It’s been a while since we offered some SEO basics and it’s time we brought them back to the blog!
We specialize in SEO for small and medium-sized businesses so it’s naturally in our interest to let the average new business experiment with their own initiatives. That way, they can better understand why our economical search engine optimization option makes sense.
Strategic internet marketing is more than SEO, however. The best campaigns use a mix of tactics.
For example, combining a pay per click (PPC) campaign with SEO helps combine the strengths and counter the weaknesses of both. Let’s break that down:
Pay per click ads are structured so that you only pay when someone clicks on your ad – thus the name. There are lots of different PPC ads, but the most prominent occur alongside standard (or “organic”) search results in major search engines. Google AdWords is far and away the PPC leader, just as they lead in pretty much anything else to do with search.
PPC bidding and budgets are a complicated topic, so suffice to say that you do need to sink some cash into them. The advantage is that you can buy your way to the first page of high volume search results. Combined with decent landing pages, PPC campaigns are a great way to get fast traffic to your site. PPC ads aren’t clicked through as often as organic results, however. Combined with the cost, they’re not a long-term substitute for organic ranking.
Search engine optimization uses improved content, coding and linking to improve your site’s organic rank. Nothing compares to page 1 ranking to generate improved traffic – some surveys say 40% of visitors click through the first organic result alone!
The disadvantage of SEO is that it takes time to build rank with these techniques. There are no quick fixes in SEO, though the best efforts have enduring results because your improved site is better focused on target keywords and is not only easier for search engines to index, but for visitors to navigate. Some budgets may not be able to handle SEO campaigns directed at the most competitive keywords.
Using Them Together:
- PPC and SEO efforts naturally complement each other.
- PPC gets immediate results. But a PPC-focused campaign can be an onerous expense for smaller businesses.
- SEO is more cost effective and drives traffic more effectively over the long haul, but it takes time to build results.
- Therefore, doing both improve your traffic from beginning to end.
- Use PPC for the initial boost and SEO to provide long-term results.
As your SEO campaign bears fruit, you can pull back on your PPC efforts, but don’t forget that each method is still useful throughout your entire campaign’s life cycle.
For example, even after building SEO results you can use PPC to get paid traction with keywords that might be a bit tough to crack in organic rankings, and that even when you stick to a PPC focus, good SEO improves site usability – and that correlates with conversions.