We know there’s a time and a place for the quick win, but what we really want is to help our clients enjoy enduring success.
So, when people come to us asking how they should split their budget between organic search efforts (SEO) and paid search efforts (PPC), we know there’s a balance to be struck, but we advocate tipping the scales towards organic. Here’s why:
PPC guarantees clicks, but does it offer much else in isolation?
The main difference between organic and PPC is cost. When people click through to your website via an organic search result, it doesn’t cost you a penny. However, you can pay anything up to £60 for a click via a Google ad that appears at the top of search results (you do the maths on the cost of 100 clicks).
While expensive (the exact cost depends on your niche and the keywords you’re targeting), Google Ads are quick to set up. Where building a sustainable organic pipeline can take six months, Google Ads can be up and running within a day.
But it’s uses are limited. What happens when you want to convert clicks into customers?
Securing a click is great, but you also need to consider what you want people to do when they get to your site. You can’t just point leads to a landing page and expect them to consider a purchase by magic. If your content isn’t up to scratch, it’ll prove a wasted click, and wasted budget.
And when you stop paying for clicks, the number of visitors to your site will plummet. Without a bottomless money pit, PPC can only ever deliver short term results.
The solution is investing in great content, delivered regularly, that helps you organically rank for the keywords and phrases relevant to your industry.
Key point: PPC ads are a great way to drive instant traffic. But if you want to convince and convert that traffic over the long-term, organic is the way to go.
Great content will keep generating traffic
For some brands or campaigns, it really is just about getting as many people to a site as possible. In that case, there’s an argument for blowing the entire marketing budget on PPC.
For most businesses, however, investing in great content delivers the long-term value and consistent flow of organic traffic that PPC can’t (unless you have access to that magic money pit).
Consumers and buyers are more discerning than they’ve ever been about how and where they spend their money. Two-thirds (61%) of consumers say they like businesses that produce original content more than businesses that don’t, while nearly three-quarters (70%) say they prefer getting to know a company via articles than ads. An ad or landing page only gives a snippet of information about a brand – great content provides customers with so much more.
Engaging content shows customers there’s a bit of substance behind your ad claims and helps to build trust. When customers understand that your company is an authority in its space, they’re more likely to think of you when they’re ready to make a purchasing decision.
Not only that, search engine algorithms like captivating content as much as customers do, and they’ll give preferential treatment to websites that have a regular flow of quality posts. In other words, investing in great content can keep you ranking high on Google and keep new traffic flowing to your site without costing you money for every click like PPC traffic.
Yes it takes time, money, and expertise to get your content ranking high – particularly where the competition for keywords in your industry is fierce – but once you’ve found the formula, you’ll build a sustainable flow of visitors and more qualified leads.
Key point: PPC needs to be supported by an SEO/content strategy if you want to move away from paying for visitors, towards building a brand with a steady stream of qualified leads.
What’s right for you?
Paid traffic can be a great option for generating instant results (around a short-term promotion or campaign, for example). But once your budget disappears, so will your visitors.
Generating long-term traffic and a sustainable online presence relies on investing in quality content. It not only points to your brand’s existence, it qualifies what you have to bring to the world.
Before you think about paying for clicks, make sure you’ve also got a steady stream of content that backs up your claims, and can deliver results for the long-term. At Q Content, we create the content strategy and assets that drive traffic to your website, underline your credibility, and build trust. Get in touch today to start making that happen.Ben Hollom
February 10, 2022