PPC vs. SEO: Which is right for my business?
Internet marketing plans usually includes either search engine optimization (SEO) or pay per click (PPC) strategies. Very few business executives who are making the decisions understand the difference and the need for one or both strategies. This article will explain the two internet strategies and include popular tactics that can be easily adopted into any type of business internet marketing plan.
A website is paramount for every business. Web design is already difficult enough. Getting potential customers to your website is even more challenging. Businesses are always looking for ways to get their website listed on the first page of a search. Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) are the most common techniques used in internet marketing. Whats the difference between the two strategies?
SEO is considered the natural or free method of increasing traffic to any website. Studies have found that websites that appear frequently and in higher rankings in the search results list will have more visitors to the website. Although SEO is unpaid, it does require an investment of time that will yield slow, but steady results.
There are currently a few popular SEO tactics used. The use of backlinks, also known as inbound links, indicates to search engines the popularity or importance of that website or page. SEO experts use linkbaiting as a way of gaining backlinks, often times for free. A trending topic that reaches a wide audience is used as bait to get a number of other websites to link back to it. Breaking news or celebrity news are usually popular topics used to gain links.
Adding keywords is another necessary SEO activity. In order to keep it “white hat” or ethical, the best technique of adding keywords requires selecting specifically related and targeted words, and utilizing them judiciously throughout the landing page and website. Keywords also show up in meta-tags, content, title, header and footer. When a search engine crawls the website, the number of times the keyword appears, the more relevant the search engine will deem the website. However, going overboard, or keyword stuffing, will have a negative effect. Search engines consider keyword stuffing a black hat approach to SEO. Websites associated with this black hat SEO approach will usually be punished and not benefit in higher page rank.
Although, PPC requires a smaller investment of time then SEO, it does require more investment in money. PPC is internet advertising that allows you to display an ad based on keywords from user searches. Advertisers bid on the keyword or phases and only pay when users click on their ad. PPC is a quicker way to start and stop and can be easily tested and measured.
PPC tactics are not too different from SEO. PPC involves three components: keywords, ads and landing pages. These three, in combination with bids, is how users searching can find your page and potentially convert into customers. Like SEO, choosing the right group of keywords is one of the most important tasks of PPC. Once keywords are identified, they are broken down into similar groups and a maximum bid is placed. PPC keyword bidding is in an auction style in which the one with the higher bid wins. The actual cost is determined later after Quality Score is factored.
Once the keywords are chosen and grouped, the next step is to create compiling ads. PPC ads are shown either on the top, above the natural search results, or on the right hand side of the search page. Cutting through the clutter and standing out above your competition is the ultimate goal of writing a great ad. A PPC ad tactic that experts use is keyword insertion in the headline of the ad. By using PPC keyword syntax, when a user enters a keyword that triggers the ad to appear, that exact keyword will appear in the headline, as long as it fits the character limit.
After carefully chosen keywords trigger the well-written ads, a good call to action landing page is crucial to turn web surfers into customers. A landing page tactic commonly used is a thoughtful design. Studies show that more effective landing pages keep readers interested and converts users to customers above the fold, that is all information is displayed without having to scroll. Keeping all key content without scrolling helps users to avoid taking the extra effort of searching the page for important information; thus, lessen the chance the user will abandon the page.
In any type of business, a well-written internet marketing plan usually includes the techniques of both SEO and PPC. Most marketing plans focus on SEO as a long term plan and uses PPC in the short term to get their website found. Theres no point in having a well designed website, if there are no visitors to enjoy it.
Horton Group is an SEO firm that can help your business online. Call Horton Group at 615-292-8642.