Keep reading to learn:
- What SEO and PPC are, how they work and the benefits of each
- Which option is better for different industries
- How Frontier Marketing can help with SEO and PPC
If you’re a small business owner, there’s likely a lot on your plate right now. You were among the hardest hit by the pandemic, and you’ve probably been fighting to stay afloat for the last few years. The fact that you’ve kept things running during these challenging times shows you’re forward-thinking and adaptable. You also probably aren’t afraid to embrace new marketing strategies.
This article will explain two services within the field of digital marketing—SEO vs. paid search—that might help you achieve your goals. There are dissimilarities between the plans that are important for you to know. What option gets quicker results? Which is more cost-effective? Which shows long-term benefits? Keep reading to learn which option is right for your business.
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Before discussing SEO and PPC, it’s important to define both terms. Let’s start with SEO, otherwise known as Search Engine Optimization.
It’s hard to think about what the world would be without Google. Many people rely on the search engine to give them answers to questions every day. Why should this matter to you?
As a business owner, you want to be in the number one spot on the list of results that appear on Google. For example, if someone Googles, “where’s the best place to find pizza in Chicago, IL?” The owner of Giordano’s wants to be the first answer to this question. How can they make this happen? One solution is SEO.
SEO services help companies increase their search rankings on sites like Google. Specialized professionals research popular keywords (common phrases inputted in search engines) to determine what people are inquiring about. Using keyword software, these industry experts can pinpoint what questions people are asking and how your site can provide the number one answer. How do they make this happen, you ask?
How Does SEO Work?
So, professionals have determined which keywords can improve in the rankings. Now what? A writer will then use these keywords to write an enticing blog or piece of content that grabs the attention of users and search engines, leading to an increase in rankings.
At this point, you might be thinking, “uhhh…what?” Don’t worry; the process is more straightforward than it seems. Below is an example of how your company’s goals, keywords, and blogs intertwine!
Bob is looking for a new pair of work shoes in Palatine, IL. So, he types “work shoes Palatine” into Google. A few months prior, keyword specialist Adam saw that Walter’s Shoes in Palatine should be ranking higher for the term in Google. So, he began to write blogs for Walter’s Shoes with the keyword “work shoes, Palatine, IL” throughout the content.
Thanks to Adam’s efforts and content writing, Walter’s Shoes in Palatine was in the number one spot when Bob began his search. Bob clicked on the link, which brought him to Walter’s site, and just a few hours later, he was talking to Walter himself about what work shoes were right for him. A happy ending for everyone!
Believe it or not, blogs aren’t the only way to increase a keyword’s ranking. Specialists like Adam can also use local citations and website design to raise their position in the search results. Businesses like Frontier Marketing offer a multitude of these services—you don’t have to pick just one.
Benefits of SEO
Hopefully, you have a strong understanding of what SEO is now. Next, let’s look at the service’s benefits.
The truth is that SEO and PPC have advantages; it really depends on what goal you want to achieve. For example, SEO is the “long game” process of digital marketing. It might take time to see results, but once they come in, they’ll rank high for quite a while. In addition, SEO builds brand authority. If your company consistently appears in a high spot (or number one) on Google, trust is established between you and the user. Other businesses might use the high-ranking blog to backlink, and SEO is more cost-effective.
So, these are the benefits. They seem pretty great! But why would someone choose to do Google Paid Ads instead? We’ll look at that next!
What are Google Paid Ads?
The main difference between SEO and PPC is immediate gratification vs. long-term processes. PPC (Pay Per Click) is the practice of paying to increase your keywords on a search engine (like Google) instead of going through the process of SEO.
We get it; you don’t want to wait months to see keywords and traffic increase. There might be several reasons for this. Perhaps your company is struggling and needs immediate help. Maybe you want to see how valuable PPC is before trying SEO. Whatever the reason, many companies around the world invest in PPC.
How Do Google Paid Ads Work?
Believe it or not, Google has competitors! You can invest in PPC services with sites like Bing, LinkedIn and Facebook. However, research shows that Google Paid Ads are the most popular, so we’ll limit our discussion to that platform. Let’s dive into how they work!
The first step is to select target keywords you think customers might be searching. Then, you place a bid to make your ad appear in a high (or number one) spot for that keyword. Again, you might be thinking, “uhh…what?” Don’t stress! A simplification of the process is that you place a bid on a keyword, and if it’s the highest bid or the algorithm chooses you, your company will appear in the search results by way of a sponsored ad.
Over time, Google Paid Ads will personalize your ads based on your website content so that you no longer have to keep track of keywords. Using this software, you can indulge in superior audience marketing, increase rankings on different displays (i.e., cellphones), and re-target old customers. That’s a lot of services wrapped into one option!
Benefits of Google Paid Ads
We’ve already mentioned the most significant advantage to using Google Paid Ads—immediate gratification. Remember, SEO is the long game process of digital marketing. It’ll take a few months before you see improvement. On the other hand, Google Paid Ads work immediately. Your business will appear in a high-ranking sponsored ad if you present the highest bid. Additionally, Google is the number one search engine in the world. There’s a possibility that billions of people will see the advertisement and visit your site. You can’t beat those numbers!
So, we’ve outlined the basics behind SEO and Google Paid Ads. Now it’s time to answer the age-old question: which one is better?
Which is Better: SEO or PPC?
Some of you might not like the answer to the question of which option is better. It depends on what your business goals are. Again, if you don’t mind investing in the long game, then SEO is the choice for you. However, if you aren’t concerned with longevity, then PPC might be the way to go. Remember, there’s no reason you can’t utilize both services!
That’s right! You can start a PPC campaign alongside SEO to increase your chances of getting higher keyword rankings. You must sit down and determine which service is right for your company and if you can afford to invest in both options. Below are a few examples that might clear up any confusion.
Which is Best for Ecommerce Companies?
Ecommerce is a booming industry right now. Since the pandemic, millions of people have embraced the benefits of online shopping. Perhaps you want to cash in on this trend and start an ecommerce business of your own. Which digital marketing strategy should you employ? Why not both? PPC might be a wiser choice initially to help build brand reputation and a strong clientele. However, SEO will provide a steady stream of traffic in the long run. Consider adding both strategies to the budget if possible!
The restaurant industry is also flourishing right now. People spent almost two years trapped inside their homes; they want to get out! The fact that many restaurants have added outdoor seating to their establishments has proven beneficial, as well.
Again, it can really be both. There are no right or wrong answers here, people! SEO-optimized pages tend to load faster, increase conversion rates and work better on different displays. New restaurants may want to see the instant benefits of PPC, but SEO is more suited for long-term results.
The Service Industry
Those in the service industry are often common customers of digital marketing firms. Construction businesses or home improvement corporations use digital marketing plans to get the word out about the services they offer. So, which option are they more likely to choose?
Professionals in the service industry often choose to start SEO campaigns before PPC. These places want to gain more customers over an extended period of time; so, they accept that results might take a while to come to fruition.
How and Why Frontier Marketing Wants to Help
Frontier Marketing wants to help you, a small business owner, understand the meaning of SEO and PPC. Additionally, we want to take some stress off your plate. Our team understands that you have other things to focus on. So, let us handle increasing your search rankings and website traffic for you.
Whether you use SEO vs. PPC or both, we’ve got you covered! Please call 847-252-0837 to discuss how we can help you. We’re always available to answer questions or provide feedback when needed!