There are two main ways businesses can market themselves online: SEO vs paid search. If you’re not familiar with these strategies, then read this article to learn more about them. Not only will we compare the two strategies, but we’ll also discuss some of their advantages and disadvantages. We’ll tell you which strategy is better for your business and how each one works.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your chances of getting noticed by search engines in their rankings. Proper SEO can be accomplished by altering your web content, such as text and images, to make it more relevant to a keyword or phrase.
As an example, if you are selling cosmetics online and want people searching for “eye shadow” or “lipstick” to see your site, then you could create pages on those topics with optimized title tags that contain the keywords they would use when searching for makeup as part of an SEO strategy. Search engines will recognize these SEO efforts on your part and reward them accordingly with higher rankings in their results.
What are the benefits of SEO?
SEO is the most cost-effective long-term strategy for growing traffic to your website. With search engine optimization, you don’t have to worry about making a splash with a single viral post or promotion. Instead, SEO steadily drives readers to your site over time via organic search results. The result? More consistent and sustainable growth in SEO web traffic overall—and potentially more customers who are ready to buy from you!
If you’re still having trouble believing that SEO can help drive long-term success for your business, consider this: According to HubSpot’s lead generation report, organic search drove 49% of all leads (that means sales) during the summer of 2021. That same year, Google paid out $12B+ just on AdWords alone. Cleary, SEO is a viable (and necessary) strategy!
What are the drawbacks of SEO?
As we talked about before, SEO refers to the process of improving your website’s visibility in search engines by making certain changes to its content, structure (or code), and other components. For example, if you add words like “hot” or “cool” to a page title tag (the HTML element), that could increase your chances of showing up in Google for searches that include those words.
However, SEO is not magic—and it can sometimes take weeks or months before you see results. You also have less control with SEO over how often people visit your site because it depends on what they’re looking for and where they are when they perform their searches. Having said this, there are some very important reasons why businesses need strong SEO strategies:
The longer it takes to show results from an effort such as SEO, the more likely potential customers will be distracted by something else. This could cost you valuable traffic and sales down the line.
What are Paid Ads?
Paid search, also known as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, is the process of paying to improve the visibility of your website and webpages on search engines, or their partner sites. PPC ads appear alongside natural results or at the top and right side of the search engine results. The term “sponsored listings” describes these types of results that are paid for by businesses who want them to be displayed in this prominent position.
Advertisers bid for keywords relevant to the business that they hope users will enter into a search engine when looking for products or services like theirs. Although one can buy live text ads paid for through Google’s AdWords program directly from Google, most companies choose to use an online marketing agency instead.
What are the benefits of Paid Ads?
Unlike SEO, one of the most valuable aspects of paid search advertising is that it can be deployed quickly and often. With a few clicks, you can launch an ad campaign. This makes paid search ideal for time-sensitive content or events where results are important, even if they’re short-lived. A prime example is a new product release: your customers will want to know about it as soon as possible, so you could set up an ad campaign around this need and then establish other forms of nonpaid marketing for long-term success (such as blogging). It would be very hard to do that using SEO.
Another benefit is control over performance—because advertisers pay only when users take specific actions on their sites, such as click-throughs or web form submissions. There’s no question about whether paid ads have been seen by potential customers when they search for targeted keywords; because you only pay when users click through to your site, and there’s no wasted money spent on search impressions that didn’t result in any visitors from search traffic.
What are the drawbacks of Paid Ads?
Pay-per-click advertising, commonly referred to as PPC, is a type of internet marketing in which advertisers pay an online publisher (usually a website operator) each time one of their ads is clicked. Pay-per-click (PPC) can be used for branding purposes and specific product promotions, or it can drive direct response when combined with landing pages that offer immediate value to visitors. But because you’re paying every time your ad gets clicked on in search results regardless of whether it results in leads or sales, you’ll want to make sure your goal is clearly defined before launching PPC campaigns.
And since most people abandon shopping carts without checking out because they fear the financial commitment required to complete the purchase, consider making this process easier by offering discounts and special offers throughout the buying cycle rather than at checkout.
So what’s the difference between SEO vs Paid Search?
When it comes to marketing, businesses can choose between two types of ads: search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click advertising. Both involve the use of online ads in the search results, but they differ in how you get your ad on a search engine results page (SERP), what space is available for your ad, and how much you have to pay for each click. SEO requires no upfront payment; instead, as an advertiser or business owner, you build links that point back to your site and increase its visibility in the SERP over time through natural listings.
Paid search advertising offers more immediate placement options than SEO because it involves actively paying for the top spot on a SERP with either Google AdWords or alternative platforms such as Bing Ads. In addition to being able to be placed above all other paid advertisers on a SERP—versus only those who are bidding lower than you—you also gain access to features like site links, call extensions, and location extensions.
Which strategy is best for your business: SEO vs Paid Ads?
If you’re wondering how to make SEO and PPC search ads work for your business, the answer is simple: You don’t have to pick one over the other. Instead of choosing between these two digital marketing strategies, why not combine them so that they both work for you? By merging traditional search engine optimization (SEO) with pay-per-click advertising (PPC), you can get better results from search traffic than if you relied on just one strategy alone.
Create ads that “retarget” your website visitors
Like SEO, paid retargeting is a powerful tool in digital marketing. If you’ve ever visited an online retailer and then been served ads from that site when browsing elsewhere on the web, you’ve experienced retargeting at work. Retargeted visitors have typically left your site without converting (that is, making a purchase), but retargeting allows you to reach these potential customers with ads wherever they go online. This can help prompt them to return and make a purchase, or at least learn more about the product they were interested in before leaving your site.
Promote your website content on social media
Social media ads are an excellent way to promote content in 2022. With hundreds of millions of active social media users across Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, there’s no shortage of traffic that you can potentially drive to your website.
If it’s been a while since you promoted something online through paid advertising channels, consider taking advantage of the widespread use of social networking on Facebook and LinkedIn alone. It should be noted that such ads aren’t just meant for promoting products or services—they can also help spread blog posts, guides, reports, and case studies after spending hours creating them. Not only do these kinds of ads help with content distribution, but they could potentially boost your SEO efforts and help you acquire essential backlinks that’d boost your rankings if done right.
Both SEO and Paid Ads have a place in your digital marketing plan
In conclusion, SEO and PPC are both essential in today’s digital marketing landscape. Each strategy has its advantages, and it can be tempting to get too focused on either SEO over paid search ads, or vice versa. However, when you take advantage of each tactic separately and combine them for greater results, your business will undoubtedly benefit from a more comprehensive online presence that integrates paid advertising with search engine optimization (SEO).