Search Engine Optimization or search engine marketing?
SEO vs. PPC.
Who wins between website optimization and pay-per-click marketing?
The debate between which of the two is the best one may never end.
Pay Per Click can be very expensive and difficult to set up.
Search Engine Optimization is cheaper, but not that easy.
SMEs find it easier to increase their online presence by creating good SEO content that informs, persuades users, and reduces the churn rate.
However, PPC is quick, SEO is slow.
Sometimes, it is very slow, although backlinking can drive initial traffic.
How to choose the best strategy?
Small businesses should always make the best decision based on a long data analysis session.
It is essential to scrape and clean data to reveal their best audience.
Starting from data reports, marketing specialists can outline an SEO strategy using ICP information and other crucial market parameters.
If your company is active on the B2B side, search engine optimization may win over search engine marketing, as many statistics have already shown in the past.
For B2C companies, PPC may be a better solution to boost their online visibility and spread awareness.
In general, a mix of SEO and SEM is the best choice.
The choice also depends on marketing goals, and the capability of a team to track the results.
But why do so many businesses invest in SEO?
SEO vs. PPC: which one is cheaper?
Consider search engine optimization as cheaper than SEM.
SMEs love search engine optimization because it allows businesses to be discovered with a small budget.
Nonetheless, ranking and organic traffic require money, time, and skills.
Even for the smallest and most humble SEO strategy, you need a budget for:
- Content writer
- Keyword research
- Keyword tracking tool
- Off-page activity
If your company doesn’t have a profile of an ideal customer, known as ICP, that’s another thing you need right away.
We suggest you perform this task with your sales and marketing team.
Too many companies forget about the target persona, which is crucial to the success of any marketing activity, from content to email marketing.
This is why we always need to know to whom our content is directed, and who our most common customers are.
Content is extremely important for a wide range of reasons.
Articles, blog posts, press releases, and social posts build trust and relationships between brands and consumers.
SEO vs. PPC: budget and costs
How much is spent overall per month on these two marketing techniques?
For many brands and companies, content marketing takes up about 25% of the total marketing budget.
The average small company’s content budget is about $1.000 – $2.000 per month.
The price depends on the content quality, word count, language, topic to cover, and niche.
Many content writers charge a fixed price per word, not per hour.
This is convenient if you plan to order less than 5 small articles per week.
The average hourly rate of a content writer is around $20-30, although senior content writers deserve at least $50 or more per single hour.
Small businesses wait up to 12 months before noticing substantial improvements in search and ranking metrics.
The ROI may vary a lot between a niche and another one, so there is no fixed value for it.
On the other hand, SMEs usually spend from $5.000 to more than $10.000 per month on pay-per-click advertisements.
Want to know more about the benefits of content marketing?
SEO brings more traffic than PPC
More than 80% of the internet traffic is generated by search engine optimization.
Why it is so efficient in driving traffic?
People love organic results.
The advertised search results are usually labeled with “Ad” on Google SERPs.
These ads are positioned right above the first organic results.
It’s pretty easy to avoid the sponsored results, and there are many consumers that do that.
If consumers trust organic results is because these are the most visited and authoritative, therefore considered trustworthy.
Any marketer will tell you that one of the best techniques is to create great content.
Content marketing offers a balanced mix to improve ranking, sales, and online presence.
With SEO-driven content, brands set up funnels for demand generation to collect more information about customers and prospects.
They also increase customer retention and meet their target audience by promoting new blog articles with social media and e-mail campaigns.
Use content to write about pain points and solutions, as well as convert awareness into interest.
For millions of small to medium companies, search engine optimization is a no-brainer, game-changer option.
SEO offers sustained value
What is sustained value?
It is the sum of the SEO benefits gained in a given amount of time.
PPCs offer benefits as long as they are active.
We can’t consider them sustainable for SMEs that aim to reach the first SERPs.
The value of the PPC campaigns can be quick but fades as we deactivate the bids.
Another difference between search engine optimization and pay per click is data.
Pay-per-click campaigns offer faster and more comprehensive data collection, which is good for new companies.
That’s not to say that SEO doesn’t offer valuable data and information.
The point is that tracking blog articles performances and SEO optimizations across the website require some specific skills, tools, and time.
To understand how good is a content marketing strategy, we analyze the traffic to the web pages, landing pages, and the keywords within them as well.
The data provided by pay per click and search engine optimization are of a different type.
You can mix and match them to extract new insights for your digital marketing campaign.
