When it comes to traffic, search engines are still the most prolific source available and of all the search engines on the Internet, Google is the giant.
Google now processes over 3.5 Billion searches every day worldwide – that’s 40,000 searches a second – and these searches are for every conceivable kind of thing, from entertainment to information, from shopping for products to looking for help.
This represents a massive source of ready customers for just about every type of business and if you are in need of fast traffic to your site then the search engines can be a ready pool of hot leads – if you have the money to buy it!
However, the cost of advertising on Google has risen massively in the last few years with positive returns on investment being much harder to come by. When pay-per-click advertising first came along the costs per click could be as little as 1¢, but now the same searches could cost several dollars. So, as the costs have risen, profiting from Google Adwords has become an increasingly skilled task.
There is one way to help improve the cost and efficiency of your paid advertising, that can in time completely out perform it, and that is to drive your site to the top of the search engines using search engine optimisation (SEO). SEO has both advantages and disadvantages over paid advertising.
Advantages of SEO
- Traffic levels
- Reduces the cost of pay-per-click advertising
- Brand awareness
Although SEO requires a substantial investment in the early stages with no returns in the beginning, once your site ranking has risen to the first page of Google, the clicks from those keywords are effectively free. This makes it extremely cost effective if you have targeted the right keyword and there is enough traffic of the right type.
With the right keywords you can see significant, sustainable, on-going traffic that is highly targeted. This is a great way to generate traffic to your business and at the same time improve your brand position. It is important to target the right keywords though – you want traffic that is looking for what you are offering and you need to ensure there is enough of it to make the process of search engine optimisation worthwhile.
Reduces the cost of pay-per-click advertising
One of the key metrics used by Google to determine the amount they charge for clicks is the “relevance” of the landing page. This is determined by many of the same factors they use to determine the relevance of a page for the search results. Therefore if you get your site to rank well with SEO, you are also likely to see a significant reduction in your cost-per-click (CPC) as the page ranking improves. In some cases I have seen click costs come down by over 50% through the combination of SEO with PPC.
When your target customers are searching the Internet for the products and services you offer, they will automatically assume the top organic results represent the top companies in your market. So if you get your site to the top of the search engines, then you will be perceived as a leading company in the industry. It’s simple human nature.
So search engine optimisation has multiple benefits for your business and your brand, far beyond the simple traffic benefit.
So what are the disadvantages?
Disadvantages of SEO
- Cost outlay
- No guarantee of page 1
- Google is in charge of your future
You have to invest for months before you can realistically see results from SEO. In the past there have been shortcuts and tricks to drive sites to the top of the search engines, but those days are long behind us now. Google have tweaked and adjusted their algorithm so many times to ensure that sites only ever get to the top because they deserve to be there. So it now takes time and patience to see lasting results.
No Guarantee Of Page 1
With a good SEO company you are bound to see your ranking increase and there are bound to be some keywords you can rank on page one for, but the top keywords are really hard to rank for and they will take time. You will be competing against established sites with big budgets, who will probably be able to hold you off – possibly for longer than you are willing to fight. After all, they have the traffic to fund the fight that you haven’t yet got.
Google is in charge of your future
Google constantly looks for ways to ensure that the people at the top of the search results genuinely deserve to be there. So they are constantly tweaking their algorithm to get the best match for the searchers.
This means that you could be top of the search results one day and on page 10 the next – simply because Google creates a new algorithm.
In order to avoid the disadvantages it is critically important to target keywords that are attainable, have value to you and only use strategies that Google likes. Google is quite upfront about the type of strategies that they like and it is therefore incumbent on you to ensure your SEO strategy matches their requirements.
For more information on SEO for your business contact us today and we will investigate the optimum strategy for you.