SEO v PPC

We caught up with Matt Roberts, Vice President Product of Linkdex to get the low down on all things Search Engine Marketing for small businesses.

Techbubbles: Hi Matt, can you start by giving us a jargon free definition of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?

Matt: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the practice of ensuring a website is visible to search engine users. It is both a technical and marketing discipline with the aim of ensuring that ‘keywords’ are highly visible in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) on Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Yandex.ru, and others.

Techbubbles: What about Pay Per Click?

Matt: Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is the paid results shown along with the organic results in SERPs. The most common platforms used are Google Adwords, Bing, Yahoo!, Chikita, Yandex.ru, and Baidu. Setting up a small PPC advertising campaign is reasonably straightforward (though the free certification courses each platform offers is a good time investment to maximise results). Large-scale enterprise PPC can be remarkably complex and best left to specialists or agencies.

Techbubbles: What are the main benefits of SEO over PPC?

Matt: The Return on Investment (ROI) for SEO can be a significant multiple of PPC. In other words, a reasonable investment can have very high returns over a long period of time. And while SEO requires on-going and often time-consuming work, actual monies spent can be quite low. Compared with PPC, this is a long term investment.

Techbubbles: What about the other way round?

Matt: Speed and simplicity are benefits of PPC. A campaign can be set up within minutes by a competent person, and if the website advertised has good conversion rates, profits (which in turn pay for more advertising) can be realized within hours. However, once the PPC campaigns stop, there is no further benefit.

Techbubbles: What advice would you give to a small business planning to get started in SEM?

Both SEO and PPC have an important place within Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Usually, SEO takes time to work well, so PPC can be a way to ‘fill the gap’ in the meantime. Once the keyword rankings are good and driving revenues, PPC efforts can be ratcheted down, or spent in a new area of the business.

Techbubbles:  Thanks Matt, finally, do you have any actionable tips our readers can try?

Matt:

  • Read the free ‘Getting started in SEO’ guides available online. There are several which are updated often and give a wealth of information
  • Stick to the SEO basics. There are no SEO tricks that will work in the long haul, so stick to good website architecture, very high quality content, and natural link building
  • Get Adwords certified to really help with your PPC efforts
  • Reliable conversion data and sales value data (margin contribution / net profit value on each sale is ideal)
  • Start of on a small scale, and ramp up as you see what works and what doesn’t.

Best of luck with your search engine marketing!

SEO v PPC
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