When businesses come to SilverDisc asking for help with their digital marketing, they may already have an idea of the service they need. After all, they know their businesses better than anyone else. But rather than leaping straight into SEO or setting up a Google Ads account, we like to know that we’re doing exactly the right thing to help our clients reach their goals. This means taking a step back, looking at the bigger picture, and working with the business to find out which marketing avenues are most likely to work for them. Here are five points to consider when deciding whether PPC or SEO is right for your business.
1. What are your goals?
Before you can figure out which marketing activities will help you to reach your goals, you of course first need to know what your goals are. Your goals for your online marketing may be:
- To increase sales by x amount
- To increase revenue by x amount
- To increase customer retention / returning customers
- To improve brand awareness / visibility
The first two goals in this list may be most quickly achieved through PPC, the third may be tackled through remarketing, and the fourth could be worked on through SEO and social media. That’s not to say that all of these avenues exist in a vacuum – SEO can of course (and often should) also drive sales, and impression share metrics in your PPC account can indicate how PPC is improving your brand recognition.
It’s easy to get lost in the world of new and interesting marketing opportunities, but just because these opportunities exist doesn’t mean you need to use all of them. Keeping one eye on your goals at all times focuses your marketing so you’re more likely to make good decisions for your business.
2. What is your budget?
Your budget may dictate to a certain extent whether you use PPC or SEO to market your website, or how much you use each marketing channel. You’ll need to think realistically about your goals, and how you can use your budget effectively to achieve them. For example, if you only have a small budget for PPC, your expectations and your plan should both reflect this. PPC can deliver sales much more quickly than SEO can, but remember Google Ads isn’t your only option when it comes to paid advertising. Consider where your target audience is and which of these places will suit your budget while helping you to reach them. A B2C retailer might find that Facebook advertising delivers the kind of click volume they want within their budget, or B2B lead generation outfits might set their sights on LinkedIn ads. Or a combination of paid search and paid social advertising might be the answer, enabling you to spread your budget across multiple platforms, discover what delivers the most conversions for you and adjust your bids accordingly.
3. What do you need right now?
SEO can drive a lot of traffic to your website in the long run, but you won’t see changes to traffic or your rankings overnight. If you have goals to meet within a short time frame and you’re happy to spend some money to quickly increase sales, PPC may be the way to go.
4. What state is your website in?
In order to drive conversions from any marketing channel, your website needs to be set up to facilitate transactions. That doesn’t just mean that the functionality needs to be there for people to place an order or contact you, but that your website needs to convince people to convert when they arrive. There is no point in starting PPC or SEO if you don’t have landing pages with content to support the keywords you’re targeting – you’re simply not going to look relevant enough to Google and therefore you won’t rank highly. And if your content isn’t good enough, even if people do land on your page they aren’t going to convert. So before you think about whether you need PPC or SEO, think about what your website needs – a redesign, new landing pages, more targeted content, more calls to action? Is the site architecture SEO friendly? Only when you’ve thought about these things and ironed out any problems will you be able to run a successful marketing campaign, regardless of the channels you decide to use. Creating a page, for example, might give you new SEO content better target to your keywords, as well as a good PPC landing page. Working hard on your website should be your first job, and everything else will flow from the effort you initially put in.
5. How might your focus change?
Once you know what your marketing goals are, it isn’t necessarily a case of choosing one marketing channel and sticking with it. It may not be that you just need PPC, for example. A combination of PPC, SEO and other activities such as social media or email marketing can complement each other, providing you with a bespoke marketing system. Plus, as your business changes over time, your marketing strategy should be fluid enough to change with you. Just because you start off with Google Ads doesn’t mean you’ll only be doing that forever. Your goals, your industry, your competitors and the marketing landscape are all variable factors, and a good marketing strategy is a living organism that isn’t set in stone. You may decide to use PPC and SEO with an initial focus on PPC and then a shift to SEO at a later date for any number of reasons, and your digital system should accommodate this need for change.
There is in fact no simple answer to whether PPC or SEO is best for your business because there is no “one size fits all” approach. However, by knowing your business, the arena it operates in and your goals and pain points, it’s possible to create a digital system that incorporates the right channels to help grow your business. That’s where SilverDisc comes in. We’ll get to know your business and combine this knowledge with our extensive marketing, strategy and engineering experience to create and implement a bespoke digital system for you that delivers results. Tell us about your business challenges and we’ll work together to come up with and implement the best solution.