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SEO v PPC? : Let’s cut the BS

Business in general or in this case, search engine marketing has a filthy habit of using lots of annoying multi-letter acronyms, terms and buzzwords.  

Some of these expressions are far more painful and pompous than others.

A prime example we’ve heard consultants use recently is the term “Opening the Kimono” instead of revealing information.

It’s a bit creepy and let’s be honest, just keep your Kimono tightly fastened thank you. Another one of our personal favourites is “Reach Out”. You mean to set up a meeting or contact someone? Just say that… 

We could go on, but today we’re here to cut through the fluff that revolves around Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC). We know you’re not interested in bounce rates, backlinks and CTR’s. You want to know what the potential is for these campaigns to make you money. So, let’s look at what these things are, which is the best option for your brand and how they can affect your bottom line?   

SEO: Organic Rankings 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an activity that brings your website closer to, or in a perfect world; the first page of search engine rankings. Organic ranking basically means that this is working passively. Search engines like Google have a system they use to decide which pages are considered more relevant to the user conducting the search. This system is basically quality control for the massive volumes of searches that come through search engines every day. Good SEO will help secure your spot in the fight to get your piece of the vast, ever-expanding pie.  

SEO is a great medium to long-term investment to ensure a strong future for your brand and your marketing. It can take months to see results from an SEO campaign, particularly if your site is very new, but at the end of the day, cashflow is king and SEO, coupled with a good website will mean strong and sustainable lead generation for your brand into the future. 

PPC: Paid Rankings 

Pay-Per-Click is quite literally advertising that you pay for on a click to click basis. It’s instant and scalable, so you will see results as soon as you start funding your ad. Need more leads? Spend more on your ad and get more clicks. It’s instant gratification and when done right can get you a lot of conversions.  

It’s not just limited to the Ads you see at the top of Googles search results either. For instance, there are special ads just for local services and options for display ads so you can use more imagery and be set up to appear on many relevant websites, not just in Googles search results.

SEO vs. PPC  in 5 Steps 

1. What’s your goal?  

Sounds a bit silly right? What’s my goal, it’s to get more sales. Yes, this is your macro goal but within this, there are other things to focus on. 

  • What does my brand need from this Search Engine Marketing Campaign? More leads, to push a particular offer, to extend the lifetime value of your customers, more website visits, more brand awareness? 
  • Pick 1 or 2 primary goals. 
  • Now quantify them with targets.  Percentages or figures you’d like to see these increase by.  

2. Set Time Frames & Target Dates  

Is it a short, medium or long-term goal? Are the resources and funds going to be available and what other activities are going to be competing for these resources along the way? Is this a campaign that is designed to push a particular offer or event? Maybe it’s a yearlong campaign? Be realistic and conservative. Remember you can break longer campaigns down into mini-milestones.   

3.Weigh up Benefits  

 SEO PPC 
COST You pay an initial setup fee and then pay for each click to your website.  Charged on a month to month basis and typically by hours worked.  
URGENCY Get instant results. You’ll see leads coming in straight away.  Start to see results in 3-9 months and increase your brand presence over time.  
ENDURANCE  Works better in shorter bursts and isn’t a permanent solution.  A more permanent solution with results that are maintained with some upkeep  

4.Craft a humanised strategy 

Now we take a step back from all of this and look at things like your ideal clients. Who are they? Without defining your objectives and understanding your customer’s behaviors it’s all a bit meaningless.  

For instance – Say you run a Custom Home building company. Think about your customer and their process’s. This type of buying is highly considered, there’s no great deal of urgency and much of their decision-making process will be based on previous work and face to face meetings. Now ask yourself if you were in the buyer’s position would you be more responsive to a Builder that had organic ranking or a paid ad?  

On the other hand, say you run a plumbing company. The dollar value attached to your service is lower and there’s potentially much more urgency revolving around your client’s processes. Do the same thing and ask yourself which type of search result would matter to you?  Maybe you have an e-commerce site and your product is much more of an impulse buy item?  

So, as you can see there’s potentially some marked differences here when it comes to buying behaviors. You need to consider this when you’re putting everything together objectively.  

5. Maybe both is the way to go?  

To put it in the simplest possible terms, if you can fund it, do it. Run a PPC campaign next to your SEO and test the waters. Split-run test 3-4 variants of maybe 4 sets of ads that run for 2 months each and measure the results. By doing this you can make more educated marketing decisions that won’t just be limited to your search engine marketing into the future.  

Putting together a combination of SEO and PPC services means you’ll see results now and later and it will also help you determine what is effective for your brand and goals. Remember its all scalable. You have a dial that’s fed buy the funding you pour into each variant that you can turn up and down, so once you’ve set your baseline, all your decisions will be ROI based. It’s one of those – never, never know if you never, never go things. 

Empower Your Brand

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