In a perfect World a small business would have enough internet marketing budget to sustain an internet marketing strategy that includes both SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay per click) advertising.
Unfortunately, many small business owners are working with limited budgets which leaves them with a dilemma on where to spend this budget to achieve the best ROI.
The Case for SEO
The simplest way to explain SEO is to compare your website to a new building. If your website is the building, then consider the search engine “bots” as the Building Inspectors. Search engines have developed a certain set of standards (algorithms) over the years to help them identify the characteristics of a quality website so they can return the most relevant results to their search engine users and a big part of a quality website is how it is structured and optimized.
The reason why most people use the google search engine is that they can be fairly certain that the SERP (search engine results page) will provide them with the top results for their query. To be included in these top SERP’s, a website is rated by the search engines in relationship to the website’s competitors. To obtain these rating, a search engine will send out its “bots” to crawl a website and report back to it. The more your website can comply with search engine standards the better your website rating will be.
SEO is a major factor in search engine rankings because the search engine looks for quality structural website items like Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, Alt Tags and Urls for their rankings.
The process of SEO involves finding relevant keywords and content for your website and structuring it in a search engine friendly manor. Often you will need to use part of your marketing budget find a SEO professional that is familiar with the process since it is a specialized internet field.
The next time you do a google search, look at the SERP and you will quickly see a Title Tag and Meta description that clearly identify what that website is about.
PPC (pay per click) is a way for website owners to quickly increase their website’s visibility in search, but you can quickly use up your internet marketing budget if you are in a competitive sector.
PPC advertising on the internet basically works like any other type of advertising. You create ads to feature your products or services, you set a budget to run these ads and then these ads are placed in areas of internet where your potential customers are most like to visit. The ads you see in the SERP’s are placed by the search engines based on their relevance to your search history.
Paid advertising on the internet has many of the same characteristics as traditional media advertising. Your ad visibility depends on how much you are willing to spend, the competition for advertising space and your website ranking compared to other advertisers.
The problem with paid advertising alone to try and improve your website rankings is that once you stop running your PPC ads any visibility benefits you had in the search engines will tend to go away.
Build a Solid Foundation
I recommend to my clients that before they begin any PPC program they should make sure their website is optimized so they have a solid foundation to begin to build their business on. By having this strong foundation, they will begin to improve their website ranking organically in the search engine and it gives your website more credibility.
SEO maybe a slower search engine ranking process than PPC, but it has longer lasting effect in the search engine rankings.
While PPC can have quick ROI results, it should be used in conjunction with (rather than as a substitute) a solid SEO program to give your website the best opportunity for success.
Veteran business owners if you have questions on your SEO or PPC efforts contact me know for a Free evaluation
Slow and steady wins the race.