It is everyone’s goal to own a successful business. With the way that technology has developed, it’s become easier than ever before to open a business and promote it online. But with so many options, deciding which one might be right for your business can be overwhelming. In this article, we’ll cover two of the most popular digital advertising outlets: SEO and PPC
To start with, let’s understand both aspects separately and see how they work for your business.
What is SEO?
SEO, also called organic marketing, refers to the process of promoting your business for free. This is very different from PPC, which is paid marketing. SEO works by having people find you organically through keywords that are related to what you sell or the services that you offer. For example, if I was looking for a mechanic in my area I would type in “auto mechanic near me” into Google. If your business is listed for that keyword when people search then you can be found organically through SEO.
How does it work?
There are three main components to SEO. The first is on-page optimization, which involves making sure your website is properly formatted with the right information. For example, if you provide a list of services then make sure your website lists all those options including ones that might not apply to anyone but you. This makes it easy for Google’s search engine to understand what your company does and instruct its users on how they can find you.
The second component is off-page optimization. This involves getting links to your website from other websites whether it be through blog posts, videos, or any other type of content. These links help Google understand that your site is popular and authoritative on the subject of whatever service you are offering.
The third component is social media optimization. Social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest etc… all offer their own SEO benefits. By having a strong social media presence it helps give you more authority which can improve your search results.
Benefits of SEO
- You can find new audience members.
SEO is all about getting your name out there, so it is an excellent way to reach people you’d never be able to reach otherwise.
- Easy to track ROI.
Since SEO is free there are no financial risks involved with trying it out for your business. This makes it easy to track your ROI by seeing if you receive any traffic when using SEO
- It has long term effects.
Once your business starts getting viewed organically for certain keywords, the more likely people are to find you through similar keywords in the future. This means that even without doing SEO you can still continue to receive traffic for free.
Downfalls of SEO
- Takes a long time.
The more popular a keyword is the harder it is to rank well in search engines, so if you have a super competitive keyword but don’t have the budget then you might not see results overnight. This makes it hard to justify using SEO when there are so many other immediate short term options.
- It’s not guaranteed.
Just because you are found organically for a certain keyword doesn’t mean people will click on your website or that they’ll even see your website at all. So there is no guarantee that the traffic you receive is going to turn into sales. This makes it hard to justify using SEO when there are other options that guarantee results.
What is PPC?
PPC, also known as paid advertising, refers to placing ads on websites to get your business in front of new customers. Companies like Google and Facebook offer paid ad platforms where you can choose specific users and show them an advertisement for a set amount of money.
For instance, if your business is a bike shop you could show people looking for bikes ads about the different types of bikes that you sell. If they click on your ad then it can direct them to your website or app and they’ll be able to make a purchase without leaving Facebook’s platform.
How does it work?
You choose how much money you want to spend on advertising per day, per week or per month. Then you choose where your ads will show up. Facebook lets you choose whether to target people by their age, location, gender etc… Google is similar except it also provides a keyword option as well as demographic and interest targeting.
You can either create the ad yourself using whatever text and images you choose or you can create a campaign and have Facebook/Google automatically choose the text and images for you.
Once you’ve created your ad(s) and chosen where to place it users will see it in their newsfeeds when they log into their accounts. If they click on your ad then there is no charge and the person will be directed to your business’ website or app.
The Benefits of PPC
- It’s fast.
Advertising on paid platforms ensures that your ads are seen, you can’t pay for something and hope people will see it even if they don’t want to. If someone clicks on your ad then you are guaranteed to be in front of them.
- It’s guaranteed.
There is a reason people have been using paid advertising for years, it works! If you have the money and you’re willing to spend it then there is no reason why your ads shouldn’t show up in front of new potential customers.
- It’s measurable.
You can’t say thank you to someone who views your ad so you have no idea if it worked or not, but with paid advertising, you can keep track of which ads led to the most sales and throw out any ads that aren’t working.
- It works on smartphones.
People are using their phones for everything these days from watching videos to reading the news, so using PPC on smart devices is perfect when it comes to reaching new customers.
Downfalls of PPC
- It’s expensive.
Not everyone has the budget to use paid advertising and even if you do there are still things like ad spend limits which means that if your ads aren’t performing well then you can’t keep spending money on them.
- It’s time-consuming.
Anyone who uses Facebook/Google ads knows that it takes a lot of time to set everything up, monitor campaigns, make changes and figure out if your ads are working or not. This makes it hard to justify using PPC when there are other options that can take care of everything for you.
Verdict: SEO Vs PPC
So should you use SEO or paid advertising? The truth is that it depends on your business. If your business doesn’t have the budget for PPC then you’re better off using organic search because at least you can get traffic and conversions, but if money isn’t an issue then choosing between the two comes down to what type of return on investment you want to see.
Working with an SEO agency will help you generate sustainable growth for your business over time because the more traffic you get the higher chance it has of turning into sales. Paid advertising might lead to better short term results but if your budget runs out before you can make anything worthwhile then all your hard work is wasted.
Do your research and figure out which option is best for you, SEO or PPC. If you choose the right one then it could be your ticket to better business.
According to experts, implementing both highly effective SEO and PPC tactics can work wonders for any company’s business growth. If you are still confused about what route to take, the best solution would be to hire an expert digital marketing agency or consultant to examine your business’ needs and recommend a mix of both strategies based on your budget for optimal results.