Ever since the advent of search engine optimisation (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM), there has been an ongoing tug of war related to the use of the two tools. With generating traffic and qualified leads becoming the heart and soul of a digital strategy, the battle between SEO and SEM has been raging for some time. Most of the marketers are stuck in a tight spot when they have to make a choice on where to spend their marketing dollars.
Since Google ranking has become the all-important part of being visible online, it is common for digital marketing agencies in Gold Coast to get bombarded with questions about SEO vs. SEM. It all boils down to whether they should invest in organic optimisation or spend on sponsored ads. Let us take a look at how these two are different from each other and how they can affect Gold Coast businesses.
The SEO Saga
Search Engine Optimisation involves attracting web traffic through search results page rankings on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. The results depend on what the search engines consider to be the most useful and relevant content in accordance with the search phrase typed by the users.
There is no payment made by the marketer for this ranking. It entirely depends on the quality of the content, its relevance and richness, and compliance with the SEO guidelines. It encompasses targeting multiple high-value keywords to gain high volume traffic.
The SEM Story
Search Engine Marketing is the process of promoting a business online through paid advertising on search engine results pages (SERPs). It aims at increasing conversions using pay-per-click ads which are shown to consumers when they are searching for related products and services.
Google PPC is the most popular and commonly used platform for advertising as the search engine processes over 3.5 billion searches every day. It brings the right traffic without making umpteen efforts to divert them to the website, like in the case of organic SEO.
Which One Scores Over The Other?
When it comes to comparing SEO vs. SEM, the discussion can lead to heated arguments as both hold their ground in benefitting a business. The key lies in understanding the current need of the business and which tool can best satisfy that requirement.
Many small businesses in Gold Coast may take a step back from utilising both services as they may have budget constraints. Let us clear the air about the pros and cons of both SEO and SEM when weighed on various marketing parameters.
Return On Investment
PPC is a paid service while SEO is not, but this is not entirely true. To get the desired rankings, you will have to invest money or hire an SEO expert in Gold Coast to get the job done for you. It is not possible to keep optimising the site according to the changing algorithms, and they need professional assistance if they want to get leads.
As far as Google PPC is concerned, it comes at a hefty price as compared to SEO but gets results in the least possible time. However, it needs proper management otherwise the money will be going down the drain as the popular search terms are quite expensive. Thus you need to know which exact keywords you need to target that are not costly and can get you a lot of queries.
Another advantage of PPC is that you get access to free search analytics report which can help you estimate which queries are generating more leads for your site. Also with SEM, you can control the budget by testing the campaigns by investing small amounts in the initial stages.
Targeted Traffic Generation
It is undoubtedly the most vital aspect of digital marketing as the marketer needs to rely on the method which brings more leads and, in turn, return on investment. In the case of SEO when you have thoroughly established the strategy according to the guidelines, you can generate a vast amount of targeted traffic to the site for a long time.
The ranking can be maintained easily. However, reaching there is a big task. On the other hand, you have to keep paying for the PPC to consistently attract traffic to your site. Once the campaign is over, you will be back to square one. A stable organic presence helps to sustain the business in the long run without spending too much money.
Although SEO brings more traffic with its broader reach, it takes a lot of time and effort to arrive at that stage. SEM, on the other hand, gets visitors with the intention to make a purchase to your site almost immediately.
Building Trust And Goodwill
Google is the most trusted search engine when it comes typing a search query. It is evident from the fact that the search engine holds 92.74% market share across the world, which lends it authority and credibility in the cyberspace. So when a consumer finds a brand name on top of the search results page, he/she automatically assumes that the company is trustworthy and reliable.
Also, Google goes the extra mile to ensure only relevant, informative and high-quality content reaches its users. Thus if your SEO agency puts you on the first page of the SERPs, then you have positioned yourself as a trusted brand in the market. Many users are in the habit of ignoring the sponsored ads and straightaway jump to the organic results which gives SEO the brownie points over SEM.
However, when you are operating in a fiercely competitive market, and it is not possible to get the top spot on Google, then PPC comes to your rescue. In the end, both the tools help in structuring a solid foundation for the brand online which yields loyal customers.
Brand awareness is the first step to enter the psychological dimension of a customer’s mind when he/she is unaware of its existence. It needs a strong online presence which is reinforced by offering informative and engaging content that gratifies the knowledge-based needs of the buyer.
When you have the top spot on SERPs, you will get recognised and eventually reach the top of the mind recall stage in the consumer’s psyche. Stronger branding is also achieved through utilisation of targeted keywords in the content. SEO allows limited keyword usage because of the budget restrictions, whereas Google Ads have the capability of targeting a wide number of keywords in a shorter period.
Both the tools are competent in creating awareness, and either can be used by the business depending upon their marketing expenditure. With PPC, you can display the products in a better way to tempt and influence the buyers who can improve the click-through rate.
Which Works Better For Your Gold Coast Business?
Both SEO and SEM have their advantages, but their best utilisation depends on the goals of the company as each business has a unique target audience. If the company wants to generate traffic to the website and is no hurry to increase sales, then SEO is the preferred choice for them.
On the contrary, if you are vying for more conversions quickly, then go for PPC. The investment must rely on the objectives of the business at the given moment in time.
If you want sales as well as goodwill and recognition for a long time to come, then you need to balance your budget between SEO and SEM. A mixture of paid and organic can work wonders for your brand. So insist on making a diversified digital marketing strategy which includes both the tools for maximum returns and a strong online presence.