There are two main ways a local business can reach their potential audience on Google, and it’s important to understand what these are and how different they both are. The two strategies that were talking about are SEO – Search Engine Optimization and PPC – Pay Per Click.
Local SEO – (Search Engine Optimization) is used to get your website ranked highly in organic search listings based on keywords related to your business this type of SEO also helps ranking you on Google maps, however you cannot pay for an organic placement within organic listings. Google has an algorithm that determines where each page on your site ranks using various keywords. On local search listings you’re competing with your competitors for the best keywords related to your business.
PPC – (Pay Per Click) is used so you can be placed above organic search results, as the name suggests, this type of advertising costs money per click. The main thing to understand with PPC ads are how they are displayed, usually the top four search results within search listings are PPC ads. The PPC ads are then followed by Google maps listings and then the list of organic search results. It’s important to understand that 99% of people click on results at the top of the page.
If we examine above the fold results (above the fold results are those you see when you first land on the page before you scroll down) you will notice that most of the screen real estate is taken up by paid ads. Often enough there is no room for organic results. If a user finds what they are looking for above the fold they won’t scroll down any further. Because of this, one of the main advantages of PPC over SEO is its positioning in a prime location on the search results pages.
When launching a PPC campaign, almost immediately your PPC ad will appear on the first page of Google, thus giving you the number spot. In comparison SEO is a long term investment. Three to six months is typically when you will see any sort of result and in a competitive market it could take even longer.
This means you could be spending £500 - £1500 a month with an SEO company, depending on how restricted your budget is and still not be guaranteed that number one spot. After a year or two of paying the SEO company Google may change its algorithm and you could lose it all overnight.
In most cases you will be receiving emails and phone calls from SEO companies telling you how poorly your website is ranking and how this isn’t getting you the leads you so desire. They will also bog you down with jargon to confuse you into thinking that what they are selling is something you need. Most of them will more than likely have some kind of magic solution to get you to the top of Google. If it sounds too good to be true then it more than likely is.
Google doesn’t make money from SEO they make money from Google AdWords. PPC is never going to go away, Google is a publicly traded company with a responsibility to their shareholders to increase profits. Google constantly rolls out new algorithms and new things that get people to click on ads.
From our experience, the fastest most reliable way to promote your business comes from running PPC ads and not just Ads available from Google, you can utilize PPC Ads now on Linkedin which is good B2B (Business to Business) or even Facebook if your business is more publically focused. You just need to make sure you’re approaching it from the right angle to work with your business.