SEO generates trust
Does SEO generate real value and digital authority?
There’s nothing better than creating detailed pages for your products and services on your website.
On-Page content is a great way to answer any questions or concerns of your public.
Whether you sell a product or a service, you need to talk about them on your website or eCommerce store.
You create pages and pages to explain how to make the most of what customers have purchased.
Maybe, you send them an e-mail with a link to your new articles. Just in case.
Each article you publish on your website or as a guest post will create more interest and excitement around your brand.
Within each article, use a variety of search engine optimization techniques to implement keywords.
You can place a finite number of links to external websites, internal links to other pages, and call-to-actions, such as buttons, to encourage readers to act.
Once your blog has a good number of posts, you can promote it.
How? With pay per click campaigns.
SEO best practices
Might sound obvious nowadays but SEO takes time.
SEO includes On-Page, Off-Page, and Technical activities.
On-Page is mostly based on using the right keywords and interesting topics.
Writing and publishing two articles per month on a blog, however, may not be enough to reach the first Google pages.
Before writing content, keyword research is essential to create a list of appropriate search terms to improve search relevance.
- Perform a keyword research
There are different types of keywords.
The main three are:
To find the best keywords, think as your ideal customer would.
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Your keywords list will make the difference.
To win new clients using a marketing funnel, SMEs refer to an in-house specialist or a digital agency to perform a keyword research service for their website.
- Analyze search intent and queries
- Optimize tags
Start with a meta description.
Although not as important as some years ago, meta descriptions provide search engines with information about web pages.
It is a good practice to add the most important keywords and implement them.
There are other optimizations to perform, like Alt tag, or Alt image, required for any picture on the website to have them appear on the image section of the SERPs.
- Technical SEO
Technical SEO is about website speed and the ability for Google to fully understand the website’s structure.
If the website is slow, Google PageRank will not “promote” it.
If Google can’t understand how a website has been structured, it will not “boost” it.
Fact: you can experience a 50% increase in bounce rate if your website takes 2 seconds more to load than the average website.
To see what is wrong with your website performance and ranking factors, use Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
With a friendly interface, these tools help you with detailed information about indexed pages, crawling problems, and much more.
Google Search Console is a webmaster tool that notifies you when something is wrong on a technical level.
Check if the website sitemap is uploaded and includes all the pages.
Delete any sitemap you don’t need, especially if you work on WordPress where some plugins create more sitemaps than you need.
Go to Google Search Console, click “sitemap” on the left sidebar, and check the status of the sitemap. It could be empty.
Make your sitemap available and readable by Google.
For every sitemap available, you can see which pages are included.
When you create a new page on your website, one of the first things to do is to visit GSC, click on the URL Inspection Tool, and request Google to index the new page.
Remember that one out of three users will visit your website using a mobile device.
Your website must be fast and mobile-friendly.
Today, a mobile-friendly website is a must to not lose traffic and interested visitors.
Optimize and test your website with technical SEO analysis tools.
Check viewport tag, hyperlinks, redirects, errors every now and then.
How difficult is SEM?
When you pay to get visibility, you are doing SEM.
Search Engine Marketing is good to quickly promote services, products, brands, and companies online.
SEM specialists are always extremely data-driven.
They can turn your unnoticed website into a working business in just a couple of weeks.
To be successful with PPC you need time and expertise.
The cost per acquisition can get out of control very quickly, even with smart ad campaigns that use artificial intelligence.
Although Google, Amazon, and other advertisement platforms are slowly introducing more advanced artificial intelligence, the human eye and touch are still essential.
Hiring a specialist can cost more than $5,000 per month, a cost that is often prohibitive for many small businesses.
What to do?
Small businesses can hire a PPC specialist by paying a fixed hourly rate.
Another solution is to pay for performance advertising, where the PPC manager receives a percentage based on the revenue generated.
The first briefing with the specialist is very important, as you can wake up one day to see that prices skyrocketed due to the hours needed to set up and track a PPC campaign.
Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing are two different but related things.
You can choose to implement them together and track the results.
You can decide later which one is the best for you.
As pointed out above, many online users find it more interesting to click on organic results.
When the same page appears in both organic and paid results, there are undoubtedly more chances to receive a good click.
For many companies around the world, optimizing the website, the blog, and every online page is just the first step.
When everything SEO-related is ready, it’s time for some PPC campaigns to improve visibility and awareness before any ranking optimization strategy becomes effective, 4 or 6 months later.
Contact us to receive a custom SEO plan!