How do you get customers to find you? Do you pay for ads or just publish content and pray that your target audience will find you? You may be considering Pay-Per-Click vs. Search Engine Optimization.
What is the best option? Keep reading to learn more.
What is Pay Per Click
Pay-Per-Click, or PPC, is a form of digital marketing in which companies advertise online but only pay a fee each time their ads are clicked. It works differently from organic searches as companies pay money to bring people to their site instead of letting them find it through regular searches.
There are several platforms to display PPC advertisements. However, the most common are search engine ads. Google ads are probably the most well-known of all PPC ads. Like with other platforms, there is a bidding process for the placement of sponsored links on search results pages.
Depending on the bidding process, your ad may show up above, below, or to the side of search engine results. Your business will pay a small fee each time someone clicks the ad. However, if the ad is set up correctly, the fee is trivial compared to the profit that can be made.
Pros of Pay Per Click
Pay-per-click is a popular marketing channel that should be part of any marketing plan. It can help bring in new traffic and generate new leads. Some of the pros of using PPC include focusing on your target audience, offering quick results, and working with others.
Focuses on Target Audience
One of the benefits of pay-per-click is the ability to create them in a way that targets a specific audience. Keywords are important to put your ad in front of the right people. You want to focus on phrases that you know people are looking for.
You also get to tweak your advertisements to display at the optimum time. For example, if you know your customers are looking for your products early in the day, then you won’t want your ads running at night. You can customize the times your ad displays so that your customers will find you early in the day and not appear later in the evening.
Offers Quick Results
Pay-per-click ads show relatively quick results. When set up by a professional, PPC can begin to see results within a few days and whether the ad campaign is working as you want it to. It allows you to make changes to the ad and see if the new tweaks work better.
Not only do you see quick feedback, but you can start and stop an ad campaign with just a button press. Unlike other digital marketing techniques, it doesn’t take weeks or months to set up and enact. You can set up and execute new ads within hours.
Works with Other Marketing
Pay-per-click ads work well with other types of marketing. This type of marketing works to bring in new leads. You can use the analysis from your PPC campaigns to determine what else to do, and it can offer an analysis to help you make changes to other marketing campaigns.
For example, your website has some complete SEO but is still not being found organically. You can use the analysis from your PPC campaign to see what keywords people are looking for. You can then tweak your website’s SEO to capture the keywords that attract your customers.
Cons of Pay Per Click
Sometimes, PPC does have some downsides. It can be unpredictable when certain trends will affect the success of your pay-per-click campaign. However, you should be aware of some weaknesses with PPC advertising.
Pay-per-click advertising does have the benefit of only costing money when someone clicks on your ad. However, it can be expensive if your PPC campaign is not properly set up. Improperly set up campaigns can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars monthly.
However, if you know what you are doing, then you can create a campaign in which you will see a healthy return on investment. You just have to be in the mindset that you may lose money at the beginning of your campaign.
Need to Know What You Are Doing
Unfortunately, services like Google Ads are not intuitive to work in. You can create successful marketing campaigns, but learning how the system works will take a lot of time and commitment.
If you are someone who learns new skills quickly, you will have a better time with them. However, there is still a steep learning curve, even for those with some literacy of metrics and how it works. You will need to spend significant time working and tweaking to get it right.
If you don’t have the time, this might be one area of your marketing that you want to hire a professional service to help you with.
What is SEO
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a process of improving your company’s website to attract visitors. An optimized site is more visible when potential customers search for your products and services on search engines.
Optimizing your website for particular keywords and phrases can give your site a better opportunity to rank higher in search engine rankings and puts your content in front of new viewers.
SEO, however, is not only about keywords. There are other pieces that work with keyword optimization to help your site rank higher. You must work on your site authority, loading speed, and mobile device compatibility.
Pros of SEO
Optimizing your website for SEO is the best way to rank organically on search engine result pages. Some of the benefits of using SEO include
- Target Different Sales Funnel Stages
- More Stable Search Traffic
- Build Brand Authority
Let’s look at each benefit in a little more depth.
Target Different Sales Funnel Stages
With search engine optimization, you can tailor content to meet your customers’ needs at every sales funnel stage. For someone just beginning their purchasing journey, you can have SEO-rich content that explains your products and services and their benefits. You can continue tailoring content for each step of the sales journey.
While the content for the top and middle portions of the sales funnel might not convert visitors into customers right away, they are still important parts to focus content on. These sections help to build awareness of your brand and trust between you and your customer base.
Targets Quality Traffic
Unlike traditional marketing techniques, SEO is an inbound marketing strategy. Inbound marketing is more focused on the customer rather than the marketer. It is a marketing plan that attracts customers to the website without methods like cold calling and emailing.
You can use SEO to target customers searching for a specific keyword or phrase. They will then come to you looking for more information and possibly convert you to customers. It is much more effective than older outbound practices. According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound report, 59% of marketers say that inbound techniques provide the highest quality leads.
Builds Brand Authority
Google ranks websites based on on-page and off-page impressions. They consider things like website speed, mobile device compatibility, and creating content. All of these things also go into building your website’s authority.
As your SEO improves and your ranking increases, your company’s authority on your products and services. When you hit page one, your credibility is advanced even further. According to Google, 75% of users don’t move to page two.
Cons of SEO
While SEO is essential to building your presence in search engine results, it is not all roses. Some not-so-desirable things about SEO might make you wonder if it’s worth it (spoiler alert: It is).
Optimizing Is an Ongoing Process
Search engine optimization is not a one-and-done affair. It is an ongoing process that requires you to tweak your SEO plan. Doing periodic maintenance on the website’s SEO can do wonders to refresh your titles and descriptions.
You need to be vigilant in maintaining the progress you’ve made. You also have to keep up with the ever-changing search engine algorithms.
Takes Time to See Results
Everyone wants to see results right away. Unfortunately, SEO doesn’t work like that. It takes time to see the results of all your hard work. You may not see positive results from your time working on SEO for weeks.
While it takes an extended period of time to see how your SEO efforts affect your rankings, there are no guarantees you’ll see the results you want. You are pitting your company against everyone else online. You have to be better at it than your competitors.
Which One is Better: Pay-Per-Click vs. Search Engine Optimization
What is better Pay-Per-Click or search engine optimization? The real answer is both are important. Pay-Per-Click works on one level of marketing while SEO works on another. They work alone as well as together.
When to Use Pay-Per-Click
There are some times when Pay-Per-Click is the better choice. For example:
- You need immediate results
- Promote time-sensitive offers
- You want to dominate search results for your keywords
- If your website is not designed for SEO (yet)
In these instances, going with PPC instead of focusing on SEO will bring you higher returns on your investment.
When to Use SEO
Search Engine Optimization is something that is ongoing. It is important for your online business that as much as 80% of your traffic can come from organic search engine results. So, when should you focus on SEO over PPC?
- You want consistent results.
- Increase the value of your website
- Build an Authoritative Site
You need PPC and SEO to bring the customers you want to your site. Contact us if your manufacturing company needs help creating the right PPC or SEO strategy. Our experienced staff can help get your website in front of your target audience.