Once upon a time online marketing was a luxury, but in today’s cut throat world it is a necessity. An overwhelming majority of online users arrive at their desired destination via search engines, meaning that the bulk of your traffic will not come from referrals but rather Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
With this in mind, it is extremely important to cultivate a strong brand presence which will appear boldly on search engines. Online marketing therefore becomes the best way to get your brand in front of your target audience.
How To Go About Your Online Marketing Campaign
While the statements above emphasize the importance of online marketing, they do not show a clear path of going about an effective campaign. So how do you go about it? How do you get your web page in front of your audience?
In this case you have two primary options: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertisement. Each of these options makes up what we call Search Engine Marketing (SEM), which is one of the core tools you need to use when you begin your online market campaign.
SEO And PPC: Going Back To The Basics
SEO is a free way of building traffic via organic search results, meaning that the better and more popular your content is the higher it will rank in the search engines.
This type of online marketing requires hard work and dedication, as the process of positioning your website and content at the top of the search engines page is a long and arduous task.
We all know no one really ventures past the first page of any search engine, but if you manage to optimize your site for SEO your pages will begin to feature more prominently on the first page of search engines like Google.
PPC on the other hand is a method of presenting your content to your audience by paying for ad space in the sponsored results section of a search engine’s results page.
Once a viewer clicks on your ad and arrives on your page, you pay a fee for the click. PPC can be achieved through advertising networks like Google AdWords, Yahoo Advertising Marketing, Google AdSense, and Infolinks to name a few.
What To Consider Before Selecting Your Online Marketing Tool?
There is one main consideration that you need to have in mind before you select your online marketing tool, and this is your budget.
If you have the resources to invest in PPC advertising then you should think of giving PPC a go, but if you are operating on a tight budget then it is prudent to buckle down and start working towards higher search rankings by using SEO.
Below we will look at other arguments to be made for both online marketing tools.
The Arguments For SEO
- Organic results are a much more respected and trusted source of information, and it has been proven that people are more likely to click on an organic result as compared to a paid search result.
In fact, a study conducted by GroupM UK and Nielsen showed that 94% of search engine users clicked on organic results, while 6% chose to click on paid results.
This divergence in results can be attributed to a number of factors, including the fact that many search engine users have developed selective blindness when it comes to paid search results.
Organic results at the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) also depict credibility in the mind of a search engine user, giving them faith in your content, your products, and your services.
- If your content is evergreen i.e. the information provided is relevant even after a long period of time, ranking it high using SEO means that it will remain at the top of the SERP for a long time to come.
SEO therefore becomes a means of keeping your pages pertinent and at the forefront of your target audience long after they were created.
This is in direct contrast to pages that use PPC, as they will fall off the radar of search engines once you stop paying your fees.
- In continuation of the point above, the Return On Investment (ROI) of your site will continue to increase with SEO, whereas it will tend to peak with PPC.
This is because high-ranking SEO pages allow for a steady stream of click-through-rates (CTR), which continue for an extended buying cycle.
When you invest in PPC you will only have the ability to funnel clicks and convert them to sales for a certain period of time. Once you stop paying for ad space the CTR will fall and your ROI will drop proportionally.
- As you already know, SEO comes with no price tag. Therefore if you are a start-up business with a shoestring budget you can still manage to promote your content without digging a hole of debt for yourself.
With a PPC campaign you can end up spending hundreds of dollars each week with no guarantee of sales and revenue.
SEO is therefore a great way of building a long-term revenue source, as long as you are committed to optimizing your site.
The Arguments For PPC
- Unlike SEO which requires time and commitment before results begin to show, PPC generates instant results. This is due to the simple fact that once you pay for ad space the link to your website will begin to appear prominently on the first page of the search engine.
Therefore if you have time-sensitive content like product and service offers, PPC is the fastest way of getting visitors to come to your site.
Additionally, PPC allows you to get your content out when your niche is full of authority websites that cannot easily be displaced by even the most effective SEO campaign.
- It gathers that search engine users who click on a paid advertisement are intent on making a purchase, and it is therefore not surprising that the conversion rates of PPC are slightly higher than those attributed to SEO.
This means that visitors to your site who arrived via a paid ad are more likely to buy your product than those coming through an organic link. If you are in the business of making money this seems pretty fantastic, doesn’t it?
Furthermore, it is much easier to calculate your ROI when you are using PPC rather than SEO.
- PPC marketing also has the ability to promote your website to your intended demographic. With PPC you can now market to people based on their age, gender, education level, marital status, and income bracket.
Your money is therefore not wasted advertising your web pages to people who are uninterested in the content and products provided.
- One of the most frustrating experiences a website owner can go through is losing their rankings because the SEO algorithms used by search engines have been updated.
When these algorithms are updated, the search engine optimization you worked hard on does not matter anymore and you can lose the top spot overnight.
Fortunately this is not the case with PPC, as SEO algorithm updates do not in any way affect your positioning on a SERP. You therefore do not have to worry about losing traffic and the money that is generated by that traffic.
PPC establishes itself as the top choice for carrying out highly targeted campaigns, though it does require some practice before you begin to witness positive ROI.
My Final Verdict
As you can now deduce, online marketing is the foundation of every successful website. You have already seen that each marketing tool carries various advantages, so why make an either-or decision?
It is therefore my belief that you should combine these marketing tools and use each according to the current needs of your website.
SEO offers better value when it comes to long-term search marketing on a budget, while PPC stands tall where quick traffic streams are required for a high converting product.
Therefore if you use both SEO and PPC after careful consideration of your needs and your goals, you will have a powerful online marketing campaign that will elevate your website to the next level.
With all of this in mind take a look at the infographic below which sums up everything we’ve talked above. And don’t leave this page until you drop a comment and subscribe to some more great business tips.