Search engine marketing is an umbrella term that encompasses several different strategies. Ultimately, every strategy that’s a part of search engine marketing strives to improve your business’s visibility in Google search results, but not all of them work in exactly the same way.
Before investing in search marketing services for your business, it’s important to understand what kind of services you have to choose from and what each one means for your business. Chances are, you will want to use a combination of approaches to further your visibility, but it’s also perfectly acceptable to hone in on one strategy if that’s what works best for your needs.
Here are the main three ways search engine marketing is approached by agencies:
Pay-per-click or PPC marketing involves paying for adverts on Google or other platforms. However, it’s more cost-effective than many other types of advertising because, as the name suggests, you only have to pay an amount that’s proportionate to the number of people who clicked on your advert. In theory, this means that while you will pay more if lots of people visit your website, you should have also made more sales so the extra cost will balance out.
PPC is ideal for businesses that want to see quicker results in search marketing, as paying for an advert guarantees that your website will be right at the top of search results in the advertising slot. However, it may end up costing more than other search engine marketing approaches in the long run.
Search engine optimisation (SEO)
For businesses that are happy to play the long game, search engine optimisation or SEO can deliver incredible results. Where PPC focuses on paid clicks, SEO is all about organic traffic, which will help your website to rank higher in the main search results section. It’s determined by a combination of factors, such as on-page content, the technical specifications of your website, and how many high-quality backlinks you have.
Because SEO is organic, it does take time to implement a strategy, so you may only see results after several months. And, the longer you do SEO, the stronger and more authoritative your website will become. SEO strategies typically cost less than PPC and will deliver results that are further-reaching, but you do need to be patient.
A subsection of organic SEO, local SEO is specifically for businesses that operate within a set geographical location. The strategy helps them to rank higher when users are searching for services that are nearby or in a specific place. By leveraging local SEO, businesses might be featured on Google maps or appear in a box at the top of search results.
Sometimes local keywords are less competitive than keywords being searched for all across the country or even internationally, which can allow smaller businesses to have a better chance of being found by their intended audience. However, some larger businesses that operate in many locations may use local SEO for all of these areas to be more visible.