Using the power of search engines to bring in business should always be a part of your digital marketing efforts. Search engines like Google have been proved to be incredibly powerful, and things like Search Engine Optimisation and Pay-Per-Click advertising that are optimised for Google (as well as other search engines) can help you achieve truly incredible results.
But with so many different digital marketing tools available to business owners these days, how do you narrow down what is really important and what is worth spending your marketing budget on? Well, two arenas that are definitely worth focusing on are PPC advertising and SEO.
While you may see these digital marketing efforts as an unnecessary cost for your business, you may think otherwise by the end of this article.
In this article by Real Business, we’ll have a look at how important SEO strategies and PPC advertising are to business, how SEO and PPC can work together to achieve incredible results, and what other forms of marketing can bring in business.
What is PPC advertising?
PPC stands for pay-per-click. This type of advertising is so popular because you only pay each time a user actually clicks on your ad. PPC advertising is mostly offered by search engines. Google offers their own PPC advertising called Google Ads. But social media platforms, such as Facebook, also offer their own form of pay-per-click advertising. In recent years, this type of advertising has gained immense popularity, and it is used by millions of businesses worldwide.
There are many different types of PPC ads, including:
- Display ads
- Remarketing ads
- Video ads
- Shopping ads
- Social media ads
- Gmail sponsored ads
- Amazon advertising
- And more
The Benefits of PPC advertising
PPC advertising would not be as popular as it is today if it weren’t for the many benefits that it has to offer businesses. Some of the benefits associated with PPC advertising include:
- Get Immediate results – One of the best things about PPC advertising is that you start enjoying results almost immediately after your initial investment.
- More web traffic – PPC advertising is a very effective way to bring more interested parties to your site.
- Thrive despite the algorithm – Unlike SEO, you don’t need to take the Google algorithm into account when creating PPC ads.
- Return on investment – PPC advertising is definitely affordable, and with the heightened web traffic, you’re sure to get a great return on your investment.
- Generate leads by targeting specific areas – PPC advertising usually allows you to target specific areas.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. SEO is essentially a range of strategies that aim at optimising your website so that it will be favoured by Google (and other search engines) and therefore show up near the top of organic search results. In essence, SEO aims at making your website more user-friendly, authoritative, professional, and well-written. There are many different things that Google can crit you for, and the Google Algorithm changes quite frequently.
Some SEO strategies include:
- Use of keywords in copy
- Optimising loading speeds
- Optimising meta tags and meta descriptions
- Incorporating UX to your website
- And more
It should be noted that SEO strategies can take a while to start showing results, and that is why patience is very important.
The benefits of SEO
- Brings in customers through organic searches – Most web users like to skip the paid ads at the top of search results and head straight to the organic search results.
- Trustworthy web experience – When visitors browse your website, SEO ensures that your site appears trustworthy and professional.
- Create a good user experience – SEO focuses on user experience and creating convenience, appeal, and easy navigation for the user.
- It can be done on a budget – SEO strategies are relatively affordable to invest in.
- Trackable – Your results can be tracked, and you can keep up to date with your various efforts.
Why SEO and PPC advertising is so important for businesses
What you need to understand is that it is highly likely that your competition has already invested in both SEO and PPC advertising, which means that they are getting ahead of you if you have not yet started your digital marketing efforts.
The other thing that you need to realise is that we live in a digital era. Everything we do is online, and this online existence has been heightened in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Your customer base is most likely looking for businesses just like you online, and if you are not at the top of the PPC ads or the organic results, then you can wave goodbye to those potential customers.
It is also important to note that SEO and PPC advertising cannot simply be generalised as passing fads. These are digital marketing strategies that have been around for a long time and have proved their worth by showing results when used correctly, again and again.
Using SEO and PPC cohesively
Many business owners tend to view SEO and PPC as two completely separate entities when the truth is that these techniques work best when used in unison. Both SEO and PPC are digital marketing efforts that aim at helping you grow your business, assert an authoritative brand voice, and attract new customers.
While SEO and PPC are different in many ways, their objectives are the same for the most part. Another noteworthy similarity is the fact that they are both keyword-driven, and the right keywords play a huge role in their success.
To get the most out of SEO and PPC, you should be using both simultaneously.
Investing in both SEO and PPC advertising can offer your business the following benefits:
- Maximising your SERP coverage – For example, if you invest in both PPC and SEO and use similar keywords, when a user gets to search results and decides to skip the adverts to get to organic results, your site will still be near the top. That means you gain double exposure.
