SEO vs. Social Media: Which Digital Marketing Strategy Should You Choose?
Getting into digital marketing might seem like an easy task at first. However, you might get confused once you encounter the different strategies that you can use to promote your business.
Among the different digital marketing strategies, two of your main choices are SEO and social media marketing. These techniques both have different sets of benefits that can help you build your brand’s online visibility and widen your reach.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization or SEO refers to the practice of enhancing a website to improve its performance for searchability. Its main goal is to have your website show up and rank higher on SERPs. Your SERP ranking will then influence how much traffic you will drive to your website.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing involves using social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, Twitter, and LinkedIn, to establish relationships and engage with your audience. This digital marketing strategy also allows you to build brand awareness using traditional and digital marketing techniques and principles.
SEO vs. Social Media Marketing
SEO and social media marketing can definitely help you reach your target audience and promote your brand effectively. However, since they are two different marketing strategies, you may discover the unique ways they may help your business. Keep reading to find out about the differences between search engine marketing and social media marketing.
Learning about your target audience is important to ensure the success of your digital marketing efforts. Although SEO and social media marketing aim to target online users, these digital marketing strategies have varying groups of audiences. Determining the differences between each strategy’s target audience will provide you with enough information on how to tweak your marketing approach.
With SEO, you are dealing with users who are looking for something. These individuals are ready to buy and less likely to interact with your brand or share your content with their friends and loved ones.
That is why SEO basics include learning about your target audience’s psychology. This involves determining a user’s motivation when searching for the products and services that you offer.
On the other hand, using social media marketing will more likely allow you to cross paths with people with weak intent. These individuals are simply browsing through their news feeds when they encounter your brand, so they are not really in the mindset of spending money to enjoy your products or services. However, users that come across your brand on social media platforms are more likely to share your content and spread awareness about your brand.
Creating content for SEO vs social media can differ in two ways. You should be aware of the different topics and formats that work with these digital marketing strategies.
If you are doing SEO, you should focus on writing research-based content that provides your target audience with new information about a process, special topic, or even your new product or service. You should also choose evergreen topics that will stay relevant for a longer period.
However, if you are writing for social media, you should create content that stirs an emotional response, such as awe and joy, from your audience. You can also post about trending topics on social media to have a chance of going viral.
Long-form content does better in SEO. On average, pages that have more than 1500 words rank higher in Google.
This happens because most search engines assume that longer content contains more pieces of high-value information than shorter ones. Since they aim to provide the most value to their users, search engines prioritize showing longer content on their SERPs.
Unlike SEO, social media relies more on visuals and shorter posts. This is the case because your main goal in posting content on your social media platforms is to grab your target audience’s attention as soon as possible. The best way you can do this is by creating punchy, shareable content, such as images and videos, as opposed to research-based posts.
Another difference between search engine marketing and social media marketing is how soon you can see the results of your efforts. Although both strategies can take a while before showing your desired results, one technique can still take longer than the other.
SEO usually takes four to six months before you can notice any desirable results on your website. Even when working with an SEO company that uses aggressive strategies and concentrated efforts, you will still have to wait a long time.
You will also have to invest time when using social media marketing. Before gaining traction on any platform, you need to grow a following of people interested in your brand.
But once you have enough followers, you can start posting engaging content that your audience can interact with. These social media posts will appear instantly on users’ feeds and show results right away.
With SEO, you can use your website as your primary platform. Directing your target audience straight to your website or eCommerce store provides you with more chances of conversion. This is because users who stay on your website and browse through the products and services that you offer are more likely in the latter stage of the sales funnel.
On the contrary, social media does not provide you with much power to impact a sale and push people to convert. Its ability lies in building your brand awareness and spreading the word about the products and services that you offer. Although it may take more time, your social media efforts can eventually lead to conversions.
Although both SEO and social media marketing can greatly help your business in the online world, they still have some limitations. Firstly, both strategies are confined to the digital world, meaning you cannot reach and market to people who are not connected to the Internet.
