No matter what type of website you’re running, whether it be a online e-commerce store, nonprofit, or just a blog – you know the key to success is traffic. You know if you want your website to be worth anything you need to be driving new unique traffic to your site each and every day. Beyond web activities along, there are many methods you can utilize to achieve traffic, such as: print advertising, word of mouth, highway billboards, radio, etc. Most website traffic efforts however are launched online and usually takes the form of two main strategies: PPC and SEO. Let’s take a brief look at both of these strategies, and compare their similarities and differences.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO is an acronym for “Search Engine Optimization”- a web traffic growth strategy where the owner or manager of a website makes tweaks and “optimizations” on their own website content – as well as takes actions to influence others’ web content, toward the ultimate goal of appearing with increased frequency, more visibly, and in higher ranking positions within Google, and other internet search engines. As the search results search engines return are prompted by the words and phrases (AKA “keywords”) that people type into the search bar, specific keywords are targeted by professional SEO strategists as their goals; with an eventual aspiration of having their website return as the “top” or number one search result in the search engine, for a given keyword search query. It’s important to note, SEO only contributes to the “natural” search results that are returned for a keyword query. In Google for example, these are the site listings that appear underneath they tope colored advertisement box at the top of the search result screen. A few of the different individual SEO strategies professionals utilize, for example, are link building, offsite, and onsite content creation, and HTML optimization. Some of the main characteristics, benefits, and drawbacks of SEO are:
1. Unless you employ someone else, SEO is technically “free” to execute (it only costs the time you take to work on it)
2. When you target less competitive keywords, or “niche keywords”, you can get top search results with much less competition than Google Adwords PPC for example
3. SEO typically takes some “ramp up” time before search engines notice the efforts across the web
4. When practiced alongside other marketing efforts, SEO can be harder to attribute unique value to – as it is less trackable, and less in your control
5. If you do have a budget, want the value of SEO activities, but don’t want to execute on them yourself – you can pay to employ an “SEO Agency” to work on these activities for you. (more…)