The Benefits of SEO and PPC for Small Businesses
First, I want to disclose I usually work with small businesses and non-profit organizations that have small marketing budgets, which means there aren’t often a plethora of funds available for search engine marketing. And while both #PPC and #SEO approaches are valuable and worthwhile website marketing tools, they’re both going to cost your business money. However, while I’m generally more partial to #SEO, both methods are important for website rank.
Benefits of search engine optimization (SEO) marketing campaigns
Consider for example your organization is a non-profit entity. More often than not, you probably have a limited budget – and most of that probably goes to service development, operations and personnel cost. In my opinion, non-profit organizations should utilize SEO tactics in their websites, blog posts, social media referral traffic, and website link-building to naturally grow their website presence. In a non-profit’s case, the value SEO traffic is generally better. Why? Because organic search results are 8.5x more likely to be clicked on than paid search ads.
The same is true for niche products and services. Generally, these types of products/services require detailed, long-tail keywords to describe their offerings. If these keywords and phrases are used naturally in content marketing efforts – specifically throughout their website, blog posts, social media streams and earned media placements – Google and other search engines will reward the website with a high-ranking search result. Investing time into your company’s SEO by producing regular, fresh and interesting industry content is key to attracting search bots to index the content and maintain your search result rank.
But please remember, SEO is not “free.” While you won’t incur any up-front costs (like a PPC campaign) to “run” your SEO marketing strategy, you’ll likely have to hire an SEO strategist (PS: We can totally help! 😉 ) to advise on content creation and delivery mediums to attract search engine spiders, or invest your personal time into developing SEO content.
Benefits of pay-per-click (PPC) marketing campaigns
PPC campaigns are really great for businesses in that they get results fast! If you’re looking to drive search traffic to your site and don’t mind forking out some cash, PPC ads allow your business to create ads targeting search keyword combinations (and eliminations!) at budgets you control. What’s really great about PPC ads are that they’re easily customizable and can be targeted to virtually all locations, meaning you’re not longer paying for ads delivered to areas you don’t service. And bonus: monitoring your programs and campaigns allow you to determine which keywords perform best, and allows you to make changes as needed for the most bang for your advertising buck.
While PPC ads are useful for almost any business, PPC ads are especially useful in moving search traffic to landing pages designed to clean out old product inventory or promote an odd event. Moreover, companies in competitive industries can especially benefit from PPC campaigns as it’s a good rule of thumb your competitors are utilizing search advertising and your business should absolutely be visible amongst competitors.
Another bonus of PPC ad campaigns is they can be tailored to customers in all stages of the buying cycle. Consider the following example of a Google search for a reliable supplier of horse-grooming brushes, which generated five different ads from five different vendors, leaving a variety of suggestions to choose from. I don’t know jack about “the best” horse-grooming brushes, so I alter my search to find “the best horse-grooming brushes.) This result produced new companies and products, indicating vendors understand the importance of utilizing both long and short-tail keywords in their ad campaigns. If you decide to run with PPC Ads, remember short-tail keyword searches usually come from customers in the beginning of the purchasing cycle; whereas long-tail keywords are often used in searches when customers are ready to buy. So plan your ad sets accordingly!
I hope I’ve given some easy-to-understand examples of the benefits of both search marketing tactics. While PPC ads drive lots of traffic to your site while they’re running, that traffic will diminish – or end – once the ad set finishes. That’s why I prefer using #SEO over #PPC campaigns, because the long-term value for your investment is just better. The more relevant and fresh content you produce, the more credible your business will become: both to your customers and search engine spiders.
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