I had an interesting conversation recently with the marketing manager of a fairly large company who has been involved in marketing for a great many years. The gist of the conversation surrounded his surprising comment “we’ve given up on SEO, we’re going to drive traffic to our site through PPC”
The immediate thoughts that this statement sent running through my brain were:
- You don’t run an e-commerce website
- You’re really underestimating the importance of SEO
- You must have a big budget
- If someone who’s been in the marketing game for over 10 years can get this wrong, others may be confused too.
SEO versus PPC
SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is the process of ensuring that the words and phrases within the content of your website match up to the keywords and keyword phrases that people type in when they use search engines. On average this accounts for around 85% of all traffic driven to websites
PPC advertising, also known as Pay Per Click advertising, paid search and Google AdWords is a method of driving traffic through clickable online ads that appear on the search results pages of Google and Bing.
SEO is a long term process that drives organic traffic to your site based on the relevance of the content that you have added to your site and the number of quality inbound links to that content. Therefore, if you are adding content on a regular basis that the search engines believe to be valuable and relevant to your audience then you will be rewarded by ranking higher in the results pages against your competition. The changes to the Google algorithm over the last two years to incorporate social media activity make the addition of compelling content to your site via a content marketing strategy, even more important.
PPC is an advertising medium and is a completely separate activity from SEO. It is normally viewed as a short term campaign based activity to drive visitors to specific landing pages in order to get them to make a conversion. In specific cases, perhaps if you have just launched your site and you are having problems driving organic traffic to your content, PPC can give you a leg up. Yes, it can also be used as a brand awareness activity, especially when using the Google Display Network (GDN) but this still generally accounts for a small percentage of traffic being driven through to your site.
There have been a variety of articles floating around the internet recently on the demise of SEO, in my view all of them wrong. Lee Odden over at Copyblogger explains this in more depth with his article Has Social Media Killed SEO?
SEO and PPC
The good news is that after some lengthy discussions explaining how implementing a PPC campaign will not directly affect his company’s Google rankings and that implementing a content marketing plan will. The aforementioned marketing manager now understands:
- The differences between SEO and PPC and how and where to use each
- The importance of content marketing in getting found
He has revisited his marketing strategy to ensure that SEO and the introduction of relevant, valuable and compelling content based on a solid content marketing plan are now firmly positioned at the centre of his online marketing activities. He is also re-evaluating his PPC campaigns to ensure they are linked to specific objectives within that marketing plan.
If you have an interest in content marketing or PPC advertising and would like some help with your own online marketing plans, get in touch on 01803 413481.