!
We hope that your online marketing delivers the traffic required to help your business succeed. Remember, if you require assistance to get SEO, PPC, or both, off the ground, Teapot Creative’s experts are on hand, and ready to assist!