SEO vs PPC

SEO_PPCIt’s “Back to School” week for most of us, and I thought what better way to celebrate it than by offering up a lesson on two marketing tactics that seem similar on the surface, but are in fact very different: SEO and PPC.  Our new “Accelerator” SEO Starter Package has proven to be incredibly popular with many small and mid-sized local businesses, but some of the feedback we’ve gotten has illustrated some fundamental misunderstandings about what SEO is, and how it differs from PPC.

 

If you’re an advertiser, it’s especially important to understand the differences so you can not only choose how to best invest your marketing time and dollars, but even more importantly, so you know what sorts of results you can expect from that investment.(spoilers: PPC performance tends to be the polar opposite of SEO performance)

 

SEO (search engine optimization), at its most basic, involves understanding what words and phrases customers are using to find businesses like yours, and then tactically integrating those keywords into your online presence (e.g. mobile website, desktop website, blog, social media, etc.). For example, if you run an auto repair shop, important keywords would include ‘auto repair’. You would then make sure that ‘auto repair’ appeared within places like site content, and meta page titles and page descriptions.

 

In a nutshell, the goal is to help search engines judge your online presence to be more relevant to a searcher than your competitors’. The more relevant you’re judged to be, the higher on the list of results returned to the searcher will a link to your website be placed. We discussed why this is so important in a recent blog post. SEO costs tend to mirror web development and design cost models if an SEO professional is hired. There’s also a time cost associated with SEO due to the required research and content creation.

 

Because SEO isn’t built around the idea of push advertising (it’s really more a pull tactic as it’s customer demand for specific keywords, which in turn defines what content is and what isn’t relevant to those customers, that drives SEO), SEO is also referred to as “organic”.

 

PPC (pay per click) is like SEO in that keywords are at its core. But unlike SEO,  PPC is really built around the concept of push advertising.

 

One PPC tactic involves out-bidding a competitor for a better position on the search results list, when specific keywords are used for that search. In this case, you might use Google AdWords to bid $2.00 on ‘auto repair’, in an effort to make sure a link to your website or a banner ad is displayed prominently in the returned results when a user searches using the keyword ‘auto repair’ in Google search. When a user searches on ‘auto repair’, and assuming you’re not outbid, you ‘win’ and your site link is displayed above and before your competitors’.

 

Another tactic is akin to running a print ad in a publication, only with PPC, you’re running a banner ad on a website. In most cases, pricing models are built around the idea of charging <X> amount per click, so costs are performance driven. However some vendors do offer flat-rate PPC solutions.

 

SEO vs. PPC

Is either one ‘better’ than the other? It boils down to what’s the answer to the question: “What are your goals?”, and are they long term or short term?

 

 SEO: The Long Term Drive

  • Higher up front costs (compared to PPC), but costs decrease over time as the majority of content and website optimization is done up-front.
  • Results are not immediate, and there is usually a low initial ROI (meaning, fewer clicks) at the beginning of a campaign. But long-term performance far exceeds PPC, and it should continue to rise over the lifetime of the campaign.
  • Does require some level of on-going maintenance in the form of content and site updates.

 

PPC: The Short Term Push

  • Typically lower initial costs than SEO, though a decent up-front investment may be required if you’re bidding on popular keywords.  
  • Costs can remain relatively static over the lifetime of the campaign if one is pursuing a fixed-cost solution, otherwise, PPC costs are strictly performance based. 
  • Results are typically immediate, and ROI is decidedly higher than SEO over the short-term. But results usually peak early in a campaign’s lifecycle and are not sustainable over the long-term.
  • Requires little (if any) on-going maintenance.  Many PPC platforms are mostly automated. Users enter in desired keywords and bid amounts, and the PPC platform does the work for them.

 

Verdict

 

Optimally, do both. PPC can drive immediate traffic to your mobile website, while SEO sustains and builds on your web presence over the long-term.  But  if marketing time and dollars are limited, you’ll likely get the most bang for your buck by investing in a solid SEO strategy.  Just trust that though you won’ see immediate results with SEO, you will see them over time.

 

Questions? Thoughts? We want to hear them! Share them with us in the Comments section! 

