For businesses that want to make their mark on the search engines there are two distinct ways in which they can attempt to increase their online visibility and get people visiting their site. The first is to pay the search engine directly to display adverts that lead to the site, while the second is to use search engine optimisation tactics to rank highly within the organic search results. Here we take a look at the pros and cons of each.
Pay per click advertising
Pay per click advertising, or PPC for short, does exactly what it says on the tin. When a user searches for a specific keyword or search term your advert may appear (depending on the amount you bid), and you pay a specified amount whenever someone clicks on it. The most popular PPC advertising scheme is Google AdWords, which displays adverts alongside the organic search results, usually above or to the side.
One of the main benefits of PPC advertising is the relative ease with which a campaign can be set up. It’s usually just a case of creating your ad copy and then bidding on some suitable keywords for which it will be displayed. While it’s simple to set up, to achieve the best results at the lowest price it may be prudent to hire the services of a full-service SEO copywriting agency that can manage and hone the campaign on your behalf.
One of the biggest advantages of PPC advertising is that it can deliver fast results from the moment the campaign is set up. However, the flipside of that is that once you stop funding it, the clicks will also immediately stop. In the cases of highly competitive search terms, it may be that costs are prohibitively high.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that you’re paying for clicks, not conversions. While an advert can bring someone to your website, if they’re not then engaged by your content and guided to the next step then they may click away and it can be money wasted. It’s a good idea to have an SEO copywriter create individual landing pages for you, tailored for each ad campaign. This onsite content should address the visitor directly based on the ad they clicked on. For instance, if your ad was for a specific product, you want to direct the user to a page that discusses the benefits of that product, rather than to a generic page on your website.
The SEO copywriter
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a more gradual process than PPC advertising, but over time the results can be far greater and long lasting. By working with an SEO copywriter you can optimise your site to climb higher up the rankings and thus gain more ‘hits’.
Modern SEO puts the emphasis on creating high quality textual content that people will find useful. By investing in the services of an SEO copywriter then you can kill two birds with one stone – creating content that engages humans while at the same time lifting your website up the search rankings.
While results are less immediate with SEO than with PPC advertising, the long-term return on investment is usually far greater. The content you create now will continue to be beneficial next year, and in five or ten year’s time. What’s more, future content creation will have a cumulative effect that will further raise the profile and ranking of your website.
Good SEO copywriters know how to create content that is not only highly readable and useful but also shareable. And the more people that share your content, the higher number of quality backlinks you get, further contributing to the value of your SEO.
For many web users, the organic search results carry more weight than sponsored advertising, and so they are more likely to click on these. Of itself, ranking highly in organic results also portrays your company as one of higher status and authority.
Finding a balance
The fact is that both SEO and PPC have important roles to play in online marketing. While PPC can be good for delivering fast, targeted results, SEO enables you to build an online presence that lasts.