Which is better: paid search marketing or search engine optimization (SEO) that brings in organic traffic? The answer is probably not as simple as many business owners would like, but the truth is that creating the most effective strategy possible will involve using both search advertising and SEO, and fine-tuning them so that each one amplifies the other’s effect. Thankfully, there is a way to simplify both with LOCALiQ Search Marketing and LOCALiQ SEO and combine them seamlessly with our powerful lead management solution for a total marketing solution that makes complex campaigns more approachable and effective.
When users look at the search engine result page (SERP), they will be presented, first, with a set (it’s typically four listings on Google) of paid search advertising, and organic search results follow. Search engines are pushing the market toward making paid search advertising the predominant force in driving traffic to websites, but for now, organic search results, powered by SEO, bring in a staggering twenty times more traffic.
SEO Still Matters…A Lot
While paid search advertising results may be presented to users at the top of the SERPs, about 32- 38% of users, depending on age, according to a recent survey, simply skip over them, to begin their research with the organic search results. This type of user believes that organic search results carry more credibility, and they’re more likely to click because of a generalized understanding that top organic result rankings are earned, not purchased.
Other users, about 60%, according to a 2017 study, don’t recognize the difference between a paid ad and an organic search result. So, it only makes sense to ensure your business is showing in both places, so you can appeal to whichever behavior is driving your searchers.
SEO also has huge influence in getting your website on top of mobile users’ organic search results because of the way Google and other top search engines have changed their search algorithms. Sites whose “snippets” provide the most relevant response to a search query are displayed right below the paid advertisements, in a format that highlights and makes them most accessible for mobile users. A snippet may be the meta description published with the website, or it may be a piece of text the search engine selects because it answers the query most directly. LOCALiQ SEO helps you to audit and analyze what’s working for you, and helps you keep your content in line with accepted best practices and current search engine ranking signals.
Paid Search Marketing
Mobile searches have been steadily increasing in recent years, overtaking the number of searches made on desktop computers in 2016. Those mobile users, smartphone users, in particular, are driving a shift in the way search engine results are being used. The reason for this shift has to do with the limited screen real estate on a smartphone screen, as compared even to a tablet, and the tendency for those users to click before scrolling down “below the fold,” so they’re more likely to click on search advertising first. LOCALiQ Search Marketing takes an active role in making your digital advertising budget as effective as possible with powerful, yet easy to use, features like mobile optimization and extensions for calling, texting, and Live Chat.
Watch Your Results Multiply With an Effective Combination of SEO & Search Marketing
Using both SEO and paid search marketing not only covers a wider variety of users, but if you use each to its best advantage, you’ll find them boosting each other’s effectiveness in ways you may not expect. For example, while you’re building your organic reach with improved SEO, your organic SERP placement may be too low for many users to discover and may not bring in much traffic, but search marketing will place your company at the top of the list for your most relevant search terms, and once your organic SERP ranking rises, searchers will immediately notice that you’re listed at or near the top in both places.
You can also use the analytic data from your search advertising to fine-tune your SEO, and boost your organic SERP ranking even further. Since Google changed the analytics available to website owners, you can still see the keywords that brought organic traffic to your website, but you can no longer see the data behind them. When you run paid search marketing, though, your analytics include a ranked list of highest-converting keywords, which you can use to more precisely target your SEO.
Taking a holistic approach to digital marketing, which includes both paid search marketing and SEO, helps you increase your visibility and target more precisely, and ultimately, pull more value out of your marketing budget.