How can PPC and SEO help your small business

Posted by Faraz
10 Minute Read
Date: 22nd January 2017

The key difference between Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is that SEO is free, while PPC you have to pay for.

SEO relies on organic search, in other words, getting your website into the best position to be found naturally when people are searching through Google (or other search engines like Bing, Yahoo, etc). Google links to sites it considers relevant and authoritative, so the more you can do to make your websites content relevant to people’s searches, the better your SEO. And the more links you can get to your site, the higher you rank in a Google search.


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Which one is better?

Although they both form crucial parts of search engine marketing (SEM – okay, that’s enough acronyms for now), and they both aim to get your brand and messages seen by as many people as possible, SEO and PPC are really two very different digital marketing beasts.

Basically, PPC is about ‘buying’ visits to your site rather than ‘earning’ them through SEO and organic search.

Research by SEO consultants at Moz found that organic search results were 8.5 times more likely to be clicked on than equivalent ads. But also that ad clicks were 1.5 times more likely to result in a sale. So they can complement each other – but it’s up to you how much time and money you want to spend on each.

Do I need PPC?

Naturally, most people look at the organic results first. If they’re web-savvy, they know that Google’s highly sophisticated (and highly secret) algorithms will have worked hard to decipher which sites best fit their query, based on keywords used, previous browsing history, trending searches and myriad other criteria. And if they’re not web-savvy, the organic results dominate the page and invite clicks more readily than the ads at the side.

But… people do look at the ads, and they do click on them. As a digital marketing channelPPC is a measurable, quick entry medium to target new customers and get your brand out there. With more than 100 billion Google searches each month, it’s no surprise that there can be an awful lot of money to be made and spent with PPC.

It’s said that 96% of Google’s revenue comes from PPC advertising, and the biggest players can spend large amounts on PPC. I’ve managed campaigns where big online retailers spend over £500,000 a month on PPC.

Depending on what your business is, and the strength of your PPC campaign, you can yield some very good results in your digital marketing efforts.

You can start using Google AdWords with just a few pounds (the average cost per click for a Google AdWords ad is £0.86 and £1.52). You don’t have to invest over a period of time (though results will likely be better if you do) – you can stop or start, anytime. But while businesses may make on average £5 for every £1.60 they spend on AdWords, not all campaigns are successful.

If you want serious results, there are any number of professional PPC experts (like myself) who can help you. However, in the meantime, here are some tips to help you get it right on your own.

Track everything

Set your site up with Google Analytics and track before and after you start using Google AdWords. This way you can see and measure performance. Check devices usages, i.e. desktop/mobile visits.

Combine with organic search

Getting your messages and keywords aligned for both ads and content can greatly increase your results. Pay particular attention to the landing page (probably your homepage or service/product page) that your ads will be directing to.

Consider more links to your site

Most PPC ads have a single link, but you can add others to increase the scope of your offering and target niche requirements, such as a link to ask a question, or to learn about a specific saving.

Make usage of Ad Extensions

Google Adwords offer extensions to your ads, such as; phone number, reviews, more sitelinks to relevant pages, snippets, etc. This will not only increase the size of your advert, making you stand out, but also giving you a chance to give further information about your offering, eventually leading to a sale.

Further Tools to accompany you

There are many tools out there, however this article is written for those at a beginner level and below I have listed a few tools that will accompany you to creating a good performing PPC campaign.

SEMRush – Great tool for gaining new keywords, looking at your competitors and their adverts.

iSpionage – Competitor Analysis tool, gives you further insights on competitors.

Crazy Egg / HotJar – Looking at screen recordings on how users navigate around your website, look at heat maps on where the most clicks have appeared, where the most coldest part of your website is, etc. HotJar is a free product with limitations. Crazy Egg is a subscription based product.

GTMetrix / Pingdom – Free website speed test checker.


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