When looking at the many ways that a business can be found on the web, there are a number of different avenues that consumers take. Someone looking for your services may turn to a yellow pages type directory or search for your company profile on a social network such as Facebook or Twitter. Odds are however, that the first place a customer seeking a company (such as yours) turns to is a search engine...in other words Google. You may be asking yourself how can your business be found on Google?
There are a number of ways to be found in Google search, however there are two ways in particular that are explored more in-depth below:
Natural (Organic) Search
Natural, or Organic Search is most likely the way that customers are currently discovering your business on Google. These are the results that fall directly below the paid results (usually the top 2-3 results). These results are constantly changing based around Google’s search algorithm. There are a number of factors that go into your natural Google ranking, including:
The content of your website
Age of your domain
Number of inbound links pointing at your website
Types of keywords you targeted in your on-site optimizations
and many many more! (HERE is a great reference from Search Engine Land for you to see what goes into Organic Search Rankings)
It is not feasible to get found in organic search for just any keyword. For example, it would be very difficult to get a retail shoe store to appear for a search relating to a music store. However, keywords such as “Athletic Shoes” or “Shoe Store” are much more feasible targets within an area, as long as you are taking geographic location into account.
Getting found for national terms can be a much more difficult process because the competition for these keywords, and the amount of traffic that they generate is significantly higher. An example would be the difference in optimizing the term “Shoe Store Boise” vs. just the term “Shoe Store”. The search “Shoe Store” brings up a number of national brands that you are more likely to find in shoe stores across the country or an online retailer, whereas “Shoe Store Boise” gets you local results of retail locations you can actually go visit. It could take a number of months to get to the top of search results for “Shoe Store Boise”, whereas it takes years along with many other factors to get to the top for the term “Shoe Store”. It is entirely possible you may not even break the top 10 pages after a few months for the national term. Recently, Google has even been using your stored cookies to automatically geo-target your location for keywords. This has required Marketers to be fluent in locally and nationally targeted keyword ranking factors. I will explore this new SEO phenomenon further in my next blog post.
Over the course of your SEO campaign, you will build up rankings for many different keywords that can bring very long standing results to your website, especially if you don’t have much local competition optimizing for a similar set of keywords.
For more information on Organic Search and current SEO trends read my last blog, 2015 SEO Trends.
Paid Search (PPC)
Paid search advertising isn’t new to the internet and is only one of the many types of paid advertisements on the web. It is however one of the most commonly used and affordable methods of advertising on the web, and brings with it many benefits (and inevitable issues) not associated with organic search.
To begin, you must set up an Adwords account with Google, where you will handle all of your account settings, from writing the advertisements, setting the links, managing your advertising bids, daily budgets, and much more. It is your central dashboard for all of your advertising with Google, so it is important that you understand exactly how everything works so you don’t accidentally set you budget too high or inadvertently cancel a campaign.
The most significant benefit of choosing paid search over organic search is the immediate benefit of having your advertisement 'pop-up' in Google search. After the initial setup, oftentimes your ads can begin showing as quickly as a few hours after you turn the campaign on. This allows for immediate results, however the moment that you stop paying for ads on Google, you will no longer show up in paid results.
For many companies, both SEO and PPC make a lot of sense. You need to have a website that is viewed as relevant so that you appear in Google search. Paid Search allows for a company to jump right into the market and begin selling, but requires more of an initial investment.
Oftentimes, our #1 recommendation is to utilize both PPC and SEO to get found in Google, and once you are comfortable with how your website is performing in Organic Search, to back off of the paid advertisements a bit. This allows you to not only see immediate results but also build long lasting relationships with the search engines. This will undoubtedly continue to bring relevant traffic over a long period of time to your website.
Still not sure which is best for your business? Let us help you! Contact Tribute Media today with any questions about Paid or Organic Search and we would be glad to help!