If you’re trying to decide whether you should pursue organic SEO for small business or paid ads, we want to ask you, why not both? Together, these marketing tactics push you toward the same goal: to drive more potential customers, clients, and/or patients to your website.

How Organic SEO and Paid Ads Work In Tandem

PPC and Social Media Advertising Metrics Provide Content Ideas

Paid ads come with loads of data. Data you can use as organic content fodder. For example, if you compile your highest-performing PPC ads and social media ads, you can leverage that messaging to create SEO-friendly organic content for your website and/or company blog. Then, you can take those content pieces a step further and develop videos, white papers, and ebooks to generate even more SEO value and organic traffic.

Paid Ads Bring People Back

People may find your website organically or by clicking on an ad—or both. However, paid ads ensure your company isn’t forgotten. Re-targeting ads put your message back in front of prospective clients and customers. These ads urge interested parties to return to your website and complete a sale. More website traffic improves your SEO ranking and visibility. So you see how organic SEO and paid ads can piggyback on one another to improve your marketing over time. 

Organic SEO Can Drive Better PPC and Social Ad Campaigns

Have you done keyword research and/or a formal SEO audit? If you have, you know the search volume exists to certain keywords and keyword phrases. Test these niche and high volume keywords in your social media ads and pay-per-click campaigns!

Paid Ads and Organic SEO Deliver Double The Data

You know what they say: double the data, double the fun. Well, in the marketing world that’s what we call a party. If you use Google Analytics to dive into website traffic, bounce rates, etc, as well as your PPC and social media ad metrics, you’ll have a treasure trove of invaluable information. Then, it’s up to you to optimize your content, website, and ad campaigns to give customers more of what they want. Because 53 percent of PPC clicks happen on mobile devices, you’ll definitely want to ensure your organic SEO and website functionality are up to snuff.

The Differences Between Organic SEO and Paid Advertising

One is “free” and the other costs money. The other fast-tracks your website to getting in front of customers. The other is a long game to climb to the top of search results. Those are the big differences between organic SEO and paid ads. However, there are more nuances to both paid media and organic SEO. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Organic SEO 

Let’s dissect what you see when you search for something on the web. You type keywords into the search bar, and the search engine pulls up relevant links. The websites that rank at the top of search results use SEO-optimized content to prove they have one of the best pages—one Google should prioritize and showcase above all others. 

You don’t pay for this ranking. In fact, you can’t. You improve your website’s search ranking through content creation, annual SEO audits, and website updates. Your goal should always be to rank on page one—preferably in the top three results. That’s because the top ten results on the first page of Google get 92 percent of all Google’s search traffic. This drops by 95 percent on the second page. And if you’ve never heard this joke—“Where do marketers bury dead bodies? On the second page of Google.”—now, you have. Kind of explains itself. 

Oh! And don’t fall for the old, “Well, my Google My Business listing is at the top, so my SEO must be great,” misconception. Just because your GMB profile shows up, does not mean your SEO is as strong as it should be. In fact, most times it isn’t, as these factors are not linked whatsoever. Google My Business is a social media profile. It increases your visibility and helps loosely with SEO by driving traffic back to your website. It does not, however, improve your website’s organic SEO directly.

Paid Ads: PPC and Social Media Ads

Paid media—PPC or social media ads—cost money. There is a bidding process. There’s a set ad spend. There’s the ads management cost to factor into your budget. We won’t get too into the weeds on that. But paid media is something you buy to ensure your business gets the impressions you want.

There are lots of types of ads to run—from Instagram, to PPC on Google, to Facebook ads. We love paid media because you can control your spend and carry out a variety of initiatives. For instance, run lead generation ad campaigns. Create ads to compile customer reviews. Run ads tied directly to sales. Integrate re-targeting ads to keep popping up in front of people who showed interest in your product or service. Those are just a few ideas to get you going.

The Benefits of Organic SEO 

Build Trust and Credibility with Organic SEO for Small Business  

If your site shows up on the first page of Google, you get street cred with customers. Why? Because only great content makes the first page—content customers trust clicking on. Just make sure your landing pages and content delights them. Do not use click-bait or bait-and-switch techniques. You’ll sour the customer experience and downgrade your SEO with high bounce rates.