 

 

The Top 2 Reasons You Need to Think “SEO”

We recently held a webinar (click here if you missed it) targetting those new to the mobile web and/or new to mobile marketing, who wanted to know more about SEO. We covered a lot of ground and fielded some great questions. One question in particular though was on many attendees’ minds. “Do I really need SEO? Can my site rank without it?” (okay, two questions).

 

Our Answer: Sure. It will rank somewhere, but will it rank well? Unlikely. What’s the impact of your site not ranking well? Lower traffic to your site. What’s the impact of lower traffic to your site? Lost prospects and lost business.

 

Why? These two reasons:

 

1) We’re busy, easily distracted creatures. Especially when we’re mobile.

According to data released by Statistic Brain, our attention spans have dropped from 12 seconds in year 2000, to 8 seconds by 2012 (Source: Statistic Brain). Mobile users also tend to be in a more action-oriented, get-it-done-want-it-now mindset (compared to the typical browse-at-their-leisure desktop users), so attention spans and patience can drop even further. Now! Add in all of the other things outside of a mobile browser that compete for a user’s attention while that user is searching. Which is pretty much anything and everything else going on around them.

 

So: short attention spans + a go, go, go mindset + a world full of outside distractions.

 

The net result is that mobile users are not going to spend copious amounts of time browsing through page after page of search engine results. We like options, but we really don’t want too many of them. We cut decision making corners when and where we can all the time. A better deal might be buried on page 8 of a search engine’s return, but if we can find ‘close enough’ on page 1? We’ll typically go with what’s on page 1 so we can keep moving.

 

How often do you typically go deeper than page 1? 

 

2) There are lots of other fish in the internet seas competing for a prospective customer’s attention.

 

Businesses have competitors. It’s likely those competitors have online presences, too. This means that when a potential customer searches for a particular business, they’re going to get back a bunch of options along with the usual internet chaff that is often returned with the desired wheat. It’s just too easy to get buried and lost in all that white noise.

 

 Enter SEO.

 

Simply, if you want your mobile site to work effectively as a lead gen tool, helping to get prospective customers into the top of your particular sales funnel, your site needs to rank well. For your site to rank well, you need to work with SEO. You’re competing for leads which directly translates into a competition for ranking position.

 

Want to see how that competition plays out?

 

Comparing spot rankings, the top 5 spots net 75.7% of search traffic.

Comparing page rankings: Page 1 grabs 91.5% of search traffic.

 Google Results Graph (1)

 

Percentage of Google TrafficSource: http://chitika.com/google-positioning-value)

 

So, to answer the question: “Does anybody really need SEO?”  Are you a competitor in a competitive market? Then yes. You need to take SEO seriously.

 

We believe in that strongly enough that we recently rolled out a brand new SEO service package, specifically for businesses new to the mobile web and new to SEO.

 

Just Launched! – MoFuse’s “Accelerator” SEO Starter Package

We want to help businesses succeed, and we’re pretty good at this stuff. MoFuse has recently launched the new “Accelerator” SEO Starter Package, and we’re pretty excited about it. It’s designed and priced to allow businesses new to the mobile web and to mobile marketing the ability to get started off on the best SEO foot possible.

 

Think your business would benefit from working with our team of SEO experts? CLICK HERE!

 

Agree, disagree, or ‘other’ with the argument that SEO is required to build competitive advantages on the web? Sound off in the comments! We’d love to hear from you. 

 

Get Found, Get Business! Now Available: MoFuse’s NEW “Accelerator” SEO Package!

Announcing! The NEW MoFuse “Accelerator” SEO Package!

 

1090138_11652506

It’s a big world out there, and it’s filled with mobile consumers trying to find and connect with the right businesses. The majority of mobile consumers (67%!) turn to search engines to help make that happen. But typing some keywords into a search engine is only the first step! Consumers then need to wade through the long list of businesses that the search engine returns, to find what and who they’re looking for.

 

Now is not the time to get lost in the crowd. You want your business front and center. You want customers to notice you first, not your competitors.

 

How do you make sure your business stands out? SEO, or search engine optimization! A solid SEO strategy not only makes it easier for customers to find you, but it also drives your mobile website higher in search engine rankings. The higher your mobile site’s ranking? The more likely your mobile site will be seen.

 

This means more traffic, which means more business.

