SEO and PPC aren’t mutually exclusive. SEO and PPC are two of the best marketing platforms out there. It would help if you learned how to use both channels together to win at online marketing.
Your choice will depend on your budget and how fast you want to build targeted traffic. With digital marketing, especially if you’re starting, there’s always the question about SEO vs PPC.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of both? And which one is better for your digital marketing campaign?
The consensus is that PPC costs money, and it brings immediate results, while SEO is free, but takes time. So it’s a simple trade, time for money. Well, it’s more to that than you might expect. I’ll clarify everything below.
What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?
According to this, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s organic results—often referred to as “natural”, or “earned” results.
Having your site listed in organic results can influence the perceived credibility of your site and business with your target audience looking for your product or service.
Many search engine users skip ads and trust organic search results more, and many of these users click on them.
We can divide SEO into two categories, i.e. on-page optimisation and off-page optimisation.
On-page optimisation involves everything that you do on a page to optimise it, e.g. editing its content, adding content, doing HTML or another coding.
We do these to increase its relevance to specific keywords or topics and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines.
You can start by doing some simple keyword research and writing your content. But if you really want to call yourself an SEO expert, you must learn a lot more than just basic keyword research and link building.
Off-page optimisation is activities conducted outside of your web page (hence the name off-page) to promote your web page or site such as creating inbound links (backlinks) to the content of your web page.
SEO may target different searches. For instance, your SEO may focus on targeting image searches, video searches, and news searches.
Most organisations that do SEO focus on Google since it is the dominant search engine. It does not mean that your SEO cannot focus on other search engines such as Bing, Yahoo, and so on.
SEO has evolved a lot in recent times. Gone are the days when organisations focused on keywords alone.
These days, with Google’s recent Rank Brain algorithm change, your focus needs to shift from targeting keywords to becoming an authority or thought leader on specific topics.Use these two strategies in the right way today to maximise your online presence. Click To Tweet
Benefits of SEO
Have you heard the story of the tortoise and the hare? The case of SEO and PPC is like that. You need to start with an effective SEO (Search Engine Optimization) program.
While SEO is slow and steady like the tortoise, it is critical to your success online. The reasons are:
- Unlike paid search marketing, organic traffic through SEO does not dry up the moment you stop paying. Therefore, smart business owners covet organic traffic over a paid search.
- 8 out of 10 users are more likely to click on your natural or organic listing rather than a PPC or sponsored listing.
- Organic listings are the first search results on Google, Yahoo!, and so on. PPC sponsored listing is usually on top or right hand.
- Unlike PPC ads, your website is the hub of your online presence. It must remain visible to all potential prospects and customers everywhere they are searching.
- Websites that follow a consistent SEO program drive more traffic. Users usually have a better experience.
- Implementing a content marketing strategy for your site is great for growing your brand and authority through SEO. This will help you reach potential customers through social media and other marketing channels.
What is Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising?
According to this, Pay-per-click (PPC), aka cost per click (CPC), is an Internet advertising model. It is used to direct traffic to websites, in which an advertiser pays a publisher (typically a website owner or a network of sites) when someone clicks on the ad.
We associate PPC advertisement with Google Ads (formerly Adwords) and Bing Ads. These Adwords ads typically see a 2% average click-through rate. Since the creation of Google Adwords (now Google Ads), Google seems to have given the lion share of benefits to sponsored links. Other search engines have followed, doing the same on their respective advertising platforms.
PPC advertising is also known by various other terms such as search engine advertising, search advertising, search engine marketing, sponsored results, click marketing, “display” advertisements, aka “banner” ads.
These adverts show on sites with related content that have agreed to show ads and are typically not PPC advertising.
Social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and so on have also adopted PPC as one of their advertising models.Many search engine users skip ads and trust organic search results more, and many of these users click on them. Click To Tweet
However, other prominent pay per click sites in Nigeria and abroad are available. Sites using PPC display ads when a search query matches an advertiser’s keyword. Or when a content site displays relevant content. We refer to these types of ads as sponsored links or sponsored advertisements.