SEO also has its own limitations, which mostly focus on its keywords. If the keywords you use are very difficult to rank for and do not have that much reach, your SEO efforts might not be enough for your business.
You may also have a hard time ranking on SERPs if no one is interested in your business online or if the niche you belong in is monopolized. If this is the case, you must spend time building your business’s online relevance first.
Social media marketing has a similar limitation. You may have trouble building a following on any platform if people are not interested in the products or services that you offer. Competing with a big name in your industry may also make your social media marketing goals harder to achieve.
Effort and Longevity
After putting in time and effort into SEO and social media marketing, you can see your desired results. However, how long do these results last?
SEO can take at least six months before you can see the results that you want. This may be a long time for most businesses, but when you achieve your goals, you can easily sustain its effectiveness. Once your web page is ranking, it will constantly be visible to online users and can provide your website with a steady stream of traffic.
For social media marketing, you might need to put in more effort. Although your posts can easily be seen by your audience and can garner engagement right away, their effects may not last as long as SEO. This means that you need to regularly post on your social media accounts to keep users engaged with and interested in your brand.
You can also opt to collaborate with a social media agency to do the hard work on your behalf. Companies that offer social media marketing services can help maintain your brand’s relevance on several platforms to save your time and effort.
Tracking, Measuring, and Analyzing Data
Measuring the success of your digital marketing campaign can be subjective because your efforts are usually specifically tailored to fit your business goals. However, you can still assess the performance of your campaign through trackable and measurable data.
In SEO, you can use Google Analytics to assess the success of your efforts. You can use the data it generates to measure your website’s reach, specifically by looking at your web pages’ impressions, clicks, and rankings.
However, you might have trouble measuring your engagement. You cannot see the behavior metrics with each keyword, so you cannot determine which keywords caused which activity on your website.
On the other hand, you can use Facebook Business Suite and other social media reporting tools to measure the performance of your social media activities. These tools can show you your posts’ social engagement so that you can determine how well people are interacting with your brand. What these tools cannot really measure is your reach, specifically the total visibility and traffic of all your social media activities.
SEO or Social Media Marketing: Which is Better?
Each digital marketing strategy has its benefits that can help you promote your business, especially your products and services, online. Instead of choosing one, think of ways on how you can use both to your advantage.
Remember that SEO and social media marketing are interdependent. SEO works to build your brand’s online visibility and authority. You can use it to encourage users to follow you on social media and boost your branding efforts.
Meanwhile, social media marketing can help you validate your authority as an online business. You can also use these platforms to improve your ranking on SERPs by building authentic relationships with your customers.
Utilizing both digital marketing strategies for your business will allow you to thrive in the online world. Ultimately, these techniques can boost your brand’s reach and improve your business’s bottom line.
Backlinks 101: All the Basic Things You Need to Know
Digital marketing is a competitive arena where most businesses worldwide strive for online visibility. It is an exciting field that you might want to try. But because almost every business has gone online, marketing your company digitally might seem intimidating at first.
You might feel like you do not have anything to compete with the larger companies who dominate the digital scene, including SERPs. To get started with digital marketing, one of the best strategies you should implement is SEO. Doing this properly will allow you to get ahead of your competitors and reach your target audience much easier.
What is SEO?
Most people become intimidated by this term because they do not really know what SEO is about. Although it might seem too technical, SEO simply stands for Search Engine Optimization and refers to the practice of improving your website or piece of content to help it rank higher on Google and other search engines. This strategy involves organic methods, meaning that you do not have to pay for the spot that your website has on SERPs.
Usually, an SEO company will provide you with a strategy that can be divided into two categories, both of which are essential to the success of your SEO campaign.
On-page SEO refers to the methods used to optimize the parts of your websites that you can directly control, such as your overall content quality, page performance, and content structure. The most common optimization tactics done for on-page SEO involve using the right keywords on the page title and copy, improving the meta description to draw attention in SERPs, and using HTML codes and alt tags.
