Search engines are an important pathway for prospects to find your business. Google dominates search, and directly influences how easily prospects find you when they are searching for new suppliers and products.
So called “organic” search results are the standard Google results for a set of “keywords”. Commonly used searches can easily return millions of results, so it shouldn’t be surprising that most Google users only ever click on items on the first page of results.
Organic search results depend heavily on the actual content found by search engines when they look at your site. Important factors include the text within your website pages, and the keywords used to describe your images and other content.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) usually refers to tactics which are intended to improve the chances of your company being mentioned higher in the list of organic results. This is usually achieved by creating additional website content which specifically relates to the words in the search request. Google provides information on how to structure your content to generate the best results. Relevant credible content will tend to float to the top, and generate clicks.
Pay per click (PPC) Google ads are more widely used. These place a small text ad for your business above or alongside the organic search results. While PPC can seem straightforward, the price for PPC ads is often very high.
Depending on the keywords, Google PPC ads can vary from as little as a few cents to over $20 per click. If Google’s algorithms decide your ads are not “high quality”, they might stop showing your ad until you agree to pay a higher price per click. They have you over a barrel, and PPC ads can easily turn into a bottomless money pit.
The smartest way to use PPC is to chose keywords wisely and use appropriate landing pages. If your ad mentions an offer, send the prospect to the purchase page rather than your website home page.
To ensure that your website is able to be found by prospects, both SEO tactics and PPC should be included as part of your mix of marketing activities.
- Offers instant results – great for a quick boost in website visibility
- Results end as soon as the campaign is over
- May end up paying for unwanted clicks if not managed properly
- Does not help organic search rankings
- Attempts to improve your content’s position within search results
- Takes time for the results to take effect
- Requires ongoing attention
- Is a better investment over time – keeps going once the campaign is over
Both SEO and PPC search engine advertising require a significant ongoing effort, and a carefully researched understanding of the target market and keywords likely to be searched. Time must be spent optimising and maintaining the web pages. The best way to optimise your search engine ranking is to offer real value within the pages of your website.
Creating interesting and valuable content generates clicks, which eventually leads to a higher organic search ranking. Either way, the higher you rank, the more likely it is that prospects will arrive at your website.