If you’re wondering how to get your business’ website featuring higher in Google’s rankings, you’ll likely have come across the terms SEO and PPC. You may have a basic understanding of what these are, but how do you decide which is the best strategy to get results for your company?
What are the differences?
You probably know already, but the principle difference between Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is that the traffic to your website that arrives because of the former is free.
With PPC, it isn’t; you must pay for every click that results in a website visitor. Both are an essential part of a sophisticated digital marketing plan. And, because you’re reading this, you’ll agree with us that devising a comprehensive strategy can give you an edge over your competitors.
Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches…
Search Engine Optimisation
SEO is the most commonly-used tool when it comes to optimising the position of a company website in search engine results.
Done well, it can be a powerful way of generating new business leads.
And that, of course, is why you’re here. The truth is that few people spend a long time poring over search results. In fact, many don’t go beyond the first page. Therefore, it’s essential to try and ensure your business appears as high as possible.
SEO helps to generate respect and trust for your brand, with 40% of users clicking on the first naturally-occurring search result. That means they may well scroll past a paid advert but choose the SEO-optimised website at the top of the results. As mentioned above, SEO-delivered traffic is free, but it takes time to reach you.
That is why SEO should be considered a medium to long-term strategy that will slowly help to build an online profile of your business. Many of the methods used to boost it, such as blog posts, also have added value in that they can be shared more widely.
What drives traffic?
The traffic is targeted, built on a foundation of relevant content you publish on your website. For example, many people search for answers to specific problems – and usually expect an immediate answer. Google responded to this by developing a ‘Q&A’ facility as part of its search results. You’ll have seen it in action.
Let’s assume, for example, you run a plumbing business, and someone asks: “How do I change a dripping tap?” If you have a relevant blog post, or web page, that answers the question, then a section of text would appear in the Google’s results.
This represents a great opportunity to create appropriate content for your website. Your answer to the dripping tap question might contain information on how someone might fix it themselves, but ultimately conclude that the complexities of modern taps mean that it’s best to get professional help, with a call for action to contact you.
As the amount of tailored, targeted content on your website grows, the number of questions you answer increases, and the chances of different search terms returning are enhanced too. That is why we say SEO is best implemented as a medium to long-term strategy.
But what if your enterprise is relatively new, perhaps you’ve just established a web presence, and urgently need to increase cash flow to build a viable business?
SEO can a play a significant part in your strategy, but the lack of immediacy might mean you need to consider other approaches that generate speedier returns.
Using Pay-Per-Click through an advertising platform such as Google Ads quickly generates traffic to your website. It can ensure you’re always near the top of search results for a variety of keywords, and is a way to establish yourself as a significant operator in your chosen field with a secure place at the top of the search results. As a result, it can help your business appear a serious player.
To be successful, it requires you to have a large enough budget to rank highly on Google for a broad range of keywords. Some of the clicks you pay for will also come from competitors in your field or locality, and from marketing companies who work for them. Each of those will reduce the amount available for clicks from genuine potential customers.
A word of warning; it pays to be careful about who you ask to create and manage your Google Ads account. Many business owners find out that they have no control over theirs, and consequently their ongoing input is limited and not transferable. If they choose to move on from their current provider, they would have to begin their Google Ads campaign all over again.
Pay-Per-Click isn’t an instant solution, but if it’s done well, you retain the right of access your account, and if your budget is both big enough and used wisely, it can generate effective results.
So, which is best?
The answer depends on your business, where you are in terms of development and the size of your budget.
Ideally, both together can create a powerful synergy for converting search terms into traffic and more revenue. So, while an initial pay-per-click approach might deliver some quick results, it should be backed up with a content-building SEO strategy that delivers over time.
Take a look for yourself; most of your competitors will not be adding regular content to their website. Our sharply-tailored copywriting will ensure yours answers the questions potential customers are asking and at the same time increase the profile of your business.
Publishing with consistency as part of a schedule is time-consuming, and ensuring it does the job requires skill. We can take care of that, permitting you to dedicate more time to your core business.
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Further reading on SEO