The main purpose for using these tactics is to improve your website’s position in SERPs by helping search engines interpret the webpage easier. On-page SEO tactics also provide users with an idea of what to expect on your website once they click on the result.
Another category that your SEO strategy may fall into is off-page SEO. Contrary to on-page SEO, off-page SEO involves page ranking factors that occur outside of your website. It is mostly concerned with how authoritative and popular your domain is.
Off-page SEO can be done through your promotion materials and the exposure your brand gets from them. But the most common off-page SEO strategy is building backlinks for your website.
What is a Backlink in SEO and Its Examples
A backlink—also called inbound, incoming, and one-way link—is a link that comes from one website and points to another one. This is an important factor for your SEO strategy because Google and other search engines consider every backlink as a “vote” for a specific webpage. This means that if one of your webpages has several backlinks, it will have a higher chance of ranking in SERPs.
Link building in Ireland might seem simple. After all, you only need to place links to your webpages on other websites. However, you should learn that backlinks can be categorized as good or bad depending on where and how they were posted.
Good and Bad Examples of Backlinks
You should know the difference between acquiring good and bad backlinks for your website to avoid harming your off-page SEO efforts. Here are some examples of good and bad backlinks
Good backlinks help your website gain more authority and should be relevant to your website. This type of backlink often appears in the following.
- Local listings and directories
- Industry-specific directories
- Guest posting
- Existing partnerships with other companies
- News and press releases
Unlike good backlinks, bad ones are low-quality and spammy. They also do not benefit your business because they often have no relevance to what you do.
Although not always harmful, you should be cautious with the following types of backlinks. They may seriously hurt your link building efforts if not managed properly.
- Paid links
- Hidden links
- Blog and forum spam
- Reciprocal links
What is a Dofollow and a Nofollow Backlink?
Aside from learning about the different types of good and bad backlinks, you should also know about dofollow and nofollow links.
These two terms describe how websites can be linked with one another. They serve as an instruction to search engines about what to do with the link, whether to consider or ignore it.
A dofollow link can help you with your SEO efforts because it passes the authority or link juice of the origin site to the destination site. Dofollow links that come from authoritative sites and point to your webpages can make search engines think that your site is trustworthy. With enough dofollow links from reputable sites, you can help your website rank higher in SERPs.
On the other hand, a nofollow link tells search engines to ignore the connection between two sites. It instructs search engines not to pass any authority to the website it is pointing to, thus not doing anything to help your SEO efforts.
Nofollow links are typically used when you do not want to share your link juice to the linked website. you can also utilize this type of backlink for sponsored and affiliate links and user-generated content.
How Important are Backlinks?
Learning how to create backlinks for your website is essential to boosting your off-page SEO efforts. Acquiring good backlinks to your website will also allow you to enjoy the following benefits:
Backlinks serve as a vote of confidence for your website. If your website receives several high-quality backlinks, Google and other search engines will trust it more and rank it higher for relevant search queries.
Search engines have more chances of finding your content through your backlinks. This is possible because Google and other search engines discover new content by going back to the pages that they already know about. So, if a popular page links to your website, search engines can find your content easier.
Gain Referral Traffic
Backlinks are a great way to drive referral traffic to your website. This happens when one website uses your content as a reference and adds credit to your website. When a reader wants to learn more about the topic, they can click the link to your website, giving you additional referral traffic.
How to Build Backlinks
Now that you know how important backlinks are for your SEO efforts, you might be asking yourself “how to create backlinks for my website?” To help you start, here are some tips on how to get backlinks for your site.
There are three main ways on how to increase the number of backlinks of your website. The first method that you should learn about is how to earn backlinks.
Earned backlinks are organic and are created when people come across your content through a relevant query using search engines and decide to link to your page. So, if you want to earn backlinks to your website, you should create content that people can use as their reference.
Creating backlinks involves the practice of adding links to your site from other websites manually. You can do this by submitting your information to business directories. Another way of creating backlinks for your website is by leaving comments on relevant blog posts and replying to forum threads related to your business.
