Debunking the myth
For many who have a website, they’re surprised when they discover that they can’t find their website on Google. Unfortunately, just because you have a website, doesn’t mean it will automatically appear on page 1 of Google. Ranking on Google involves more steps than simply clicking “publish” on your site.
If you have a new website, we recommend reading Google’s recommendations on how to get your new site ahead of local rankings. Once these steps have been taken, your website should be visible on search engine results pages (SERPS). However, to get to page 1, this is where search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) becomes your most important investment.
What does SEO and PPC mean?
Search engine optimisation is the process of optimising your website in order to rank on search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. SEO involves many steps such as optimising the website’s headings and subheadings, images, backlinks, blog content and more. There’s a lot of work involved however, overtime this increases your website’s position on the search engine, resulting in more clicks to your website and thus, more sales.
Pay-per-click (PPC) is a form of advertising where a business pays the search engine to appear high on SERPs with the advertiser then paying-per-click to their website. For example, businesses can create their PPC search ad via Google by writing engaging text, choosing keywords and setting a daily budget. This will then present their website above organic search results that may have otherwise been before your website.
Advantages of SEO
First off the bat, SEO can be a more cost-effective approach compared with a PPC campaign. Although both strategies will include costs, PPC campaigns have a reputation of being costly.
SEO is built to last whereas PPC is instantaneous. SEO isn’t something you do once and forget about it. SEO is an ongoing process, requiring you to build up your SEO slowly and efficiently throughout the year. SEO requires a lot of time and patience, but the results are worth it.
- Proper SEO-d sites don’t lose their SEO if you stop optimising for a month. But, if you stop paying for your PPC campaign, you instantly stop seeing results.
- Building SEO is an organic approach to increasing your website’s visibility. Whilst PPC campaigns will show that the PPC link is an ad, your SEO’d site is an organic result therefore, could make customers feel more trust for your brand. In fact, some users often flick past the paid links, looking for the organic links or they have ad blockers preventing advertising altogether.
- Relying on SEO is relatively stable whilst PPC campaigns are continuously changing according to your competitor’s bidding tactics. For more control and consistency, SEO is the best path to take.
Advantages of PPC
- For instant results, PPC is the better choice. Whilst SEO can take months (and months) to build and grow, for PPC once you’ve completing setting up the ad it takes affect.
- Although after the initial PPC setup, there is ongoing management, there’s less compared with SEO. SEO is an ongoing process that needs to be worked on consistently throughout the year.
- If you need quick results now, then proper setup of your PPC campaign can reap rewards instantly. Be warned, it does come at a price because everytime a customer clicks on the link to view your site, you will be paying for it.
- By using search keywords, geography and times of the day and week, you can target very specific audiences.
- Another benefit of PPC is the ability to create visual product ads whereas organic results usually cannot.
The deciding factor for many when choosing the SEO or PPC route is how much time and money the business can afford to spend. For PPC, you have to pay good money to get good results. For SEO, you have to invest a lot of time to reap the benefits. Ultimately, it will come down to your business model and budget.
Although PPC can see higher ROI in the short-term compared with SEO, as soon as you turn the campaign off, your website will disappear into the abyss of SERPs. If you invest in SEO now, over time, you will organically rank.
Both PPC and SEO require constant management. As Google releases updates, keywords change and competitors fight for top position—you will need to adapt your strategy to match. Failure to do so can result in your money and hard work leading to nothing.
So, PPC or SEO?
PPC can be tempting due to the instantaneous rewards however, truthfully, a site needs to be investing in SEO no matter what. When you stop funneling money into PPC, your site loses its position. Whereas SEO will always keep your website present, in front of customers and offering useful information rather than an advertisement.
With all this said, for the best results you want to offer a combination of both PPC and SEO. There are many strategies that combine both PPC and SEO, which optimises the customer journey and leads to sales.
If you’re looking to improve your site’s ranking, speak with our SEO and PPC experts at Cloud Cartel. To be frank, we’re nerds when it comes to websites. We can’t get enough of the data! Give us a call, send us an email or organise a meeting with us to discuss how wean improve your business.