Most online business owners are usually torn between paid search (PPC) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies in search of the best and most cost-efficient means of drawing more visitors to their sites. The question of SEO versus paid search is a conundrum without a definite answer because each method has its benefits and drawbacks. Without a proper understanding of what each method entails, an online entrepreneur in a vibrant market such as Singapore is likely to end up making huge losses in his or her internet marketing efforts. Let’s first look at the key differences between the two marketing methods before we can determine the best approach in your unique circumstances.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The main reason we do SEO is to get organic traffic from search engines. Basically, organic search results are those web pages listings you receive when you search using a certain string of keywords. Every digital marketing agency in Singapore and the world over uses SEO and other content marketing strategies to get the highest ranking on search engines. This is because the success of organic search depends on visibility, which is best achieved if you are on the first page of search engine results for your keywords. The higher your site is ranked, the more traffic you get and the more your business grows.
Benefits of SEO
- SEO gives your site credibility and trust. Everyone believes a site that ranks high on search engines is credible and trustworthy. Higher rankings imply that you are an authority in the industry. With trust comes a greater likelihood to visit your site and buy your goods or services.
- SEO is also evergreen. When your content ranks high, it will last long on the first page of search engines.
- High click through rates. Content that is informative without looking too commercial on search engines gets ranked faster and gets more clicks than PPC ads.
- Greater interaction with users. To be successful in SEO, the marketer must have high-quality content assets that provide value to visitors. This kind of content creates greater interaction with visitors as they move through different phases of the purchase funnel.
Disadvantages of SEO
- SEO takes a long time. The competition to rank for the most searched keywords is ever high. Every marketer wants to be on the first page of search engines for the best keywords. As a result, succeeding in SEO is often a difficult and time-consuming exercise. It takes months to get your desired results even when working with the best online marketing agency in Singapore.
- You’ll need plenty of resources to succeed in SEO. Organic search strategies are quite complex and often demand costly resources including content creation tools and staff, backlinks, and monitoring tools. Fortunately, you can engage the services of a digital marketing agency, which has all the tools and skills, to handle your search engine optimization tasks.
Paid search refers to advertisements displayed when someone does a search for relevant keywords. The ads are mostly found on the top and to the right of all search engine results. There are many factors that determine the placement of the ads on the first page of search engine results such as the advertiser’s bid and the quality score of the ad itself.
Benefits of paid search
- Paid search works faster than SEO to appear on the first page of search engine results. While SEO may take months to show positive results, PPC ads are placed on top of the first page immediately you pay for the advertisement.
- Paid search provides more accurate targeting than SEO. You can tailor your campaign to reach a specific audience based on geo-targeting, age, marital status, income, and other relevant factors.
- Buyer traffic. Users with a high buying intent will always choose PPC ads over organic results.
Disadvantages of paid search
- High cost. The more competitive a keyword is, the higher is the bid price for each click. Paid search can be very expensive and quite risky for marketers with limited expertise in this field. It is a strategy best left in the hands of an expert online marketing agency.
- Unlike SEO which is evergreen, paid search lasts for as long as you pay for the ads. Once you stop paying the ads will disappear.
- Lack of trust. Many consumers often place more trust in organic results than in PPC ads.
The Best Strategy
The best strategy is to have a good combination of both SEO and PPC. A mix of organic and paid search marketing will give your business credibility and trust while bringing in fast results. You will get an immediate first-page listing, greater click-through rates, and evergreen ranking long after you have stopped paying for advertisements. You get the best results when you combine both strategies.