With so many options available for attracting more visitors to your website, how do you know which method to use? I guess it depends on where your customers are searching for you. Are they looking on Facebook, Google and Yahoo? One thing everyone knows for sure is that Google is the market leader in Search Engines right now, logging roughly 2 billion searches a day; that’s roughly 300 million people each and every day! So why any business wouldn’t be taking advantage of this is beyond me.
SEO is the process of getting your website more visibility online. In other words, it is the process of getting your website into the top positions of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). This process however, can be time consuming, tedious, and if done incorrectly it can be a complete waste of time and money. So why would you choose SEO over another method of online promotion or a PPC (Pay Per Click) model, such as Google AdWords? Well ultimately you want to use them both in tandem for ultimate results, though this isn’t always a practical option. So here are a few different reasons you would choose SEO over a PPC Advertising model:
Everybody is Googling It
Search engines in general, especially Google, are now the first way people are investigating products, services and businesses in general; with so many people using Google every day, it makes sense as a business to try and target these people.
In a recent survey, 91% of respondents said that they prefer to use the organic search results over the paid advertisements when looking to purchase a new product or service. Even if a potential customer heard about you through a referral, chances are they will still go online to find out what you offer and if it fits in with their needs. So that’s why you want to make sure you have a strong online presence.
Customers are always looking for better deals
Even clients who have been loyal to an organization for years will still occasionally jump online and compare you to your competitors, to ensure they are receiving the best value of course. Now picture this; you have done no SEO work recently, you’re in a competitive industry and I’m a long time client online having a look at other service providers. I Google the keywords I find most pertaining to your core business. But I can’t find you in my search results, but I can see your main competitor offers the same services at a cheaper price! I can see this because they’re on the first page of the Google results page, and where are you? Nowhere to be seen! You just lost a long term client.
If you are in a competitive industry, it would make sense to hire a professional SEO expert to maintain and improve your visibility on the Search Engine Results Pages, agree? The last thing you want to happen is the above scenario, so don’t allow it! Make sure you appear high in the organic search results, so you don’t ever lose a client because they couldn’t find you or what you do best on Google!
Be viewed as the leading authority in your field
Think about this for a minute: who do you think is probably going to be viewed as the leader, the authority of an industry? Is it going to be that business that’s appearing on the 3rd or 4th page of the Google Search results? Or is it going to be that business that’s appearing on the 3rd or 4th position on Google? Probably the latter. So it pays to be up the top.
Research shows that roughly 36% of search users believed that companies whose websites appear top of the search results were the leaders of that field (iProspect / Jupiter Research 2006). Also, only about 8% of search users even look past the 3rd page of results!
Being viewed as the leader of your field is a powerful way to make more sales and profits. Having people believe that because you are top of the list of Google Search Results, you must also be the top of your game, is going to be exceptionally beneficial to your bottom line.
Long term solution vs. Short term solution
Even though it’s a good idea to have both your SEO and PPC Advertising campaigns working together, there are distinct advantages to having one over the other.
PPC Advertising, for instance, is better at providing short term solutions for companies. If you have a new product and you want to increase its awareness, PPC Advertising would be the better option as results are instant. Or if you had a holiday specific product you wanted to promote, SEO wouldn’t be the way to go as it takes far too long to work.
Because the traffic that comes from Organic search results is typically cheaper and of higher quality than with paid advertising, it makes sense to focus on creating a long term approach to your SEO. Having an ever increasing web presence has a roll on effect to the other areas of your business, IE the easier you are to find on Google at any given time, then the easier it is for someone to make a purchase or enquiry, then it becomes infinitely easier for you to convert this traffic into sales.
Search Engine Marketing (SEO) and PPC Advertising (EG Google AdWords) are both cheaper forms of advertising than traditional methods, such as TVCs, Newspaper spreads, Paper drops etc; and they can both bring results in faster than these traditional methods, in many cases.
Various studies have shown that the Cost per acquisition (CPA) for SEO and PPC Advertising are equal to or lower than a company’s typical CPA from other marketing avenues (between 40%-43% of interviewed businesses agree with statement according to Hubspot).
The only possible downside here is that more often than not, the conversion rates for PPC Advertising are slightly higher than that for Organic Search Results.
Currently it appears that there is a trend developing where more and more people are starting to trust the results of the Organic Search Results above those of the paid searches, even though paid searches are far more targeted.
When looking to buy a product or service online 91% of people said they preferred using natural search engine results (Tamar 2008 Search Attitude Report). The same survey also found that 31% of people actively choose natural search results over paid search results as they trust search engines to give them the most relevant results.
With all this in mind, you should now see the value behind having SEO for your website. It’s undeniable that the potential for growth through Google is enormous; and any smart business owner would be taking advantage of this monopoly in the marketplace.
Having a professional team of staff working alongside your business goals to develop and promote your website through SEO (in conjunction with other advertising streams) is the sure fire way to ensure the growth of your business.