SEO and PPC are two facets of online marketing that companies use to draw traffic to their websites. Pay per click marketing, or PPC, is a good way to create an initial increase in new site viewers. The company pays search engines to place its link at the top of the search results until the allotted amount of people have clicked. At that point, the company can either pay for more clicks or turn its focus to search engine optimization, or SEO. SEO is the practice of optimizing a creating backlinks to increase the organic position in the search results.
Which Approach is Better?
At first, a company needs to utilize PPC and SEO equally. Pay per click places the website’s link in front of the maximum number of people possible; this is what will encourage the first wave of visitors to read the site. It will also help the site rise in the rankings of organic, or unpaid, search results. The more popular a website is, the higher it will rank. Since people do not often click past the first page of results when using search engines, cultivating organic popularity is very important, especially if the business ever decides to stop paying for PPC placement.
To use SEO marketing effectively, a business has to regularly use search engine analytics to determine which search terms people are using to find its website. It is also helpful to find out which keywords are linked to competitors’ sites. The on-staff content writer will then compose articles containing relevant keywords for every page of the website. The value of a good content writer cannot be overstated. Since keyword usage among Internet surfers shifts daily, a site’s content needs to be edited regularly.
A good SEO writer knows how to seamlessly incorporate keywords into web content. Many companies think that stuffing as many keywords as possible into each article is the best way to attract new people to their sites. The truth is that, though people are aware that all commercial sites are essentially advertisements, no one wants to feel as if he or she is reading paint-by-numbers ad copy. The content needs to read like normal articles; the goal is to use keywords without having to resort to awkward phrasing. This can be very difficult when popular keywords include locations or other phrases that do not flow smoothly in writing. For example, a keyword like “independent bookstore New York” would be nearly impossible to use in a way that seemed natural. The content writer has to decide between using clunky phrasing or omitting the keyword altogether.
SEO writing is a lot more time-intensive than PPC purchasing is, but it yields longer, more consistent results. PPC is important for new sites, but SEO helps to cultivate a long-term customer base. Neither one is more objectively valuable than the other, though SEO is the more long-term project. PPC can be abandoned after a certain point, but a company must continue to adjust its approach to SEO for as long as it intends to have an online presence.
What Are the Drawbacks to Using PPC and SEO?
PPC marketing seems foolproof at first. All a company has to do to attain the top ranking on a search engine is pay for it. Unfortunately, PPC links appear in colored boxes that identify them as paid listings. Some people are skeptical of these links and avoid clicking them on principle. They know that a link is at the top of the list because the company paid for that placement, not because it is popular with other people on the web. PPC links are also susceptible to a particular kind of sabotage. A company’s competitors might repeatedly click on the link, running through its pre-set amount of paid clicks and pulling the site out of its position in the listings.
SEO writing has its own set of potential complications. If a company is working with an outside marketing firm to create its website, it needs to forge open communication with the firm and its content writers. A company needs to provide the writers with a great deal of information about its history and range of products or services. A writer should not have to chase down a company spokesperson to have simple questions answered.
SEO marketing depends on having access to keyword analytics. It also requires a deep understanding of the trajectory of trends. It might seem smart to only use the most popular keywords, but that instinct needs to be balanced against the number of sites that already feature those keywords. Analytics will reveal keywords that people are using that are not yet linked to well-traveled sites. Taking advantage of underused keywords is an easy way to achieve good search engine rankings; the list of competitors using those keywords would be relatively short.
The main goal of online marketing is to garner repeat business. People need to be compelled to visit the site more than once. Ideally, they will visit it on a regular basis. This happens when an initial phase of PPC links gives way to frequently updated SEO content.
About the author:
White Chalk Road is Perth’s leading online marketing and SEO agency and consists of a small team of dedicated SEO professionals and PPC advertising consultants.