Online marketing is important for all businesses in the digital age. It can be seen through the different digital channels such as social media, search engines and owned content. Even for local businesses existing offline, online marketing is an effective way to attract website visitors and ultimately local customers. According to the Jupiter Research by Forrester, 81% of customers find businesses through a search engine. No business can afford not to have an online presence.
When it comes to attracting your target audience, there are two forms of search engine marketing: organic and paid search marketing. Organic search, or better known as search engine optimization (SEO), is a long term solution for online visibility. This method revolves around the careful selection of keywords used to attract your target audience.
For instance, if your business sold bespoke, luxury thermal flasks, then it will target keywords such as ‘luxury thermal flasks for sale,’ or buy high end thermal containers.’ This content will target potential customers interested in buying luxury thermal flasks. This is an organic search method because the content is crafted to fit the audience and there are no paid advertising involved.
What is paid search then? This method is known as Pay Per Click and uses the powerful Google Adwords to target your audience. You are essentially buying consumer’s attention through carefully worded ads with corresponding keywords. Using the example of luxury thermal flasks again, you will be creating an ad about luxury thermal flasks with keywords related to thermal flasks. Every time someone clicks on your ad, you will pay the CPC (cost per click).
Advanced PPC marketing requires a strategic bidding system to lower the cost of acquisition and gain greater click through rates. This is why many businesses hire a digital marketing agency to manage their PPC campaigns. An experienced agency will implement effective PPC through constant testing and iteration.
Organic search and PPC are both capable to gaining you more website visitors and conversions through effective content. Their comparative advantages are various and you should be informed before going ahead. However, you can maximize your search marketing efforts by combining the two different methods.
Did you know that PPC combined with SEO can yield and 27% increase in profits for your marketing investment? Although organic search are trusted more by website visitors (with 8.5 times more visitors clicking on organic search results), PPC holds the key to higher conversions from click throughs. PPC is also faster than organic SEO which sees results in months rather than immediately. This is because relevant ads can go live quickly appearing on top of search results and landing pages are optimized for the ad click through. Perhaps this explains why the ratio of marketing spend on PPC compared to SEO is 8:1!
Organic search marketing may be cheaper and more effective in the long run but PPC will get you the initial brand awareness to make some quick sales. When you combine paid and organic search, your business will benefit from a greater volume of high quality traffic that converts into actual, paying customers.
The takeaway from this article is that you should research what search marketing will be best for your target audience and stage of business cycle you are in. Long term/short term benefits, costs and expertize are all areas to consider when implementing search engine marketing; remember that you can combine the two forces of organic and paid search and gain the results you want that way.