SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the cornerstone of digital marketing in 2020 but many business owners may wonder what all the fuss is about and “is SEO worth it?”. We often hear concerns about SEO being time-consuming and expensive but we are here to tell you the real deal.
Why SEO is better than PPC
When customers compare SEO and believe it might take longer than other forms of marketing, it’s often because they are comparing with PPC. PPC (Pay per click) advertising does what it says on the tin, you pay per click of your online advert. There are other forms of payments for online ads such as pay per impressions and pay per conversions as well as different web locations. However, when people say PPC they generally mean digital advert placements primarily on Search engines.
These adverts are normally shown front and centre on search engines, or other websites, and if you have set up the campaign correctly or paid enough money, you can expect people to see your adverts immediately. This is why PPC is so alluring, you can get visits to your site instantly with minimal work. However, getting traffic to your site does not always equate with valuable users or sales, something SEO is far more likely to achieve for you.
Organic Results Are More Respected
Though many users are still unaware that the top two links on a search page are adverts there are vast amounts of the population that do know this. As a result, many users will completely ignore these links, and move to the organic search listings below. They believe that the adverts will not provide them with the solution to the search because of a general distrust around selling. The Organic listings may match their query more appropriately and so they are much more likely to click on a link that matches their search perfectly.
Visitors don’t equal profits
PPC is very good at getting traffic to your site but that’s not always as appealing as it sounds. Just because you get lots of traffic doesn’t mean those users will contact you or buy your products. The ideal visitor is someone who is engaged with your website, not someone who clicks an advert and immediately leaves. Having lots of people come and go, never performing an action, is a waste of your PPC budget and will damage any SEO efforts you are performing. With SEO, you can tailor your website for your most engaged users so your site appears in search engine listings for the right people.
PPC can drain your budget
Unless done correctly, PPC can massively eat away a budget and you may feel you need to keep bumping up the spending limit to keep getting traffic. If PPC is done properly then your budget should reduce overtime if it is a long term campaign. Alternatively, PPC should be used for short term offers and events. PPC has its place but SEO is more manageable budget-wise if you are investing in it every month. You’ll always know how much you will spend each month and you can use this to plan your marketing on a yearly basis.
Is SEO trustworthy
One of the other main reasons people often ask “is SEO worth it?”, is that as an industry SEO is distrusted. This comes from several points; lack of understanding, fear of penalties and distrust of agencies/being burned in the past.
Learn about SEO
You don’t need to become an expert in a field to know whether you’re being ripped off or the practices are outdated. Even just a little bit of knowledge can go along way in helping you understand your SEO campaigns and whether the people who are performing it are doing a good job. There is lots of information online about SEO but start with the basics so you feel confident discussing the field.
Black hat vs white hat
Sometimes the distrust of SEO comes from hearing about criminal associations with SEO, dishonest practices and businesses receiving penalties. Just like good SEO (white hat) Black hat SEO refers to techniques to get higher organic search rankings, however, it is normally achieved through breaking search engine rules that are designed solely for search engine robots and not for a human audience. White hat SEO, on the other hand, uses techniques and strategies that target real people. It focuses on how users actually want to interact with the internet. As a company, we always go with the saying “of what’s good for people is good for Google”. If your SEO agency is focused on the search engine and not your end-users then it’s time to look elsewhere.
Many business owners have been burned in the past by SEO agencies so they feel distrustful about SEO as a whole rather than just that one company. Bad or inexperienced companies rely on small scale practices that are often outdated. Even if you don’t have the knowledge to see whether this is the case, the best indicator is how cheap are their prices. Effective SEO is going to cost more because you are hiring professionals that have the expertise to make your campaigns work. If you feel you are getting an amazing bargain, the deal is probably too good to be true.
So, Is SEO worth it?
Though PPC can be a great aid to your marketing efforts, especially for a quick boost of traffic, SEO is a better long term strategy that will produce engaged users who are more likely to convert. The cost overall will be a lot less with more bang for your buck and will have a lasting impact on your website and business. In this case slow and steady wins the race.
The most important factors to remember are to not engage in dishonest or lazy SEO practices as these could cost your company a lot in the long run. If you’d like help in debunking some SEO myths and are ready to start your own campaign, get in touch. Call 0345 200 26 50 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your needs.