Let’s assume that you have developed a revolutionary app that helps users create perfect colour combinations for their outfits. The concept is amazing, the design is intriguing, the functionality is tested – now you are excited to share your creation with your target audience and generate sales from it. Unfortunately, you have no idea how to get as many target users to know about your amazing app as possible.
This is a common situation faced by many marketers. No matter how great your product, if your target users cannot find it, you won’t get the results you expect.
There are two approaches to solve this problem – search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay per click advertising (PPC). Most marketers get confused – whether they should implement an organic-first approach and attract prospects through search engine rankings or is it better to invest in a paid advertisement that would show at the top of a keyword results page?
While both SEO and PPC are proven methods of driving traffic and conversions, one might be more suitable to some circumstances and some businesses than the other. To achieve success with either method or both, marketers must understand how exactly they work and what are their strengths and limitations.
WHAT IS SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION?
Search engine optimisation is a popular practice of improving your website to increase traffic through organic search results. This marketing method increases the visibility of your site for searches made by people who are genuinely interested in products that you offer. The better the visibility of your web pages in search results, the more likely you are to attract prospects and convert them into paying customers.
SEO is a significant part of digital marketing and an essential practice for online businesses because people conduct trillions of searches per year worldwide, looking for information about products and services. In fact, 80% of the traffic that is generated by any website comes from search engines. Google, the biggest and the most popular search engine, records over 3.5 billion searches per day, which is why most campaigns capitalise on Google display advertising.
When You Want to Spread the Word About Your Brand
Optimising your website for targeted search keywords increases the visibility of your pages in search engines. This puts your business in front of your prospective, driving brand awareness.
When You Want to Attract More Traffic to Your Site
On the surface , the goal of search engine optimisation is to improve search engine rankings and visibility of a website. However, the main purpose of achieving high rankings in search results is to attract more traffic and ultimately convert that traffic into customers.
When You Wish to Build Trust Around Your Brand
Having your website show up higher in organic search results can improve the credibility of your business among the audience that is looking for your products/services. A lot of people trust organic results more than ads. Being visible in organic results gives your business a sense of approval and importance among such users. Moreover, when you combine your SEO efforts with effective content marketing, you get the opportunity to build credibility with your target audience early in the research phase.
When You Want to Build Your Brand
Increasing visibility around commercial terms and queries related to your service or business area can benefit your brand. When your brand appears because of queries made by users, it creates trust and association with them, leading to purchases. Your brand becomes a reliable voice around a specific topic.
WHAT IS PAY PER CLICK ADVERTISING?
Similar to search engine optimisation, pay per click advertising is a method to gain traffic but involves money and is faster. In PPC, an advertiser bids to have their ad appear in the sponsored search results when someone makes a query using their targeted keyword.
As the name suggests, the advertiser pays the publisher (Google, Facebook or Bing) every time their ad is clicked. With this search marketing model, advertisers only pay when users interact with their listing, which means you attract people who are interested in your products or services.
Here’s when businesses can benefit most from PPC:
When You Want Fast Results
While organic search rankings are important to build a brand in the long-term, some businesses want immediate results and PPC gives you that. It is the fastest way to launch advertising campaigns to drive traffic instantly. As soon as your ad is approved (provided that your bids are higher enough to get you priority placement), it will be displayed for millions of people to see, giving your business immediate exposure.
When You Need Highly Targeted Traffic
The best part about PPC is that you can narrow down your traffic based on their demographic data. Many PPC platforms, like Facebook, allow you to target your prospects, who will be able to view your ad, by age range, gender, education level, hobbies, income range and even marital status. This makes PPC an effective way of reaching groups of people your business needs and people who need your business the most.
When You Want to Promote A Limited-Time Offer
New products or services that come with an expiration date can be given a lot of exposure through PPC. The method can deliver immediate traffic to your website to promote a time-sensitive offer or your new product.
So, Which One Should You Practise?
While you are now aware of situations when you might be more inclined to one marketing method than the other, the strategy you ultimately choose will be subject to your business’s needs, budget, and goals. Your business might also benefit from both the marketing practices if done correctly.
In our experience with hundreds of marketers, we have helped businesses with an integrated strategy that utilises the strengths of both SEO and PPC models rather than implementing both the marketing methods in isolation. Moreover, we also work on specialised services like Google display marketing, Bing advertising, Facebook advertising, remarketing and more to help businesses generate traffic and build their brand in the long run.