The following post comes to us from Keith Coppersmith, an experienced business consultant who serves small businesses and startups.
No matter how big your business is or which industry you are involved with, if you don’t have an online presence, you might as well don’t exist. This sounds harsh but a website or social media profiles are nowadays a must in terms of achieving success in the business world.
However, you need to develop a marketing campaign to get noticed, so to help you come to the optimal solution when it comes to search engine ranking, here is an overview of the popular strategies, SEO and PPC.
The pros and cons of PPC
The idea behind Pay Per Click (PPC) strategies is that you run online ads and each time someone clicks your ad, you pay a fee. Based on certain elements, such as the landing page you selected, expected click-through rate, and ad relevance, your ad can be the first or among the first displayed on the search page. Namely, paid ads take up the first four slots on a desktop computer and the first three slots on a mobile device which means with a skillful strategy, you will get the visibility you desire.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of implementing a PPC strategy is that it is quick as it doesn’t take months to reach a high rank. Another essential element is that it provides you with a possibility to target your audience more precisely. You can prioritize their location, interests, time of the day, their language, specific keywords, and many other elements, making PPC a very handy tool.
On the flip side, PPC campaigns can be highly expensive, especially for niche markets, so for instance, lawyers would rather invest in their law firm’s SEO efforts to improve their ranking with a comprehensive and durable solution than to pay a high fee per click in such a competitive market. Also, you have to be aware that the traffic flow will be reduced once you stop paying for the campaign.
The strengths and flaws of SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies serve to help search engines get a better understanding of what you do and therefore rank you higher on the result pages. It combines creative elements with technical expertise and strategic planning and together they ensure your website earns a high position which in return means more traffic for your website. Once you have the customers visiting your website, to minimize the bounce rates and to make conversions, you need to provide them with excellent user experience by way of easy-to-navigate website, entertaining and useful content, all of which load quickly.
Once you set yourself among the first on the list, you will not be easily surpassed since your growth and development are sustainable. This also means that you took your time to establish credibility and build a positive reputation and an average customer will be keener to purchase a product or hire you for a particular service simply because they trust your business.
On the downside, you may not have the necessary time or patience to build such a strategy because your business might require quicker results in which care PPC would be a better solution. Also, developing a custom-tailored SEO strategy for your business means that you or your employees need to have the necessary expertise in that field or they would require to get further education. In that case, you might consider outsourcing your SEO efforts to ensure you get the most optimal solutions for your needs.
The response to the debate of whether SEO or PPC bring more value for your business is simple to answer but might be complex to implement: the answer is – both. SEO and PPC both have their benefits and flaws and they are best used combined. For instance, you can have an overall long-term SEO strategy while for particular promotions and giveaways, you can use PPC to boost the campaign’s visibility in a short period of time. It takes time and skill to get these two to work together but once you put them into effect, you will notice an improvement in the traffic flow and increased sales.
About the Author: Keith Coppersmith is an Adelaide based business consultant with a degree in Media Management. With experience in numerous small businesses and startups, he enjoys giving advice on all things marketing.