There's a big question mark over these two types of strategies - SEO or Paid Search?
Sometimes, it is concluded that SEO is much better than Paid search & vice versa. Thus, the first thing businesses try to do while pursuing digital marketing is to put SEO and Paid search against each other. A lot of times, it creates confusion in people's minds regarding the correct choice between the two for their business. In this article, we are going to figure out which is a better investment for your firm that will provide you with satisfactory results - SEO or Paid Search?
We will learn about SEO & Paid search in detail, their advantages & disadvantages, why it is important to give attention to these two things, the notable difference between them and certainly the answer that you have been looking for, which digital strategy is best suited for your business.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, which is the technique of enhancing your website by increasing its visibility when people search for products and services that are associated with your business in organic results of Google, Bing, Yandex or other search engines. If your webpage receives better visibility in search results, the chances of attracting prospective & existing customers to your website increase.
Basically, SEO helps in ranking your website and brand higher on SERP, i.e. search engine result pages. Search engines are one of the leading ways to find out required content online, when a website ranks higher, there's an increase in the traffic to the website organically. To achieve this, you need to optimise the content of your website to make peace with the algorithms, which determines the relevance and quality of the web pages.
Quality Traffic - SEO helps in attaining high-quality viewers. People who will be actually interested in your products & services, are much more likely to visit your website. SEO's biggest advantage is that it is an inbound marketing strategy, which completely focuses on its customers by curating valuable information that can be easily accessible. Moreover, concentrating on keyword research is necessary to target the audience who use specific keywords to search for the information they need.
To rank higher, no payments are required - The algorithms are solely responsible for ranking high on SERPs, and that means you don't have to spend a penny to rank! You only have to focus on creating web pages that are worthy enough to be displayed in front of the audience.
SEO results can be measured - The best thing about SEO is that it can be measured in terms of whether your SEO strategy has been working successfully or not. You will be aware of this fact that how much it has helped in growing your business by effortlessly tracking the metrics.
If you want to improve your website, then it will be better for you to learn about google analytics.
Help in Building Relationships - Optimizing your website includes placement of internal and external links, which is one of the profitable SEO strategies. Also, Google appreciates the websites that add links, which directs the audience to other websites and who promotes them in the content of their website.
Quality Leads - According to a report published by Hubspot, 57% B2B marketers believe that SEO generates a surplus amount of leads compared to any other marketing strategy. The same thing can be assumed for the B2C marketers. Using the right strategy, your website can be effective in attracting leads 24/7.
Takes a Long time to show results - This is the biggest disadvantage of SEO that it takes an eternity to produce effective results. Hence, it is a slow process and can take up to 4-6 months to display results.
No Full Control - Google has 100% over this, and no matter how much expertise you have in this area, it will never be sufficient enough.
Change In The Algorithms - All search engine platforms undergo some changes oftentimes, the algorithms are updated on a regular basis, and you may find out that one day you are ranking higher, but the next day you get demoted. That is how radically it can change your position.
Paid search, also referred to as PPC (Pay Per Click), is the process of enhancing the visibility of the web pages & websites on search engines by paying for it. The ultimate goal is to display sponsored ads at the top position of SERPs. This can only be achieved through bidding and targeting the keywords.
Paid search functions on pay per click model, which means you will only get charged if someone clicks your ad.
Paid search advertising is provided by many platforms such as Google, Amazon, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Bing.
Faster Results - There are many digital marketing strategies that don't work immediately, it takes a lot of time to increase your ranking on SERPs for pertinent queries of the customers. But with paid search, your website instantly starts to rank higher, and that gives you the opportunity to capture interested audiences.
Full Control - Paid search gives you full control over optimisations such as the keywords, landing page, as extensions, ad copy etc. However, paid search ads are unaffected by the modifications done in the algorithms.
Improves Brand Image - Your brand reputation is highly influenced when your sponsored ads show at the top of the search engine results page. Your audience knows that the top results displayed to them are the most relevant ones, and that's how your business stature is built. Moreover, Google says that brand awareness is strengthened by using Adwords up to 80%.
Measurable Results - Paid search is beneficial in providing measurable results, which means you will be able to know all the data that includes sales generated from these clicks, number of clicks & cost per click.
Cost-effective - Paid search advertising is cost-effective as you will be charged only if someone clicks on the ad. There will be no wastage of money that is spent on building an impression in front of the users, who will not be actually engaging with your ad. If you own a small business that is attempting to manage its budget effectively, then paid search advertising is the best option for you.
Disadvantages Of Paid Search
Short Listings - This is one big disadvantage of paid search, your listings will vanish automatically once you run out of your budget.
Fewer clicks - If compared to organic results, paid search receives fewer clicks because of the fact that around 85% of the users are familiar with organic listings.
Experience - To deal with PPC you need to have experience or proper knowledge about this area. Your ads must be functioning appropriately, but there are many other tools and features that you can utilize to ensure your ads are performing better, and for this, you need to gain some knowledge.
Difference Between SEO and Paid Search
SERP Placement :
The topmost area of search results are covered by paid search ads, and we can say that the upper half of the page is dominated by them, and obviously, the first thing a user views is paid search ads. They acquire up to four snippets on desktop and maybe three on smartphones. But sometimes, the paid search advertisements can appear at the bottom of the page.
Whereas organic search results cover up the remaining ten snippets on the search result page, viewers will have to navigate and pass through the paid ads to look at the top-ranking organic results.
Placement Cost :
Paid search ads have a direct-cost, which means businesses have to pay for the ads to appear on top of the search engine result page. However, the cost of paid search can increase anytime.
Whereas, when it comes to SEO, it has no direct-cost as the positioning of the websites in organic results are done free of cost by the search engines. This makes SEO more cost-effective in the long run.
Estate on SERP :
Paid search ads take up the prime area of the page, and they are always visible in the exact same locations.
Whereas organic search results are more flexible. Also, because of the FAQ schema, the page snippets can be expanded, and more data about the brand can be provided. Moreover, SEO helps brands to be visible in different places on search result pages, such as the knowledge graph and the local map pack. This assures that there is enough estate for businesses to be endorsed on SERP with the help of SEO.
Target Audience :
A good marketing strategy includes knowing your audience and how to target them effectively. Here, SEO can only target the queries presented by the users as it has its own limitations.
Whereas, there are no boundations for paid search for its targeting methods. PPC ad platforms provide a variety of targeting tools that helps in categorizing your users by age, gender, language, location, income, devices, market interests, online activity, keywords and based on many other factors to make sure that your paid search ads are attended to the right users at the right time.
After all the discussions, it's pretty clear that both SEO and Paid Search can be beneficial for your business, but actually, it depends on your skills and understanding as to when is the right time to utilize them for obtaining absolute effective results. Since both of them have distinct features, they can be favorable in accomplishing different goals & objectives in your business strategy.