Benefits of PPC Advertising
So what about Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising? Like the hare in the story, PPC is quick-hitting adverts that drive traffic to your website. A few critical reasons for PPC advertising are:
- PPC is the most cost-effective form of advertising today.
- Unlike SEO that takes some time to build your ranking, PPC ads take effect immediately. It can vault you to the first page of the search results.
- PPC ads can also focus on a specific area/region, tested and measured for effectiveness.
- According to this article, this prominent position means that most times as much as 50% of the search traffic goes to the top 3 sponsored links.
What is the difference between SEO and PPC?
Many organizations don’t appreciate the differences between paid search (PPC).
How can you tell the difference between the two?
PPC ads (search engine marketing), are at the top and on the side of the results, while organic results are listed lower down on the stage.
SEO draws people into your website organically through search engines like Google, with no financial investment from you.
In SEO, search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing rank you in the SERP (short for search engine results page or search engine ranking pages) based on the quality of your website content and your product/service ratings, among many other factors.
Whether you’re a dentist in Abuja or have a boutique clothing store in Lagos, you’ll want your business to come up on the first page of the Google search results – ahead of your competitors, and SEO optimization is one way to make this happen.
Getting on the first page of the SERPs is more of an exact science with local search than with search that doesn’t include a specific location.
It becomes more difficult when the location isn’t specified in the search query. Nowadays, Google will always look for your location and try to serve you up the most accurate local results no matter what you search for.
But broad searches like “boutique store” also lead to more general content, such as “Differences Between a Boutique and a Retail Store.” It’s in these cases that SEO ranking factors such as backlinks, site speed, keyword relevance and intent, image optimisation, social media and language markup really matter.
According to this article, PPC advertising or paid search is different. It’s less “luck of the draw” and more about when and where you place your sponsored ads. For example, if you search for “cycling shops in Portland, Oregon,” you’ll find many of the most popular SEO results in your main search. But at the top and along the side of the search results page, you’ll find sponsored PPC ads that direct users to special offers or relevant content, as seen below.
But just because paid results come up first doesn’t mean that they’re the best fit for your query. Many times, the PPC ads that you see are from new companies and those that are seeking exposure – no matter the cost, and more money doesn’t equal better products/services. There are times SEO and PPC look very similar, and sometimes results are in both areas of the SERPs.
Once your site is on the first page, you’re much more likely to get the traffic. According to Marketing Land, around 50% of all clicks go to either the first or the second of the results.
Another difference between PPC and SEO, according to this article, lies in the diversity of intent between the two results. Generally, PPC advertising aim for conversion – so when the landing page is picked, this happens with a site conversion in mind.
With PPC advertising, we cannot overemphasize the importance of a landing page. Many e-commerce sites spend a small fortune to optimise their landing pages to achieve the best organic rank and conversion rate possible. The conversion rate is an important metric to watch because if website traffic is not converting, then you’re wasting clicks and money. Therefore, website owners need to pay attention to their landing page.
To achieve success in SEO or PPC in a highly competitive market or competitive industry requires investments in time, resources, and a sound advertising budget to enable occupy as much real estate in search space as possible.
You need sound knowledge in link building, remarketing, Google Analytics, online advertising or display network, content creation, click fraud, long-tail keywords and keyword research. All these have varying degrees of difficulty in the learning curve. But they all help you in having an authority website that will grow your brand awareness and your business.
How to use SEO and PPC the right way?
Have you heard the story of the tortoise and the hare? We all know who wins the race between the tortoise and the hare.
The case of SEO and PPC is like that. You need to start with an effective SEO (Search Engine Optimization) program. An effective SEO program will drive more targeted traffic to your website at a lower cost.
But the hare sure created a lot of excitement along the way! So it would help if you also had the right balance of PPC ads to help boost targeted traffic to your website. My candid advice to clients is to do an 80/20 split between both in favour of SEO. This will help you get the best of both worlds.
So get in the race and use these two marketing strategies properly to maximise your brand awareness and online presence, both for the short term and long term.
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