As a business owner, getting exposure online feels like an uphill battle. You’re constantly battling Google algorithm updates, and sometimes you can find yourself paying a pretty penny to keep your name on the first page of Google. Search engine optimization (SEO) and Pay-per-Click (PPC) advertising are two of the fundamental ways to achieve better search engine rankings. While both can help customers find your website, they are different animals that require various techniques for best results.
For the average business owner, it can be difficult to determine if SEO or PPC is right for your goals. This guide can help you understand how each method functions, how they differentiate, and how you can move forward with your campaign.
SEO vs. PPC: What’s The Difference?
SEO and PPC advertising are both similar and different. There are certain aspects where the two advertising methods overlap, but they both have the same underlying goal: gain exposure for your business and help boost leads, sales, and conversions.
In order to truly understand SEO vs. PPC, it’s necessary to delve a little deeper into their definitions as well as their benefits and strategies.
Let’s start with SEO.
What is SEO?
SEO (search engine optimization) is the process of optimizing your website in order to generate better search engine rankings. There are many components of SEO, and those components include:
- Keyword optimization
- Accurate citations
- Web directory listings
- Meta tags and descriptions
- Publishing high quality content
- And more
There is a lot involved when you’re executing a search engine optimization campaign, and it can become a bit overwhelming to the average business owner. A lot of this overwhelm can stem from Google’s ever changing algorithm updates, which can cause your search engine rankings to increase (or drop) over night. It’s important to stay updated and informed on what Google views as a useful, credible, and trustworthy website—and you can read all about it on Google’s Search Quality Guidelines. This is a very intense read, but it’s an essential learning tool when you want to learn as much as you can about SEO in 2016.
Search engine optimization is technical in nature, but it has drastically changed over the last several years. The best approach for search engine optimization in 2016 is to produce high quality and engaging content on a regular basis. This can easily be achieved by blogging for your business—even if it’s just once per week.
If you choose blogging as a route to enhance your website’s SEO, be sure to incorporate your best keywords in the headlines and body of the post. This is one of the keys to ensuring that Google will rank your website accordingly.
Keep in mind that getting to the top of Google by means of organic SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. It can take months for your website to rank under a particular keyword, especially if your keyword is competitive. However, the results can be very long lasting as long as you continuously create content.
If you are in a hurry to get your website in front of your customers, pay-per-click advertising might be the right choice for your business.
What is Pay-per-Click Advertising?
Pay-per-click advertising is typically done through Google Adwords, but you can also use the advertising platforms on Yahoo! And Bing. For the sake of this guide, we’ll specifically be talking about Google Adwords.
Pay-per-click advertising overlaps with SEO in the sense that they both use keyword optimization to enhance your presence online. With PPC, you will pay money every time someone clicks on your ad. The amount of money that you pay depends on a variety of factors, such as competition for the particular keyword, your budget, and even your click-through-rate (CTR).
The most effective PPC campaigns require using numerous ads that contain different words and phrases. This is to test and find out what copy and promotions are most effective, so you can cycle out the bad ads and create more ads with higher conversion rates.
One very important element of pay-per-click advertising is your landing page. In order to generate as many leads and conversions as possible, your landing page must be designed in a specific way. It’s vital that you include a call-to-action so your customers know the next steps to take. This call-to-action typically includes filling out a free estimate form, downloading content, or calling your company for more information.
SEO vs. PPC: Which Method Should You Choose?
SEO and PPC both have their pros and cons. PPC has faster results, but it can be costly. SEO can take months to yield results and it’s a lot of hard work, but it can help you become a credible source of information for your customers.
Whichever method you decide to choose, Bigfoot Media can help. Contact us today to learn how SEO and PPC can help you grow your business.
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