Search Engine Marketing or SEO

Search Engine Marketing or SEO

SEO keyword

Search engine marketing is a form of Internet marketing that uses paid ads, which are more commonly known as pay-per-click ads. We’re going to take a look at pay-per-click ads and search engine optimization, as well as which strategy you should use in order to drive traffic to your site.

Search Engine Optimization

SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization. “Search engine optimization is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) — including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines” (Webopedia).

PPC is short for pay per click. “PPC is a type of sponsored online advertising that is used on a wide range of websites, including search engines, where the advertiser only pays if a web user clicks on their ad” (Brick Marketing).

SEO three advantages over PPC include (Huffington Post):

  • Natural exposure and credibility – marketers will hold the top spot on the search engine result page resulting from an organic (free) search. These results are viewed by consumers as being more credible because they are not paid ads.
  • Large ROI potential – The organic search can result in more conversions and revenue because of more clicks that organic search typically generates.
  • Exposure on several search engines – If SEO is performed correctly, a small business can receive exposure on the major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, and AOL).

PPC three advantages over SEO are (Huffington Post):

  • Instant traffic to the marketer’s site – Ads show up at the top of the search engine results almost immediately after the PPC campaign is implemented.
  • No worrying about algorithm updates – Whenever search engines updates its algorithm, PPC ads are not affected like the organic search results.
  • Laser target your audience – PPC gives a marketer the ability to target their ideal customer by choosing which geographical area will see their ads. This allows small businesses to target local clients.

A small business needs a combination of search engine optimization and pay-per-click elements in their marketing campaign. It depends on the budget and goals of the marketer. Search engine optimization can result in a solid return in the long run; however, it takes time to do it correctly (Huffington Post). Pay-per-click provides immediate results, but it can be expensive. Also, customers tend to read past the paid ads. All-in-all, if the budget doesn’t allow it, search engine optimization is a better method of internet marketing.

PPC Ads vs. Organic Search

According to a research from GroupM UK and Nielsen, search engine users overwhelmingly clicked on organic search results on Google and Bing by a margin of 94 percent (“ZOG Digital”). Search engine users clicked on pay-per-click ads by a margin of six percent. The six percent that clicked on PPC ads were 53 percent women compared to 47 percent that were men. Thirty-five percent of those who clicked on PPC ads are 34 years old and younger. Interestingly the older the search engine users are, the percentage of PPC ads clicked goes up. For example, the search engine users who are 35 years and older, clicked on PPC ads 65 percent of the time.

On the other hand, if the PPC ads contain keywords with high commercial intent in the United States, these ads beat out organic search results by nearly a 2:1 margin. “In other words, 64.6 percent of people click on Google Ads when they are looking to buy an item online!” (The WordStream Blog) Overall, organic search results still get the most clicks; however, not in the case of pay-per-click ads with keywords for high commercial intent.

The location of the ads makes a big difference also. On SERP (search engine result page), 24 percent of the ads are at the top and account for 85 percent of clicks. Sixty one percent are on the right side of the search engine result page receiving 13 percent of clicks. Fifteen percent of the ads appear at the bottom. Search engine users click on these ads two percent of the time. According to the ZOG Digital article, there is conclusive evidence that a marketer online performance improved when running an integrated organic and paid search campaign.

Pay-Per-Click Ad Campaign vs. SEO Campaign

Pay-per-click ad campaigns can be very expensive if it is not set up correctly. It is not a matter of setting up the campaign and forgetting about it. The campaign has to be constantly optimized and fine-tuned in order to keep the ads performing and producing a ROI. PPC ads requires a lot of experience and testing, which is why small businesses hire digital firms to handle their PPC ad campaigns (Huffington Post).

On the other hand, a quality SEO campaign takes several months to notice results. However, if done correctly, it can drive constant traffic to the marketer’s website, as well as generate a nice ROI. As mentioned earlier, the best results are produced when elements of both PPC and SEO are used in the marketing campaign. However, if the budget doesn’t allow it, search engine optimization is the most cost effective method of advertising.

Are you currently marketing your online business with search engine marketing or search engine optimization or do you use a combination of both? We would love to hear from you. Please leave your comments below.




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