In this article, we discuss the differences between SEO and PPC.
Many business owners know that they need to invest in their marketing in order to grow. This investment usually looks like building out a website, sending email campaigns, and implementing paid advertising strategies. The world of digital marketing is one where you could spend a lot of time diving into the information and strategies and come out still confused about what to do and where to spend your money. This is especially true when it comes to SEO and PPC campaigns for your business, so we’d like to dive into the need-to-knows about both strategies and help you determine which is best for your business.
One of the best and most beneficial strategies to invest in is your online presence. Sure, you can spend money on a beautiful website and engaging social content, but if your target audience can’t find you online, then you are missing out on potential customers.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO pertains to the on-site work that you do on your website in order to propel your business to the first page of search results. We always like to tell clients that implementing an SEO strategy is similar to going to the gym – you have to repeat the exercise consistently in order to see results. Just like going to the gym, you won’t see dramatic changes in your search rankings overnight, it’s a practice that you have to do every month in order to keep your rankings high. Around 80% of your website traffic will be generated from search engines so you need to have strategies in place to capture those users and engage them with your site content.
There are many things to keep in mind when you’re trying to build on-site SEO. We recommend taking a deep dive into your website verbiage and make sure the language is clear, helpful, and descriptive. Explain your topic thoroughly and use keywords that you think or know a user might search for online and avoid trying to “trick” the search engine algorithm – this will only result negatively for you. It’s also important to have other sites link back to yours, which shows search engines that your site is relevant to others. You can achieve this through directory listings, blogs reviewing your product/service, or through satisfied customers helping to promote your business. The main takeaway and change you can make today, is going to your website and cleaning up the content so it reflects who you are as a business and what you offer to your customers.
When and How You Should Use an SEO Campaign
You should use an SEO campaign when you wish to have consistent results and when you wish to establish your website with authority. One of the best ways to establish your website is by organically generating traffic to your pages and building upon your reputation until it becomes strong enough to dominate the market. You can generate this authority by writing and posting blogs that play on your keyword spaces, updating your Google My Business listing regularly, and updating the content on your website with intention. The more you have on your website that shows you are the expert in your field, the more search engines will reward you with higher rankings. Having a solid SEO strategy in place will help you in the long run and enable your customers to always be able to find you.
A pay-per-click campaign allows you to target a wider audience and specific demographics in a way that SEO cannot. It offers a chance for you to essentially bid on keyword space and show your ads to users searching for what you have to offer. The benefit of this strategy is that you can change your ads at any time to reach a specific audience, demographic, or to promote a specific product or service. This becomes a great resource for businesses who aren’t able to frequently update their website content every time they have a sale, promotion, or seasonal offering.
There are multiple different strategies that you can take within a PPC campaign, depending on what your goals are. We focus mainly on display, search, and retargeting campaigns and choose so based on the cost-per-click and what the desired outcome is for the client. It’s imperative that you have a good foundation and have done the research before you implement a PPC campaign so that you’re not throwing money at the wall and hoping it sticks.
When and How You Should Use a PPC Campaign
You should use a PPC campaign when you are seeking quick results, promoting something time-sensitive, or would like to dominate your keyword category. The quickest way to see results is to start advertising on search engines as this will allow your message to be pushed out to a wide audience of online users. You can target specific audiences based upon their demographic data such as age range, gender, income bracket, education level, and even marital status. This feature of paid advertising makes it a powerful tool to reach the narrow band of people your business needs and direct them to your website.
It’s also worth noting that using a PPC strategy will enable you to rank above organic search results and theoretically, above your competitors. With search campaigns, you can pay to claim a spot on the first 4 listings of search results and be shown to your audience before they even scroll down to see your competitors. We usually recommend this strategy if the cost per click is low and the searchability is high (meaning people are regularly and actively searching within that keyword space). There is also an opportunity to tag and “follow” your users around the web and serve them ads on other networks and platforms so you can always stay top of mind.
It’s important to keep in mind that both SEO and PPC strategies involve a tremendous amount of work in not only creating the content but promoting it to your target audience. This is where you can determine if your time is more valuable than the cost is to pay a professional to do the work for you. Many businesses contract out the content writing, website updates, and keyword research to an agency and rely on the experts to make smart, strategic decisions for them. We have multiple experts in-house who work on SEO and PPC campaigns for clients across multiple industries and are always excited to help our clients establish themselves online. If you are interested in learning more about how we can help, feel free to contact us today!