How to Optimize a Website And Grow Your Business
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. At a basic level, it involves trying to move your website and its accompanying pages higher into search engine results. When websites are listed high up on Google or alternative search engines, people are more likely to click them. Think about it like this. When you search for something on Google, which website are you most inclined to click? Likely it’s one on the first page and probably one of the top 5 listings. SEO, when implemented correctly, can help your site rank in those positions.
Much of the general public believes SEO involves determining how Google ranks pages and manipulating a website according to specific factors of Google's search engine algorithms. However, Google’s methods for ranking websites have become so advanced that the best practice for improving your SEO is to provide the best possible experience for your target audience because ultimately that’s what Google wants. Long story short, you can circumnavigate having to know exactly how Google ranks search results by simply doing what’s best for your customer.
What is PPC?
PPC stands for pay-per-click. Any form of digital advertising in which you pay for each click on an ad can be described as pay-per-click. Sometimes it’s not practical to reach specific people organically with your website. It can take too much time to build up your SEO to gain the attention of certain audiences, so it becomes more conducive to pay to get in front of a target demographic.
Typically in marketing, the goal is to get your message in front of a particular audience. With PPC advertising, you’re able to target your audience much more accurately than traditional methods of advertising. Additionally, every click on a PPC ad provides valuable data for your business; so you can see which ads work for which audiences, as well as very specific and accurate return on ad spend. These ads also give you defined information on how many touch points happen before people are ready to convert, along with which messages work best for certain segments of your audience.
So which should I focus on?
With focus on SEO, you will get long-term traffic benefits. When producing and promoting content, it would be beneficial to include backlink research and initial on page SEO optimization in your marketing strategy, although it does require somewhat of an upfront cost that may not immediately translate to conversions. That process includes using specific keywords within the content on your website, along with optimizing images and having alt tags. Optimizing for SEO provides lasting benefits in the long haul.
As far as PPC goes, there are businesses who think, “I’ll just pay for traffic.” However, because you have to pay for every single click no matter what, PPC isn’t always the most sustainable way to grow your business. It is certainly beneficial for organizations wanting to gain traction for a specific campaign or product.
The best way to improve your search ranking is to understand what your audience is looking for and provide that information. Using that mission to add value to your business, you’ll reach the audience you want. Rather than making it to the top of search results for a keyword that doesn’t drive qualified traffic to your website, you’ll focus on who you can provide value for. These are your ideal customers! You can be at the top of Google search results for a highly general keyword but if your website doesn’t provide a valuable product or service for the people searching for that keyword, you’ve got a lot of traffic but no customers.
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