In my 25+ years working in the SEO industry, I’ve seen firsthand the impact that organic SEO can have on a website’s ranking.
If you’re looking for a long-term, sustainable way to attract more traffic to your site, organic SEO is the way to go. And if you’ve click to read this page, my guess is you already know something about SEO and are making decision on whether it’s right for you.
I hope this article would help you make a better decision. Here goes….
Are we on the same page with what organic SEO is?
Organic SEO refers to the natural, unpaid process of optimizing a website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
With higher ranking, your site is more likely to get better traffic. There’s more to it but this is a good foundation.
If you have worked with other SEO companies before, you’ll find that the processes are mostly the same.
Start with …
- Keyword research: The first step in organic optimization is to identify the keywords that your target audience is searching for. This involves conducting keyword research using tools like Google’s Keyword Planner.
There are several free keyword research tools out there. Search for one that you like. If you’re a small company, I’m thinking you can get by with free versions. For enterprise or B2B with in-house SEO, deep-dive into the keyword study using a paid tool. It’s worth it.
- Valuable content: Once you’ve identified your target keywords, the next step is to create high-quality content that incorporates those keywords naturally. This could include blog posts, product descriptions, evergreen content or other types of content that are relevant to your target audience.
Make sure to pay attention to on-page optimization and internal linking.
- Quality backlinks: When you have great content, it’s time to build your backlinks. This involves getting other websites to link to your site in order to increase your site’s authority in the eyes of search engines.
SEO who truly relishes working on backlinks is a rare breed. “Earned” backlinks are the cream of the crop. These are the natural and high-quality links that you receive when your content is top-notch or your writing is so captivating that it attracts all the right attention. Earned backlinks are a testament to the excellence of your work.
In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. The same principle applies to the world of content creation. Yes, ChatGPT can certainly assist in crafting pieces, but relying solely on it is not the way to go.
With every writer hopping on the ChatGPT bandwagon, how do you make your work stand out from the crowd?
It’s time to think beyond just using ChatGPT and find unique ways to differentiate yourself and make your content truly remarkable.
While earning natural backlinks is the ideal, if you’re just starting your SEO journey, don’t overlook the value of directory backlinks and smaller niche sites.
Dedicate some time every day to scouring the web for backlink prospects. And remember, great things take time and patience – just like how Rome wasn’t built in a single day! (It’s worth noting that the greatness of Rome was also built through battles, civil war, and plenty of bloodshed. History has taught us that greatness often comes at a cost, but with perseverance and determination, the reward is worth it, I hope)
Remember that organic SEO is a long-term strategy that requires consistent effort and patience.
Keep producing high-quality content, optimizing your website, and building quality backlinks, and you will see your website’s ranking improve over time.
So why is organic SEO so powerful?
Short answer: because it will have a lasting impact on your business if you keep maintaining it. It’s cheaper and won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Long answers with a list of the most notable SEO benefits:
- Long-term results: Unlike PPC advertising, which stops driving traffic once you stop paying for ads, organic SEO can continue to drive traffic to your site long after you’ve optimized your content.
This means that your efforts will pay off over time and that you can see a long-lasting return on your investment.
- Cost-effective: Organic SEO is typically less expensive than other forms of digital marketing, such as PPC advertising or social media marketing. This makes it a great for businesses with limited marketing budgets.
- Higher credibility: Users are more likely to click on organic search results than on paid ads, which can help establish your website’s credibility in the eyes of your target audience.
When your website ranks high in organic search results, it increases brand awareness and help you build trust with your target audience.
Now, let’s hear it from the PPC crew
PPC advertising is a popular alternative to organic SEO, and it involves paying for ads that appear at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) when users search for specific keywords.
Pros of Pay Per Clicks:
Immediate results: Unlike organic SEO, which can take months to produce results, PPC advertising can generate traffic to your website almost immediately. That’s a pretty great option for businesses that need to see results quickly.