Organic SEO Establishes Timeless Content  

You may have heard the marketing term “evergreen content.” Like trees that never lose their leaves, this content never loses its relevance. Focus your SEO efforts on these key, top-level content pieces. Update them every year. Add UX, design, and copy enhancements to make these content pieces better. Then your rankings will also stay relevant. 

Improves Ranking  

Ranking is a game, and once you’re the top player, you have home field advantage. Because search engines and users have recognized you as an authority, your status holds your high rankings better.

Click-Through Rates 

Organic click-through rates impact your rankings. In fact, some studies show that if you improve your organic CTR by just three percent you can move up a spot. This is because the search engines have certain benchmarks for ranking. If your website’s organic CTRs are higher than the benchmark, the search engine pushes you to a higher position because it deduces that people find value in the content they click on.

Betters Inbound marketing 

Organic search strategy means developing well-optimized content to remain visible in search results. This pushes you to improve your inbound marketing, because you have to have helpful content that supports and empowers your customer. This is a sure-fire way to help your small business grow faster.

Drawbacks of Organic SEO

Time  

Do you prefer instant gratification or sacrifice for bigger rewards? If your small business sells a product in a saturated industry, you’ll have to out-maneuver a lot of people to rank for the same keywords. Placing on page one could take weeks, months, or years. That’s why you need to get started on your organic SEO improvements ASAP. Keep them up as an ongoing marketing effort. 

Big Time and Resource Commitment  

Organic SEO for small business can feel clumsy without the right resources. Sometimes you have only five employees doing ten different jobs! So can they add content creation and optimization to their role too? Someone will have to have the patience to learn the tricks of SEO, and the aptitude to master it. SEO is a complex beast. However, an agency like Witty Kitty can save you hours and hours per month by taking SEO and content strategy off your plate. 

The Benefits of Paid Ads (PPC and Social Media)

Fast Track Impressions and Exposure

Pay for your ad and voilà. You get to see your ad appear at the top of the search results. This increases your chances to drive traffic immediately to your website instead of waiting for algorithms to decide you organic SEO is legit. However, you need a solid ad strategy to ensure your ads convert.

Precise Targeting

PPC campaigns target specific consumer groups. Social ads do too—but they’re more restrictive with gender biases and other rules. You can place your ads in front of all kinds of people based on their location, job title, marital status, income, educational level, age, etc. This brings you qualified traffic—people seriously interested in your products. At the end of the day, traffic is great. Qualified traffic is way better because that’s your ideal customer.

Improved Click-Through Rates 

Some studies show that pay-per-click ad traffic brings about 50 percent more lead conversions than organic web traffic. In fact, 65 percent clicks on paid ads are made by people who intend to make a purchase. Click-through rate is the percentage of impressions that result in clicks. If your CTR is high, your ad is doing half the job (the other being to seal the deal). Google also factors in your CTR when ranking your page in search results.

The Cons of PPC and Social Media Advertising

Potential Cost

Are you ready for a bidding war? Obviously, more popular keywords come with a higher price tag. But this could be worth the money if you pay professionals to manage your campaigns. Seasoned ad managers can bring you qualified traffic—customers ready to buy. Plus, you can control your ad spend. A qualified PPC or social media ad manager will bring down the cost per lead over time, stretching your budget further.

Short Life Span 

Stop paying for your ads, and they vanish. Your other organic SEO marketing efforts stick around in the form of evergreen blogs and video. That being said, your business may only need a temporary ad. Sometimes companies place ads for holiday shopping seasons, short lead gen and review generation campaigns, or promotions. A quick campaign may be all you need!

Distrust

Some people don’t trust ads or find them annoying. However, 46 percent of people don’t even know the difference between PPC ads and links from the search engine. They’ll click on it if they like what they see.

Organic SEO is Just as Important as Paid Ads

If you can afford it, we highly recommend you focus on organic SEO and paid ads. They work hand-in-hand to increase exposure, close sales, generate leads, and help you grow your company.

If you have to pick, we think organic SEO is even more important than paid SEO. At least to start with. That’s because organic SEO for small business is the backbone of strong digital marketing strategy. Organic SEO brings in free leads. It improves your search ranking. It gives customers content they actively seek. Organic SEO is just more of a long game to get there. You can make it to the top with time and patience. So regardless of whether you choose to focus on one marketing tactic or combine the two, remember that both SEO and paid ads can vastly improve your digital marketing efforts. Give us a shout if you need help on this journey!

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