The major search engines are getting better at ‘reading’ your website and putting your keywords…
SEO vs PPC: Everything a Beginner Should Know
If you’ve dipped a toe in the digital marketing pool, you’ve most likely heard of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and PPC (Pay Per Click) marketing.
Done right, both SEO and PPC can get the results you want. They can boost traffic, leading to more conversions and sales.
However, the question is, which one might work for you? Both digital marketing strategies require different types of knowledge and resources.
In this blog post, you’re going to learn what SEO and PPC are, how they’re different, and how you can get started in both.
Let’s get started.
What is SEO?
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the act of using strategies to get better rankings in search engine results pages. It is vital to any digital marketing strategy. According to a recent survey, 93% of all online activities begin with a search engine.
At its core, SEO involves determining what your potential clients are searching for in relation to your business. You then get found during their search through keyword research, creating excellent content, link building, and more.
Recent SEO Updates
Back in the early days of SEO, people would repeat the same keywords over and over in a piece of content. It made the content easier to find for search engines but harder to read for real people.
Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo have become significantly more intelligent in recent years. Instead of looking at how many times a keyword is used, they can now look at the context.
Let’s say you sell suits in Sydney. You can no longer use the keyword “suits in Sydney” over and over in the hopes that search engines might find you. They now look at the words surrounding the said keyword and see if they’re related.
Plenty of other Google updates have also changed the SEO landscape in the last two years alone. Back in mid-2018, Google launched its Speed Update which made speed a major factor in mobile search engine results.
They also rolled out their E-A-T update. Websites had to prove their credibility in the form of offline credentials, awards, and other relevant accomplishments.
The world of SEO is ever-changing. If you’d like to include it in your digital marketing toolbox, you need to stay updated on the recent developments in the field. What worked one year ago may no longer get you results now.
What is PPC?
PPC or Pay Per Click marketing is exactly what its name suggests. Advertisers pay a small fee whenever a user clicks on one of their ads.
According to a recent survey, over 45% of small businesses are now investing in PPC ads to find more clients. The number is expected to grow as more and more businesses discover the value of online advertising.
Like SEO, PPC also requires research to determine which keywords you should target. Once your PPC campaign starts running, people will see your ads whenever they search for these keywords.
But the work doesn’t end there.
You also need to craft an effective landing page–the first page that users see after they click on your ad. The landing page needs to grab users’ attention, encouraging them to keep reading, and lastly, perform a specific action. This can include purchasing something, signing up for a free trial, and downloading an ebook. The list goes on.
Some businesses direct users to a specific service or product page. Other lead them to a contact page where users can send them a message or get their phone number.
If a product is on sale, most businesses create ads revolving around the sale and create a separate landing page promoting it.
Google AdWords is the most popular pay per click platform online. If you look up almost anything on Google, you will most likely see Google Ads above and/or below organic search results.
These ads look almost like organic search results. The main difference is, you will see they’re labelled as “Ads” on the upper left corner.
If you’d like to see what a Google Ad looks like, you can go to Google right and enter “HubSpot” in the search bar. You will then see a Google Ad paid for by the software company.
Organic Search vs. Paid Search
Some marketing gurus swear by SEO while other experts sing the praises of PPC. At this point, you might be wondering who you should listen to and which one you should choose.
SEO is more trusted by users. Some users find ads annoying and won’t even think of clicking them.
If you do most of the work yourself, you will end up saving money, because you aren’t charged per click.
All your efforts will also reap long-term benefits since you won’t have to pay to continue appearing in search engine results pages.
However, it could take up to six months before you see any results with SEO. Search engines may take a while to index your pages, and you’ll have to exert effort to climb up the rankings afterwards.
PPC lets you see results instantly. Once you’ve chosen your target keywords and set up your campaign, you can start appearing in search engine results pages right away.
Unlike SEO, you will also get to choose which pages search engines will direct users to. This makes it easier for you to feature discounts, sales, and other promotions.
PPC does generate results, but these results may not be sustainable. You may not want to continue paying for traffic for the next few years.
If you’re starting out, we do recommend working on SEO for your website as soon as possible. You can then create PPC campaigns when you have a sale you’d like to promote or when you’re launching a new product.
We don’t believe there’s a one size fits all solution when it comes to SEO and PPC. What worked for several marketing gurus may not work for your business.
Determine whether SEO, PPC or a combination of both can help you turn first-time visitors into paying clients.
If you need help with SEO, PPC or both, contact Cornerstone Digital at (02) 8211 0668 or email us at [email protected]. We’d be glad to discuss this with you.
A self-professed book and digital marketing nerd, Darlyn Herradura focuses on building trust between customers and businesses with the written word. She understands that creating valuable content is the best way to get found online and happily spends her time doing that.