The goal of any website should be to capture qualified leads and the best way to achieve this is by letting your prospective clients know that you’re there. Getting your website to rank on Google is one of the many challenges all businesses face. Should you pay for advertising, such as Google AdWords, or put in some effort and play the long game with Organic SEO?
It’s a tough question and one that needs careful consideration before embarking on either, or both, paths. Most SME’s don’t know whether to engage in an organic SEO strategy or a paid search strategy, or indeed whether to use both.
Every business is different and operates in a unique space so there is no right or wrong answer, however your business objectives, budget and time constraints will play an important part in the direction you take.
What we do know is that if you get your marketing strategy wrong it can cost you a lot of time and money, and ultimately do more harm than good.
Organic Search Engine Optimisation
The biggest advantage to having a strong organic SEO ranking is that organic ranking tends to be more trusted than advertised. Google has been around long enough now for users to be wise to when they are being advertised to. And most users know that businesses at the top of Google AdWords have the deepest pockets. Statistics indicate that a high organic ranking attracts 50% more click throughs than the top AdWord listing.
With this in mind businesses that recognize higher rankings equals increased revenue are prepared to pay SEO Agencies big dollars to get their site to the top of the pile. However, it’s not as simple as ‘if you build it they will come’. In fact it’s far more complex. Which is where SEO agencies come into play.
At Start Digital we optimize websites to be more SEO friendly, increasing their performance and trust rating and in turn their perceived importance in the eyes of the search engine. We’ve seen some incredible results for every one of our SEO clients but it is a moving target. Google regularly update their search algorithm which impacts how they rank sites. The most recent change at the start of September 2016 was the biggest for a while and it’s only in recent days that we’ve seen things level out a little.
Organic SEO takes effort, focus and a lot of patience but, once your site is established, it undoubtedly yields incredible long term results that help businesses grow.
There are many forms of paid online advertising but for this article we’ll focus on Google AdWords. They are after all the biggest player.
AdWords is a great way to elevate your listing to the top of the pile. However, it does come at a price and, if it’s not managed correctly, that price can be pocket emptying.
Google AdWords charges on a Pay Per Click (PPC) basis. That is, when someone clicks on your ad, you’re charged. Popular search terms are more expensive to purchase than those that are less popular. The rate you are charged per click is dependent on your market and where you’d like to rank. A company paying $0.20/click will likely not rank above a company paying $0.30/click.
When starting a paid marketing campaign it’s important to understand what your customers are searching for when looking for your service. Often it is not the popular expensive search terms, but longtail search terms – which are far cheaper with less competition and a potential goldmine for new enquiries.
The biggest advantage of PPC is that you can control which terms your website will be listed for. This is especially helpful when you’re trying to determine which keyword term yields the best results. Using Googles AdWord management tools, you can easily see which keywords are converting into site visitors.
For many businesses, a mixture of organic and paid results often works best. The organic ranking gives your business some authority, trust and longer term results while paid ads provide an immediate high ranking placement and increased visibility.
At Start Digital we customize an SEO and marketing solution that fits your business. We have experience in organic SEO, Google AdWords and Social Media alongside other, more traditional marketing methods that help get your business in front of the right people. Our packages are cost effective and have seen every one of our SEO clients significantly grow their online profile. Talk to us today to see how we can help your business.