You want potential customers to find your content in search engine results so that they navigate to your website. To do this, you have two options. You can use a service like Google Ads to strategically place ads when customers search for specific keywords. Alternatively, you can use SEO to rank near the top of the organic search engine results listings.
Understandably, many businesses are drawn to the PPC option. In many ways, it is a ‘set it and forget it’ choice. However, SEO is often the better choice overall. Keep reading to learn why you should work towards building a great SEO strategy instead of paying for clicks.
More Customers Click on Organic Search Results
A study examining organic search (SEO) CTR vs. PPC CTR shows that people are overwhelmingly clicking on SEO results over PPC. Of course, the results at the top of the page earn significantly more clicks than at the lower half of the page. Still, even lower-ranking results tend to beat out PPC overall.
SEO Doesn’t Have to Cost Money
As the name suggests, the more successful PPC is, the more it costs. You pay for every click, whether it results in a sale or not. Now, in many cases the overall return is worthwhile, but that isn’t guaranteed. Further, not every business has the budget to support the kind of PPC campaign they need to get a good ROI.
On the other hand, you can get started using SEO for free. It’s a matter of creating keyword-optimized content that is relevant to your target audience, publishing that content, then promoting it effectively. There are even tools such as Google Analytics to help you get started.
That’s not to say that there aren’t benefits to investing in tools and services for SEO. You might be surprised at the boost you get with a small investment in SEO services such as professional blogging and copywriting from TrustMyPaper, or keyword tools. These can help position you much more competitively.
SEO Builds Trust
The study linked above explores the reasons why SEO earns more clicks. Trust appears to be a significant factor here. If you think about consumer behavior, including your own, this makes sense. After all, do you find yourself clicking on ads very often? Probably not. What if you need to find information on a product or service? Which link is more appealing to you? Is it the one that is at the top of the results page because a company paid to have it placed there? Is it the one that’s at the top of the organic search results because people like you found that link to be useful? We’re guessing it’s the latter.
Then, there’s the magic that happens when people actually make it to your page. The content that you publish that contains relevant information to help your customers learn more about your products, and address their concerns helps to position you as a thought leader.
SEO Strategy Has Long-Range Benefits
The purpose of PPC is to get interested customers to click on your paid ads, and hopefully buy your products. That’s a valuable, short-term result. However, the power of PPC is largely limited to engaging low-funnel customers right now.
The things that you do to earn your place in organic results not only help you sell products in the short term, they also help you get better results in the long run. With good SEO, you can:
Get people to subscribe to your email marketing lists.
Earn SEO and traffic boosting backlinks.
Increase your social media following.
Help Google index your website correctly.
Build long-term relationships with your customers.
Evolve your site into one that is authoritative.
All of this makes SEO a great way to engage customers who are in all stages of the buyer’s journey.
SEO is Sustainable
If you use PPC as your sole means of generating online sales, what happens when your advertising budget runs out? You might find yourself scrambling to create SEO content to fill in the gaps. On the other hand, SEO is a strategy that you can maintain no matter what.
Gregory Chapman is a copywriter and editor at Supreme Dissertations. He says, “Most of our clients opt for a combination of writing their own SEO content, and getting help from professional writers as well. I’ve seen many small business owners launch very successful SEO campaigns, even when their marketing budgets were quite limited. That’s not something that can be done if you go all-in with a PPC strategy.”
Keep in mind that traffic driven by PPC tends to end when the campaign is over. With SEO, your growth of traffic may be slower, but it will be easier to sustain.
With SEO You Must Stay Connected to Your Customers
It may take longer to get results from SEO than PPC, but the work you have to put in can be very worthwhile. The most effective SEO campaigns are based on a deep understanding of your customers. That includes customer segmentation, building customer personas, even using data to get to know your base better.
That’s because content demands change. So do the keywords that potential customers use to learn about products and services. With SEO, you have to stay on top of industry trends and write content that reflects this.
Of course, none of this is to suggest that you dismiss the possibility of using PPC at all. It is certainly a valid approach to driving traffic to your site. It’s also quite easy to see why it would be tempting to simply budget money for the ranking and instant results you can enjoy with pay-per-click marketing. That said, it’s hard to beat a solution that can be adopted at any budget, managed entirely in house, or outsourced. There are even tools to help rank beginners get off to a great start. If you are undecided about your approach to inbound marketing, consider using SEO to your advantage.