 

MoFuse Mobile Marketing is announcing the launch of the brand new MoFuse “Accelerator” SEO package. It’s designed to help businesses new to the mobile web, and/or new to SEO, get started on the right foot with a cost-effective, comprehensive SEO solution from a team that knows mobile marketing.

 

Want to learn more about one of the most important things that you can do to start driving new business through your door? For more information or to request a FREE consultation with one of our experts:

 

Visit: http://mofuse.com/lead-generating/get-your-mobile-site-found/

 

Or Talk to Us!: 1-888-663-8738 (ext. 208)

 

SEO and Your Mobile Website, Does It Matter?

Search.There’s a growing debate as to whether or not local businesses can still find value in investing in SEO.

 

The definitive answer is a resounding “YES! Absolutely!” But search engine leaders like Google can at times seem to be helping both clear and muddy the waters simultaneously I circled up with MoFuse’s team of SEO experts for some Q&A.

 

Have additional questions? Just post them in the Comments section!

 

Q1: Is SEO still relevant? Is Search still relevant?

A1: This is a question we hear time and again, and the answer continues to be a firm “Yes!” and “Yes!” to both questions.  Research shows that 67.2% of mobile consumers use search as their primary resource to find businesses. (Source: Mediative report, “Spotlight On Local Mobile Consumer Search Behavior”)

 

It’s so important to make sure your site is easily found in searches.  Your site can’t work for you, if you’re not driving traffic to it. You won’t drive traffic to it, if people can’t find it.

 

So the net is that nothing has changed in terms of relevancy of SEO and search – it’s still the most powerful driver of your online presence – but what has changed are the core principles and fundamentals that go into the ranking process.

 

Q2: Google has recently changed their approach to search engine rankings, and how they are measuring website relevancy. Is this something a local business should be concerned about?

A2: First, Google revises and updates their algorithms frequently. A quick Google search online will showcase 3-5 significant ranking methods changes that have been implemented   in the past few years alone.  For a small business, this just means that the science behind driving business via their web presence is continuing to evolve. It doesn’t mean that what you do today will not matter tomorrow, it just means that search engines like Google evolve and over timeplace priority on different things.  Even though certain actions that used to be weighted more  may not have the significance that they used to (like keywords), there remain certain cornerstones that should never go out of style, like  site content.

 

Q3: What are the most important things a business should focus on SEO-wise?

A3: Content, content, content. Oh! And content. Did I remember to mention content?

 

Search engines prioritize actual content (copy/text, links, blog comments, etc) above all else. We don’t recommend  including everything and the kitchen sink, but you need to focus developing the Who, What and Whys of your business and offering, while targeting keywords and monitoring keyword density across the site.

 

Boosting website content with customer testimonials, service or product listings, and incorporating a blog also add great SEO value.

 

Next to content, effective page titles and page descriptions are key to supporting your SEO.

 

You can also read more about this in our article: “MoFuse FAQ: SEO Basics”

 

Q4: Is SEO an on-going commitment, or can businesses approach it as a ‘fire and forget’ solution?

A4: You can get a great boost with a one-time set-it approach, but there is also an on-going aspect that shouldn’t be ignored.

 

Businesses need to keep a constant eye on the keywords that you should be targeting. Another important task is to keep working to engage customers with fresh and up-to-date content. Promoting the website via social media is also an excellent way to do this, as is being an active (and relevant!) blog commenter.

 

Q5: Businesses have limited time, so which is more important?  Search or Social Media?

 

A5:  We don’t think of these as separate things!  SEO strategies should include having a strong social presence.  Remember, content is key, and social media makes it easy to keep a constant stream of fresh, relevant content.

 

Q6: Competitively speaking, how can a business most effectively approach SEO to create a competitive advantage?

A6: There are two key areas.

 

For those that haven’t invested the time yet, you need to understand what your core values are, and then identify the keywords that are important to your business. For a small business, these are typically determined by your product or service offering, location, and the number of people searching for those particular keywords on search engines (That is, the more people that are using a certain keyword or term to reach your website, that’s a keyword that you’ll want to prioritize. ). The key take away is to target your audience using SEO.

 

The second area is measurement. When we talk about  analytics or metrics for SEO, we’re talking about using data to better understand what is working, and what isn’t. At minimum, businesses should be monitoring their search ranking, site traffic, referring web pages and links, and kewords.