- Play the long and the short game – PPC advertising gives you almost instant results, but when it comes to SEO, you are playing the long game and results can take a while to nurture. By investing in both, you play the long and the short game and expand your results’ lifespan.
- Elevated brand identity – When a user clicks on a PPC ad and is taken to a completely optimised website for SEO, they are more likely to be impressed with the site, stay on the site for longer, and have a higher potential of converting to a customer. In essence, there is no real point in having a PPC ad out there if it is only going to lead the viewer to a poorly optimised website.
Is it worth the cost?
One of the greatest things about both SEO and PPC is that they are affordable to businesses of all sizes and budgets! The services are scalable and flexible, giving you a lot of control over how much you want to spend and can afford to spend. In many cases, SEO and PPC actually give small businesses the incredible opportunity to outrank their larger competitors.
In most cases, businesses get a lot of return on their digital marketing investments through more traffic, more leads, and ultimately more sales.
Does my business need a professional SEO and PPC specialist?
If you really want to make the most out of SEO and PPC opportunities, then you should definitely invest in the expertise of a professional digital marketer. Any good digital marketing agency should be able to offer you both of these services. Because of their experience, knowledge and skills, they’ll be able to best advise you as to how you should spend your digital marketing budget, which keywords to use, which search phrases to optimise for, and more. PPC and SEO definitely take a lot more skill than you might think, and it can be easy for business owners to make mistakes should they attempt to take on SEO and PPC themselves.
That is not to say that it is impossible to handle your own PPC and SEO if you are a business owner. Just understand that it will be time-consuming in the beginning stages and that you may not get the results you’re looking for straight away.
What you need to watch out for when it comes to SEO and PPC advertising
Just like with any form of online marketing, there are mistakes that you could make that could end up backfiring your marketing efforts. Some things to look out for include:
- Hiring the wrong company – If you get your digital marketing done by a digital marketing agency, you want to make sure that you’ve chosen the right company with thorough research before signing. The right company can help you get results that exceed your expectations, while the wrong company could end up in wasted time and money.
- Unsound SEO practises – Unsound SEO practises such as dodgy backlinking could result in your site getting blacklisted, so ensure you have a very clear idea of what you’re doing if you’re handling SEO yourself.
- Expecting immediate results when it comes to SEO – Patience will get you far when it comes to SEO. It takes a while for the results to kick in, so it is important that you remember this when looking at your metrics each month.
- Bidding on the wrong keywords for PPC – When it comes to PPC advertising and Google Ads, one of the most important aspects is which keywords you bid on. Bidding on the wrong keywords could end up with you blowing your PPC budget for nothing.
- Not optimising for the right search engines – While there are many search engines out there, the fact of the matter (for now at least) is that Google rules and most of your potential customers are likely to be using Google for their searches.
Tracking and measuring performance
You should have clear goals in place and ensure that your SEO and PPC efforts are being measured correctly if you want to keep track of your digital marketing investments. You should know how much traffic you want to generate, the budget you have to spend, and the time frame involved with lead and traffic generation. There are dozens of effective tools that you can use to track your progress and provide you with weekly or monthly reports that give you a detailed breakdown of all of the relevant KPIs.
One of the best tools you can use, which is also free, is Google Analytics. Google Analytics can help you analyse the following:
- Keyword rankings
- Time spent on page by users
- Organic traffic
- Organic conversions
Other marketing techniques to bring in business
Apart from focusing on SEO and PPC advertising, there are a number of other marketing techniques that you can use to bring in business. This is not to say that you should forego SEO or PPC, or substitute them in anyway, but rather use them in conjunction with other strategies, such as:
- Social media marketing – Social media marketing is a very powerful form of digital marketing in today’s world. By appealing to specific target audiences on specific platforms, you are able to entice your ideal customers from various generations.
- Email marketing – No, email marketing is not dead. Email marketing can be very effective when done correctly, and email marketing often forms part of other funnels.
- Content marketing – Through skilled storytelling and by making use of blog posts, whitepapers, etc., you’re able to give your brand a voice and reel in potential customers.
At the end of the day, it looks as if SEO and PPC will remain important for the foreseeable future, so it is well worth investing in both of these digital strategies. Every business uses some form of marketing to bring in business, and both SEO and PPC have proved their worth. It doesn’t matter whether your business is small, large, or medium-sized, these strategies will help you bring in more customers!