Will that PPC traffic turns into leads? That depends. Is your landing page optimized and shows value that flow from your PPC ads? If you set your home page to be your PPC landing page, you’re off on a very wrong foot.
Will that PPC traffic convert into valuable leads? It depends.
The success of your PPC campaign also depends on your landing page optimization and its ability to align with the value proposition promised in your ads.
If you’re setting your home page as the landing page for your PPC ads, you’re trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. It does not work. Make sure that your landing page is designed specifically to cater to the needs of your PPC audience and provide them with a seamless experience that drives conversions.
Targeted advertising: With PPC advertising, you can target specific keywords and demographics, which can help ensure that you’re reaching the right audience. This can help increase the effectiveness of your advertising efforts and lead to higher conversion rates.
Control over ad placement: You’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to where your ads are displayed. You have the flexibility to decide when and where you want your ads to appear, giving you the ability to tailor your advertising efforts to maximize results and reach your desired audience effectively.
Cons of Pay Per Clicks:
Cost: PPC advertising can be expensive, and the cost per click (CPC) can vary widely depending on the keywords you’re targeting.
If you’re competing in a populated area, big city, competitive industry, PPC will cost you.
And if your PPC squad doesn’t tweak your ads or landing pages to perfection, you’ll likely end up losing money faster than you can say “Pay Per Click.”
Just recently, I had a chat with a colleague who told me about a company in a cutthroat industry (think national rankings and intense competition). He challenged me to guess how much they were shelling out on PPC each year. I took a wild guess and said, “$200,000”. Boy, was I wrong! He revealed that it was a whopping amount of over “$15 million” per year.
That’s a lot of dough.
Requires ongoing management: PPC advertising requires ongoing management and optimization in order to be effective. If you’re not constantly monitoring and adjusting your campaigns, you may not see the results you’re looking for.
Short-term results: As I mentioned before, unlike organic SEO, which can continue to drive traffic to your website long after you’ve optimized your content, PPC advertising stops driving traffic once you stop paying.
No one likes to hear that. Once business owners discover the magic of organic SEO, it’s a breath of fresh air to see how they can drastically cut down on their PPC advertising expenses.
PPC does not come cheap. If your budget is modest, it can be challenging to get results.
On the other hand, if you have a hefty budget, be prepared for the costs to keep ballooning.
With Pay Per Lead, Pay Per Click, and a myriad of other options, Google is always eager to help you lighten your wallet.
“Yes, my PPC budget is $100/month and I want to rank for “accident attorney” in Tampa.”
I wish you the best.
Competition: With PPC advertising, you’re competing against other businesses that are bidding on the same keywords, how do you stand out?
While PPC advertising can be a powerful way to drive traffic to your website, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before investing in this strategy.
For some businesses, PPC advertising may be a great way to generate immediate results, while for others, organic SEO may be a more cost-effective and sustainable strategy in the long run.
Which strategy is right for my business?
I tell my clients to do both. Take the multi-pronged approach to digital marketing. If you need traffic and leads now, PPC is the fastest options.
As you’re bleeding money through PPC, start putting in the work to optimize your website and make it more search engine friendly.
Act fast and never let up. Once your organic search efforts start to gain traction and bring in more traffic, you can then dial back your investments in PPC.
With a solid foundation in organic search, you’ll be able to rely less on paid advertising and enjoy more sustainable and cost-effective results in the long run.
It’s a win-win situation.
Things to think about when you want to invest in SEO and PPC:
Budget: If you have a limited budget, organic SEO may be the better choice, as it can generate traffic to your website without requiring ongoing payments. It will take some time to see results. This largely depends on your type of industry and local locations.
However, if you have more money to spend and need to generate traffic quickly, PPC advertising may be a better option.
Competition: If you’re operating in a highly competitive industry, PPC advertising may be necessary to stand out in search engine results pages.
However, if you’re operating in a less competitive industry, organic SEO may be sufficient to drive traffic to your website.
