Understanding the following information could make or break your success online …
… this is one of the driest pages on our site (apologies in advance), however you definitely want to freshen that cup of coffee and take this all in. This page is a must-read for business owners and your sales and marketing staff.
The harsh reality is, without any visitors (traffic) to your site, you’re simply not going to realise a return from your online investment.
What are PPC and SEO?
SEO and PPC are two of the most effective forms of traffic generation, especially for those of you who want to attract new customers.
PPC stands for Pay Per Click. It’s a form of advertising. You might also know it as CPC (Cost Per Click) or AdWords.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. SEO includes both onsite and offsite factors. Onsite SEO includes optimising your website to increase your chances of search engines like Google choosing to list you above your competitors in search results when people type in certain words or phrases.
Which is which?
When you search for certain words or phrases in a search engine such as Google you’ll typically see two types of results, paid and natural. Both are highlighted below for you.
PPC (in pink) is responsible for those paid or ‘sponsored’ search results that are typically down the right hand side and sometimes across the top of the page.
The natural results (highlighted in green) (also called ‘organic’ or ‘free’ search results) are the ones that SEO can influence.
Is SEO or PPC better?
The answer for many companies is ‘both’ – however understanding when to use which one and the costs involved are major deciding factors.
The stand out benefit of PPC is you’ll get an immediate boost in pre-qualified visitors, leads and sales. Because PPC gets you to the top of the search page instantly, you’ll typically see results very quickly (within a few hours or days depending on search demand).
PPC also allows you to quickly test your new website, track your conversion rates (eg: leads, sales, opt ins to your database …) and find out which keywords generate the most income for you. PPC is an incredibly highly-measurable form of advertising and the level of control you have for instantly turning on and off different ad campaigns is a marketers dream.
Another major benefit of PPC when compared to traditional advertising is the cost. PPC is one of the most cost-effective methods of advertising.
Rather than the old model of advertising, where you pay whether you get results or not, with PPC you only pay for results. In other words, your ad appears for free and you only pay when someone actually clicks your ad and visits your website.
Since you can closely monitor which ads are getting you leads, bookings and sales, and you can also instantly ‘turn off’ the low performing ads, PPC lets you precisely focus your budget only on the ads that are making you the most money.
However, when it comes to long-term effectiveness, SEO will give you a much higher return on your marketing dollar.
Where PPC starts working for you instantly, SEO takes time. How long it takes varies based on a number of things, such as how new your website is and how good a job your competitors are doing with their SEO.
So SEO is not as instant as PPC, but it can be much kinder on your marketing budget. You pay long-term for all the traffic generated by PPC, but after your initial investment in onsite SEO, the traffic generated is yours for free.
For some companies, another big benefit of SEO is that onsite SEO may only need to be done once to generate years of free traffic, whereas traffic generated by PPC will always cost you.
So if you want fast results and to start seeing a return from your online investment right away, then go for PPC, even if you just utilise it short-term until SEO starts to take effect.
PPC has the clear advantage over SEO as a short-term strategy but whether you have the budget for PPC or not, it’s SEO where the real returns are long-term.
So which is best for you?
As you have probably realised by now, a dual-approach is often the most sensible way to approach your traffic generation efforts.
If you’re a new company or you’ve just launched a new site, then a PPC campaign for the next 3-6 months is the smart way to get noticed and get results fast. While that’s happening, your SEO can get underway in the background. Our strategy for most companies is to phase out PPC for you long-term and focus on generating large volumes of traffic for you for free as a result of SEO.
Get in touch with us today using the form below and we can discuss the perfect traffic generation mix for you and to find out how much you should budget for PPC and/or SEO.