What is SEO anyway?
SEO is everything your business does to become seen and heard and perceived as the market leader online. We often explain to some of the most dominant local market business leaders why they don’t have the same presence on the Internet. Our answer is that real life market perception or even sales volume is not the same reality you will often find on the Internet. Just because you are one of the top local retail business leaders in the market, Google (or other search engines) doesn’t automatically know this and place your business at the top of search results.
Can My Business Land On Top of Search Results if I’m Not The Market Leader?
This is great news for the underdog, who can build a bigger presence on the Internet and appear more popular when it comes to the world of search. The market leader may be spending millions of dollars on traditional media dominating and marketing as the local business leader, yet a business committed to digital growth can pull ahead in the search results over any business with the right SEO marketing strategy. Guerrilla marketing on the Internet is alive and at play for most industries as SEO becomes more popular and more businesses ante up for a SEO marketing plan.
SEO doesn’t happen automatically. It is a process of presenting your business as a leader for the products or services you represent and includes putting the right content on your website and other places on the Internet, coupled with an on-going plan to continue to add new relevant and desired content for Internet consumers. In addition to the right content creation plan, your business next aligns itself with other organizations and businesses who will endorse your business and let the search engines know that you are important, relevant and popular for specific search terms. The combination of the efforts leads to your business ranking for critical products, services and other terms and this is the technical process of SEO. As you grow in importance on the Internet, your rankings continue to climb until you reach the coveted goal of ranking on page one across search engines.
What is PPC?
The alternative to SEO is to purchase an ad on Google or Bing and instantaneously move onto page one in the paid results areas. This is called PPC – pay per click advertising. This is immediate and effective. Did you know PPC is a 1 and ½ times more likely to lead to a conversion than organic SEO? This is important information for your sales forecasting bottom line. For many advertisers, PPC is an important advertising piece of their marketing mix. Your business is reaching out and grabbing customers at the bottom of the purchase funnel and these customers are ready to buy!
When to use SEO vs. PPC?
Shoppers don’t usually like to be advertised to on a regular basis. The average consumer is 85 percent more likely to seek their Internet search solutions from the organic results instead of the easy paid ads disguised as search solutions. In fact, only 30 percent of searchers will click on paid ads as potential information solutions, so there is definitely a balance to consider. Consumers like to believe the best companies naturally surface to the top of the organic search and assume these organic solutions to be the premium solutions. This is why most businesses need a SEO plan, especially if you are in an industry with substantial search taking place on the Internet for your category of business…..cough, cough… automotive, furniture, restaurants, service businesses and the list is even longer. But keep in mind that PPC will convert more efficiently than organic results. However, SEO will reach more people and help you be better perceived as a market leader. A mix of the two marketing strategies is often the best course of action for most businesses to activate into their marketing strategy. Depending on the nature of your business, there may even be a good argument why you might only want to move forward with either SEO or PPC depending on your type of business model and branding or direct response marketing needs for your SEM campaign.
If your business needs a SEO or PPC plan to grow in 2015, we can help you determine how much search is taking place in your industry and the best strategy for your category of business.