Unless your business has been operating in the digital dark ages, you will know that to get ahead in business is to get noticed, and that one way to boost your market profile is to create an effective online presence.
Once you look the part and have a dynamic new website you then need to shine out in the search engine result pages (SERPs) so that all your greatness can be found by your customers. In essence what you need is a solid search engine strategy!
Understand people and technology
To be seen online you need to get as high as you can in search results, so that when somebody taps keywords into a search they are going to come across you. This is more than important, it’s vital! Everybody is used to technology at their fingertips, and while you may think or know your business rocks, people want and expect instant information when they search. They don’t want to delve deep into search results.
Think about how you act…do you often reach page 10 of search results? Do you even get the second page of results? Keep in mind that around 80% of traffic to your website comes via a search engine and the vast majority of that traffic click on website that rank on the first page.
How do I get my business to the top of the page?
As we've already mentioned, SERPs are not a matter of chance. Leaving your website to the mercy of established structured methods is madness if you want to get to the top of search result pages. These coveted hotspots really pay off with higher click-through-rates.
To get to the top of the SERPs you can opt for organic searches and rely on using keywords and SEO (search engine optimization) or you can pay for advertisements that guarantee you a prime position. These purchased places not only appear at the top but are also placed on the right-hand sidebar and shaded or marked out as ads. Regardless of traffic, if you pay you stay at the top.
What is best, organic results or paid results?
A study by WordStream who focus on online advertising and provide search engine marketing software, found that clicks on paid ads on Google were higher than for organic searches by a ratio of 2:1. However, this was concerned with high commercial intent searches whereby the seeker is looking for a specific product or service. When it comes to more informational keyword searches, SEO and organic searches win out.
Benefits of paid search results
When you search for something using a search engine, you naturally look at the top results first. Location. Location. Location. It is everything in real estate and the SERPs are prime online land in the virtual marketplace. In a WordStream poll, nearly half of the users couldn't differentiate between these paid searches and organic searches.
This means, that many users are not going to be put off by the fact that a business has paid its way to the top of the search charts. The ROI (return on investment) might be worthwhile compared to the investment in creating a successful traffic-driven site with great SEO.
Businesses can use paid results, or PPC (pay per click) advertising to reach a target market for conversions. The focus might be on a geographical area or a certain set of products or services being offered. And since your ads start appearing as soon as you launch your campaign, you can start driving qualified traffic to your website very quickly.
If the organic results for you target keywords are being dominated by bigger players in your business area, then SEO can become an uphill struggle compared to what could be a faster track with PPC.
BUT: With PPC, it is not always as simple as using systems such as Google Adwords and then expecting instant clicks. There are other factors such as how popular the keyword is to begin with, how many other advertisers are using that keywords and your competition.
While you might get targeted, instant clicks, running ads for keywords in some industries can be incredibly expensive, so you'll need to keep an eye on your budget. You'll also need to pay close attention to how that traffic converts into leads and customers on your website to ensure you are getting a solid return on your investment.
Benefits of organic search results
Web users are getting savvier about how online content works and may instinctively avoid the paid advertising in favor of what they see as 'real' results. Websites at the top of the organic SERPs have gotten there through creating quality content and building a solid web presence. No business gets to this position by chance, as hard work and relevance count.
Those at the coveted top of organic search results can create momentum that keeps them there and this may work out a lot more affordable for companies who don't have the budget for PPC; making this organic approach much more attractive to smaller businesses.
The benefits of SEO can be reaped over a longer period. Unlike PPC which stops sending traffic as soon as your ads stop running, a strong ranking in the organic results can drive traffic to your site for several months even if you're not actively focusing on an SEO campaign.
BUT: The idea that organic search results are free is a little misleading, as although you are not paying directly, as you are with a paid ad, building up SEO and creating quality content can be challenging, time consuming and expensive. Many business owners have little understanding of the complexities of SEO and need to hire an expert.
Building up organically may pay off when your business starts to rise in the result pages, but this is not a quick process and some companies struggle with this delay where they are not bringing in as many conversions as they would with PPC.
What's the solution?
Technology today is really about integrated systems and also customizing solutions to fit your individual business needs. For many businesses, the answer lies in multi-pronged solutions; a mixture of the best of both strategies. Quick solutions like PPC can pay off in the short-term but may drain resources over time, while organic searches really create traffic with substance that may be slow to add profitability to your business but be worth the wait in the end.
Pronto can help you find the best search result package to suit your expectations and goals; reflecting the reality of your business, your industry, and your target market. Using SEO and PPC tailored to your company, with targeted keywords, ensures that you are on page 1 of SERPs.
We understand that online presence is about high visibility to your customers, affordable online marketing strategies, and real results where your business shines online. Contact us today.
17 SEO myths you should leave behind
Dispel the mistruths and find out what you really need to know about SEO