It's not uncommon for me to hear clients say "should I do SEO or paid search?" As a search expert, my answer is usually "both".
Don't think I let the cat out of the bag and run away now. Keep reading.
Generally, the answer is both. There's value in optimizing for organic search AND paid search. But that doesn't work for all businesses.
Case-in-point: if you're a coach and you rely on an income that turns clicks into clients, heavy SEO may not be the best use of your time or money. You need to attract the right people instead of people who are doing information gathering.
What's the Deal with Organic Search?
In my experience, SEO is great for information gathering - it can also help in sales/funnel conversion if your UX is on-point. But, mostly, it's great for gathering tid bits of information on what the searcher is looking for. When people are looking for something specific, organic search isn't always the easiest way to get people to the information you need or want them to see.
This is where paid search or SEM comes in. And we'll get to that.
Let's look at the benefits of organic search:
Costs almost nothing
You can focus on keywords per-page to get the right people to your site
Improves User Experience (UX)
Can funnel people through to conversion
Gets you found in Search Engines (great for visibility!)
Multiple ways to get found in Search Engines
So, those are a few of the benefits - there are many more and I'm happy to talk to you about them further.
Why Should I Invest in Paid Search?
Paid search is an investment. Say it with me: Paid Search IS An INVESTMENT.
Paid search is great for searchers who know exactly what they are looking for and don't feel like scouring through the search engine result pages (SERPs) to find what they are looking for! You can also target people better through paid search.
So, again, back to the case-in-point: if you have something to sell and you want it to sell quickly without waiting for people to funnel through, paid search is the best way to go about it.
But it's not cheap! It's an investment (there's that word, again!) - and it will not yield the same clicks or ROI as organic search because we buy space on the marketplace where there are other competitors. If they spend more money, they get more visibility.
That's essentially how paid search works. The more money you put in, the more visibility you get out. It's not stable like organic search but you get in front of the people who are looking for that specific-something you want them to have.
SEO and SEM Work Better Together
I mentioned at the start that you should do both SEO and SEM and I meant it. The first building block of having your website should be optimizing the site and the content to get found in search engines. Once the blocks are in place - you can swap to SEM. Why? Because it'll take some time for search engine spiders to find your site. Paid search helps you get in front of people, faster.
It's the see-saw effect. While search engine spiders work tirelessly to find your website, index the pages, and rank the keywords against it - paid search will work hard to get your site in front of people quickly while all of that is going on.
Want to learn more about this process? Do you want to get started on marketing your business in search?
Allow me to work for you and with you on building your success metrics and get found in search!