When engaged in online marketing, you have two main avenues to consider: Natural Listings and “Pay per Click” (PPC). Ideally, your campaign would be a split between optimising your site to improve your natural listing as well as some PPC work but this will depend very much on your budget as well as the nature of the industry you are in.
Before you dive into any search marketing campaign, it is important to establish a firm understanding of your overall marketing goals (both in the short-, medium- and long-term), a plan of action to achieve those and the metrics by which you will measure success. Although SEO is flexible, it is important to establish a firm understanding of your marketing goals, a plan of action to achieve those and the metrics by which you will measure success.
A high ranking position in a natural search implies that you are trustworthy and reliable. Users of Google will typically look no further than the top 5 listings for the majority of search terms: therefore, getting your website on the front page is vital.
Providing this organic position, through relevant content writing and coding as well as tactical monitoring of progress does take time and, generally, requires specialist skills in the field of programming, copywriting and software development in conjunction with experience and knowledge of the industry being marketed. A project focused on your natural listing will not only improve your ranking, but the quality of your site as a whole so it represents a capital investment in addition to being sensible from a marketing perspective. In terms of return on investment (ROI), this strategy generates a more effective and enduring result than PPC but it clearly does takes longer to achieve. This is why, in the interim, it is often advisable to deploy a managed PPC campaign.
In terms of return on investment (ROI), an SEO strategy generates a more effective and enduring result than PPC but it does takes longer to achieve. This is why Digital State advocates deploying a managed PPC campaign in the early stages.
By advertising via a Google AdWords campaign, one can achieve an immediate front page presence. Essentially, you stipulate what your daily budget is and how much you want to pay “per click”. Google then optimise the visibility of your website within those financial boundaries. Furthermore, being a Google product, it is characteristically flexible and works in real time so you can manage your campaigns live.
On the downside, an Adwords campaign that is poorly controlled can become a very costly venture with unquantifiable results – it requires a clearly defined and regularly managed cycle of targets, analysis and refinement.
Clearly, both approaches have their benefits and, as such, often work well when dovetailed in a comprehensive search marketing campaign. Adwords can generate immediate traffic (but at a cost), whilst a companion campaign is put in place to improve natural listings. Over time, the reliance on PPC diminishes as your natural listing is established on the front page.
This dual campaign management is a delicate balance and, to maximise its efficacy, many businesses choose to outsource the work. At Digital State we have the specialist skills and experience required, across all areas of Digital Marketing to help you identify, and achieve, your goals – get in contact today and we’ll be happy to arrange a free, no obligation proposal for you.
Where PPC beats Natural
- Immediacy of sponsored position against gradual progress of natural SEO.
- Increased flexibility in adapting, redirecting and managing campaigns.
- PPC tend to engage people in their marketing campaigns more acutely, due to higher cost and immediacy of analytical/financial feedback.
- Helps generate brand awareness in early days of company/website, when PageRank and authority may be low.
- PPC can also target (via the Display Network) “in-website” adverts which include video and image, as well as text, advertising. This is particularly useful for brand awareness marketing, rather than revenue generation marketing.
- As a consequence of these different marketing avenues and it’s immediacy, you can more easily target specific campaigns to different demographics, times of day, language, regions/countries, seasons, etc.
Where Natural beats PPC
- It’s MUCH cheaper!
- Long-term positional results that, once achieved, are not lost quickly; as opposed to PPC where you disappear the instant you stop paying. With PPC, you’re renting a position; with natural you’re earning it (albeit on a leasehold!).
- Credibility/Authority in the eyes of customers – suspicion over “sponsored links”. This is reflected in the ratio of searches between top 5 naturals and PPC (approx. 4:1) and the conversion rates (much higher, in our experience).
- Whilst you’re working on improving from an SEO perspective, you’re actually improving your website (from an authority perspective).