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September 4, 2012 | Category: Search Engine Optimization | By:

 

Adwords or SEO? How about both!

Adwords or SEO: Which will make the phone ring and keep me and my staff busy? It's not uncommon for business owners to feel as if they must choose one over the other. However, they are not mutually exclusive choices for the direction of your marketing efforts. They are pieces of a puzzle that interlock at several points to strengthen your brand and drive traffic to your amazing website.

The obvious goal is to climb to the top of the Google search results so that amazing website of yours can work its magic. Joining Adwords and SEO (search engine optimization) can propel you ahead of your competition, keeping you busy now and in the many months to come.  

 

A quick review

Adwords

Adwords is the paid advertising positions at the top and along the side of the search engine results page. Your ad will show when specific keywords related to your business are searched. You pay only if someone clicks on the ad to visit your site. The advantages of Adwords include:

  • Quickly gets you to the top of Google search results pages
  • As ad and website performance increase, costs generally go down
  • Can set daily budgets to control spending
  • Can track traffic from the ads
  • Great tool for targeting those actively searching for your products/services

Disadvantages:

  • Without constant management you can sink straight to the bottom in a matter of minutes
  • Requires incessant fine-tuning of ads and keywords to maximize profit
  • Only around 20% of all search traffic clicks on paid links

SEO

SEO involves a wide ranging scope of activities to get your website to the top of the organic search results. Organic results are those for a page on your website not related to an ad or Google + Local map listings. Google bases the search engine results on about 200 factors that are not made completely public. Trial and error along with the tidbits of information Google offers have resulted in guidelines to help improve the performance of your website in Google's search engine.

Advantages:

  • SEO efforts can continue to produce results once stopped or reduced
  • No cost-per-click means that you are paying nothing outside of your SEO investment for each conversion
  • No crazy days where your ad spending goes through the roof
  • Google + Local has made it easier to appeal to users in your area with organic SEO

Disadvantages:

  • It is a rather long process requiring a large amount of tedious work
  • It can be really difficult to oust top rankers for the highly competitive keywords if they are well entrenched
  • More complicated than Adwords
  • It can change rather quickly due to Google changes or competitors working hard to improve their results

Marrying SEO and Adwords

A smart online marketing plan takes into consideration the strengths and weaknesses of both Adwords and SEO and uses the strengths of one to overcome the weaknesses of the other. SEO has the disadvantage of taking time to see results; Adwords is immediate.While you are putting your SEO plan into place, Adwords will get traffic to your site.

Adwords requires a constant investment in time and money, while investment in SEO can produce results down the road even with a reduction in that investment. This means, once you have SEO going for you, you can scale back Adwords and SEO as long as the results are there. This means a higher return on your investment—music to the ears of any business owner.  

Scaling back doesn't remove the necessity to continually monitor and tweak. For instance, you may want to only use Adwords for the keywords that are not a part of your SEO efforts or that are not getting SEO traction. Keep in mind, Google is always changing the game and your competition is making changes as well. Once ahead of the game, you must work to stay there.

One hand washes the other

Adwords and SEO have a simpatico relationship. A search engine optimized site results in a more successful Adwords campaign. One of the major factors in determining how much you pay per click in Adwords is how Google rates the page to which the ads point. SEO helps to improve those pages and thus reducing your Adwords costs. You can also use Adwords to help develop your SEO plan. Google's Adwords Keyword Tool is a great resource for determining your most important keywords. Also, by using the data from your Adwords campaign, you see which keywords are bringing the most traffic to your site and focus your SEO efforts on these search terms.

Your marketing budget

Of course, you don't have a bottomless marketing budget. With an abundance of advertising avenues available, such as TV, radio, direct mail and others, finding the money to promote your website can be difficult. However, the internet is only growing in importance as a way to market your business. It can no longer be ignored by small businesses. Now is the perfect time to reexamine where your marketing dollars should go. For a better perspective on how online marketing compares to traditional marketing, check out Are You Wasting Your Advertising Dollars.

If you have any questions or would like to set up a free consultation, simply respond to this email or give us a call at (910) 452-6345. We would love the opportunity to put together and implement a search engine marketing plan to help your business reach the top of the Google Mountain.

 

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