Business goals: Consider your business goals when deciding between organic SEO and PPC advertising. If your goal is to generate immediate sales or leads, PPC advertising may be the better choice.
On the other hand, if your goal is to establish your brand and generate long-term traffic, organic SEO may be the better choice.
Some examples of how PPC and SEO can be applied:
SEO: A local coffee shop that’s trying to attract more customers in the area may benefit from focusing on organic SEO, as they can optimize their website for local keywords and attract customers who are searching for coffee shops in their area.
PPC: A software company that’s launching a new product may benefit from using PPC advertising to generate immediate leads and sales, as they can target users who are searching for their product or similar products.
SEO: An e-commerce store that’s looking to establish its brand and generate long-term traffic may benefit from focusing on organic SEO, as they can create high-quality content that will continue to drive traffic to their site long after it’s published.
Here’s my takeaway
The decision between organic SEO and PPC advertising will depend on your unique business needs and goals.
Ultimately, it’s the big B, Budget.
SEO and PPC can work hand in hand. Key decision makers have to understand that SEO is long term. A well optimized site will start building traffic. A well-designed site with clear messaging and sales funnel will generate leads.
Easy to say, but not easy to do.
Whether you choose organic SEO, PPC advertising, or a combination of both. Organic SEO will grow your site. I have no doubt. You need Pay Per Clicks or Pay Per Lead, hopefully short term.
Before you go…quick recaps on common SEO questions
What is Organic SEO?
Organic SEO refers to the process of optimizing your website to rank higher in SERPs without paying for ads. This typically involves optimizing your website’s content and structure to make it more attractive to search engine algorithms.
Unlike paid search, which can provide immediate results but requires ongoing investment, organic SEO can provide long-term benefits without ongoing costs. By consistently producing high-quality content and optimizing your site’s structure, you can attract more traffic over time and build a sustainable source of web traffic.
With Bing’s investment in ChatGPT, Google may be facing a stiff competition.
How long does it take for SEO to work?
It depends on a variety of factors, including the competitiveness of the industry and the quality of the website’s content and backlinks.
In general, it can take several months to see significant results from SEO, but the long-term benefits can be significant.
What are backlinks and why are they important for my site?
Think of it as a vote of confidence. Backlinks are links from other websites to your website.
They are important for SEO because they signal to search engines that other websites consider your content to be valuable and authoritative. The more high-quality backlinks your website has, the more likely it is to rank well in search engine results pages.
Should I buy backlinks to improve my SEO?
My answer is, it depends. You can “sponsor” a link. Make it clear to Google that the link is “sponsor”.
Ask yourself some questions: Is the site a good looking site? Or does it look shady? Is the site the type that your audience visits?
Do I need to do a keyword research?
Yes, there’s no way around it. How you do it, that’s up to you. What tool you use, that’s up to you. Google “free keyword study tools” and pick one if you’re going to do it yourself.
I conduct an in-depth keyword study for every client. It’s the guide my team uses to produce copy, landing page plan, and so much more.
To optimize a web site, you would want to know what search terms people are using to find websites in your industry. You do need keyword research.
By incorporating relevant keywords into your website’s content, you can improve its relevance and visibility in search engine results pages.
What is the difference between organic SEO and PPC advertising?
Organic SEO is the process of optimizing a website to improve its visibility and ranking in search engine results pages without paying for ads.
PPC advertising, on the other hand, involves paying for ads that appear at the top of search engine results pages when users search for specific keywords.
While both strategies can be effective for driving traffic to a website, organic SEO is typically more sustainable and cost-effective in the long run, while PPC advertising can be more effective for generating immediate results.
I hope this helps answers your questions about PPC and SEO. If you are having a challenging time growing your business, been through too many “SEOs” and are tire of hearing the same spiel, I ask you to give My Local Start a try.
My team and I have been working together for over 20 years. We’re solid and as dependable as can be. And if you decide to go at it alone, I’d be happy to point you in the right directions if you need any help.
In this uncertain economic situation, it’d be my pleasure to help local business owners succeed.