Our 8 part guide on all aspects of SEO, from how search engines work to the effects of UI and UX.
If you have recently set up in business or you have a new website, it is almost inevitable that you will want to let everyone know about it. However, even if you have developed a product or service that everyone needs, it can be challenging to share your ideas with the rest of the world. It is at this point when using Search Engines like Google plays a huge role in reaching out to your target audience.
When you are just starting, knowing how to reach your target audience can be tricky, let alone achieving your objective. Most organisations need to have short, medium and long-term strategies to not only build strong foundations but also ease their cash flow. Therefore, it is advisable to adopt one or both of the two most popular strategies, organic SEO or Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing.
In this article, we will investigate which option is best for you to get you in front of your target and audience and find your customers or clients.
Organic SEO is a long-term approach to getting your content ranked on the leading search engines such as Google. Generally, this will mean that you will appear higher in organic searches and will remain there for longer, assuming that everything is done correctly. It is this organic content that appeals to trusted audiences and is particularly useful for local searches. Building trust and rankings take time, but the benefits are far longer lasting.
Nowadays, when most of us want to purchase a product or a service, one of the first things that we do is conduct some research on Google. It is a fast and effective way of gaining the information that you want. It is an incredibly useful tool from a customer or consumer’s point of view, but it is only valuable for the supplier if they are one of the sites that the person browses.
In reality, most web users will only look on the first couple of pages of results; if you don’t appear, then your target audience is unlikely to know about what you offer or gain the answers that they are looking for from you at least. Providing solutions and appearing to be an expert in your chosen sector is arguably just as important as being able to find the products or services that are required. Being viewed as an authority is essential, and this is where organic SEO comes in. By its very nature, it will be reaching out to the people who already have an interest in your field.
Achieving strong SEO results takes time, and will ultimately depend on the level of competition for each of your chosen SEO keywords.
Every day the search results for each keyword will fluctuate slightly as websites get updated and Google makes changes to its algorithm, which is made up of lots of individual ranking factors designed to deliver the best results for each search query.
Although the search algorithms will change regularly, the basic fundamentals will remain the same and each search engine will reward or rank websites that contain great content, easy to use and popular amongst other relevant websites.
What is PPC?
PPC is another form of search engine marketing (SEM) that helps to promote your website on paid mediums such as Facebook or Google itself. The website’s owner pays the publisher to advertise their products and get them in front of their target audience. Each time someone conducting a search clicks on the paid ad, a pre-agreed fee must be paid. PPC has the potential to provide instantaneous results, and the advertiser only pays a fee when there is some interaction with potential customers or consumers. In theory, at least, the only interaction should be with people who are genuinely interested in your products or services.
PPC is most frequently used on Google, the world’s most commonly used search engine with an 81.5% market share but is available on other search engines and social media. With Google Search Ads, owners of websites “bid” for specific keywords. The successful ones will rank at the top of Google’s first page, thus increasing their chances of their target audience clicking on the site. You will be able to recognise these sites as they will have an “Ad” marker displayed next to them. Keywords that are searched more frequently naturally cost more money, so this can be an expensive approach.
The benefit of PPC marketing is that new websites that haven’t gained enough authority to start ranking organically can still appear at the top of Google searches. It is a fantastic short-term solution as it allows you to become instantly competitive and get in front of your target audience. In the medium and long-term, it is useful in crowded markets where competition to rank highly organically is exceptionally fierce.
So far, we have provided you with information about why different methods of digital marketing are used. However, to help answer the question regarding whether organic SEO, PPC or a combination of both is best, we will provide you with some statistics.
- According to HubSpot, paid ads are ignored by 80% of browsers with most people placing higher levels of trust in organic links
- The number one source of traffic for content sites is organic searches which are 300% more effective than social media a report by Imforza.com suggested. Most consumers make initial contact with an organisation via an organic search
- The ROI from SEO accumulates over time with 30% of traffic and 20%of revenue being derived from an SEO search and potential clients usually visit a website more than once before making a buying decision. Over time, sites that rank higher for several keywords a more likely to receive hits
- Locally searched businesses, the ones that benefit the most from organic SEO, are contacted 88% of the time within 24 hours if they have been viewed on a mobile device and these types of searches have increased by around 900% in the last two years
- Blogs are an essential part of organic SEO, and one in ten blogs are compounded. As a result, the traffic that they receive aggregates which usually equates to higher levels of conversions. Historic content plays a critical role in acquiring customers and enhancing your domain authority
- An “organic-first” strategy if a critical part of building long-term success with PPC marketing sometimes adversely affecting the outreach of the website as some searchers believing it damages the credibility of the site
- According to Power Traffick, the top three PPC advertising spots on the search engine results page (SERP) receive 46% of the clicks
- Most people have installed some form of Adblocker on their mobile devices, laptops or desktop computers. It is great for some consumers but not so good for marketers if significant proportions of the target audience are unable to see your ad. It is mainly a problem when it comes to Facebook marketing
- PPC ads are fantastic for a new website as they can increase brand awareness by 80%irrespective of Adblockers, therefore, they can generate fast results
- Google is renowned for changing its algorithms several thousand times a year; in 2018, it was 3,234 times. This can harm your organic SEO, but PPC ads will remain unaffected
- In a blog by HubSpot, it reported that 63% of users would click on a PPC ad if they thought it was relevant. With each $1.60 spent on Google AdWords estimated to generate $3.00 in revenue it suggests that investing in PPC achieves the desired returns
- As advertisers bid for keywords, 75% of users believe that paid ads are more likely to conjure up the results that they are looking for. The result is that PPC ads accomplish to goals and objectives of both the advertiser and the consumer, creating a win-win situation.
Which Should You Choose?
The strategy that you will adopt will, in most cases, be determined predominantly by your budget and your business goals. Many SEMs will have smaller budgets, and cash flow will be a concern with short-term results essential if they are to continue longer-term investment. In this case, PPC is a necessity to increase the company profile and generate instant returns. While potentially, this can be expensive, choosing keywords that create lower volumes of traffic and are therefore cheaper, maybe a compromise.
Naturally, all organisations crave longevity, and this can only be achieved by putting the foundations in place using organic SEO. As achieving the desired results may take weeks, or even months, this is sometimes not an option on its own. The work conducted with organic SEO is permanent as opposed to temporary with PPC advertising in that paid ads stop working when your budget runs out. Historical blogs and content, as we identified, often generate results for years.
In reality, the best option for almost all new websites is to adopt a combination of both strategies. This approach should fulfill both your short-term and long-term objectives creating a sound website on which you can build your business.
If you’re looking for some help with a new business or website, or have an existing SEO or Ad campaign that isn’t performing, speak to a consultant at Phoenix Media and arrange a meeting today!