When it comes to two of the most common digital marketing services, SEO and PPC, which is best?

Digital Marketing Executive (and all round SEO/PPC guru), Sam Webster, explains the difference between SEO and PPC and why there’s no contest between the two.

We’re often approached by clients with killer websites (particularly those we’ve helped develop, of course), which are delivering poor performance in terms of traffic, conversion and quality of leads. Often, clients will have heard a bit about the wizardry behind making a website perform, and will ask us specifically whether they should invest in either an SEO or PPC campaign.

SEO and PPC are often talked about as separate entities – and they sometimes can be. A strong paid search campaign (often referred to as PPC or pay-per-click) can be an area of huge sales growth for many companies, and search-engine optimisation (SEO) is a key factor in most online strategies, even if the drive is often solely focused on the first position on a Google results page.

SEO is not just optimising your website content to deliver trophy rankings in organic search results for targeted keywords (also known as SERPs) on the big three search engines; it’s also about being seen as a genuine authority on the problems your customers face, and the solution you provide (that’s Marketing 101, right?). The key players in search, including Google, Yahoo, and Bing also look at how people interact with your site; if they are returning or regular users; and if other sites are linking to pages or content within your site, often referred to as backlinks (along with a huge number of other factors within their complex algorithms). On the other hand, PPC is essentially all about ‘buying’ a top-spot in search results by paying for advertising space for specific targeted keywords. Many marketing companies will offer individual packages based on PPC or SEO, and many client companies have been effectively trained to request individual services.

Here at Wonderful, we champion a different way of thinking – combined Digital strategies, based on a carefully engineered mixture of both paid search and search-engine optimisation to create a custom marketing package unique to each client.

By implementing SEO techniques alongside PPC campaigns, we can ensure that potential customers get the very best possible website experience from our clients – increasing the likelihood of conversion and customer retention. Similarly, PPC can be used to gain access to the first few positions of a search results page, or as a means of increasing brand awareness and customer engagement whilst more permanent SEO improvements are being carried out.

Successful Digital Marketing campaigns are sometimes based on individualism – concentrating entirely on one aspect of Digital Marketing at the expense of others, as the needs of the client dictate – this often takes the form of a short-term Google AdWords campaign, or simple SEO tune-up.

However, the truly exceptional campaigns that produce not only great ROI (return on investment), but increased engagement and brand interaction, can only really be delivered by both disciplines working together toward the desired results.

A fully interactive multi-channel campaign can be tailored to the needs of any client, with multiple measures of success, and can be continually modified to take advantage of those successes and promote new avenues of growth. It even allows us, as campaign managers, to modify campaigns as fresh opportunities arise, rather than being caught in an inflexible campaign plan allowing only a set number of actions.

By ensuring the top performance of integrated organic and paid channels, including social and even email marketing, clients are able to achieve a much higher and more consistent level of performance than they would with a single-format equivalent.

Ensuring your website is performing as well as possible provides a great organic uplift, and encourages the success of paid campaigns; promoting your brand and product via paid channels encourages customer retention and return organically; a combined, multi-channel marketing strategy equipped for evolution provides you with the best chance of success – and Wonderful wants to give you the tools to achieve that success.

Are you utilising both search-engine optimisation and paid advertising to truly maximise your potential online? If so, are you currently getting the best from your combined SEO and PPC strategy? Do you have the right metrics in place to track and tweak your campaigns to get the best results for your business? Feel free to give us a call on 01622 686228 or email [email protected] if you want to expand your marketing reach and generate more online interest in your business.
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