This is the most common method that companies use to increase the number of backlinks to their websites. You can build backlinks by reaching out to website owners, editors, and webmasters and convincing them to link to your webpage. Here are a few things you can do:
- Guest blogging: You can offer them a piece of content that is related to their website and that features a link to your webpage.
- Broken link building: Look for dead links on their websites that are relevant to your business. Then, reach out to them and ask them to replace the dead link with a working one for your website.
- The skyscraper technique: Find a piece of content that receives lots of backlinks and write something better. After that, reach out to the websites linking to the original content and propose that they link to your better-written article instead.
- Unlinked mentions: Search for pieces of content that mention your brand but do not link to your website. Then, ask the author to add a link to your website to make your brand name clickable.
Does Pinterest Count as Backlinks?
You might be aware that more and more businesses are using social media platforms to boost their SEO strategies. So, you might be thinking if you can use social media sites—particularly Pinterest—in your link building efforts.
The answer is yes and no. Pins that contain your website link can be considered as a backlink. However, these pins have a nofollow tag, meaning that you will not gain any link juice through them. You can only use these pins to determine what kind of content your users resonate with and learn more about your target audience.
Start Link Building and See the Improvements on Your Website
You can boost your SEO efforts further by adding good backlinks to your website. Doing so will allow you to improve your rankings, have your content discovered much easier, and increase referral traffic to your website. These benefits can help you get ahead of your competitors and bring your brand one step closer to success.
5 Advantages of Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses
Your main goal as a small business owner is to expand your reach and gain new customers. Look for innovative ways to let people know about your brand and convince them to support your business.
In the past, you might have done SEO and PPC to drive traffic to your website and improve your conversion rates. However, you might feel that these efforts are not enough to help you reach your goals. If you are looking for an additional avenue to promote your brand and entice individuals to pay for your products and services, you should consider taking advantage of social media marketing services.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing (SMM) refers to the practice of using social media platforms to advertise a business’s products and services. Most companies that have discovered why social media marketing is important for small businesses utilize the major platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, to promote their businesses.
Although this route may not be your first choice, there are several reasons why small businesses need social media.
The Popularity of Social Media
Social media plays a large role in the lives of almost everyone. People typically use these platforms daily to connect with friends and update their loved ones on their personal lives no matter where they are in the world.
As of 2020, more than 3.6 billion people worldwide uses social media. This number is predicted to increase to at least 4.41 billion in 2025.
Given its popularity, you might have a slight idea of how social media can help your small business. You can also say that social media and small businesses have evolved to become effective partners in today’s competitive market.
Benefits of Using Social Media for Small Businesses
As an entrepreneur, you might be intrigued by how social media can helps small businesses. Keep reading to learn about the impact of social media on small businesses.
Increase Brand Awareness
Find your target audience where they spend most of their time—on social media platforms. Engaging in SMM will help you reach new and highly targeted individuals.
You can use these platforms to introduce your brand to a variety of users and encourage them to support your business. One way to accomplish this is by creating, publishing, and promoting content that your audience can engage with.
Although this might not sound very effective, you should know that more than 80% of Instagram users have claimed to discover new services and products on the platform. This means that social media platforms are effective if you are starting a small business and want more people to know about your brand.
Create Human Connections
One of the advantages of social media for small businesses is that you can use it to humanize your brand. You can utilize social media platforms to tell a story about your business and introduce your audience to the people behind your company.
Doing this can help your users establish a meaningful connection with your brand. Once they know the people who make up your small business, they are more likely to treat them in a friendly manner and support their livelihood.
You can also use social media platforms to post pictures, videos, or testimonies of your existing customers. Showcase them using your products or enjoying your service to convince other users to do the same.
Getting in touch with your current customers to ask for materials is also a great retention strategy. Doing this will make your customers feel that you care about what they think about your product and are open to suggestions to improve your items.
Increase Leads and Boost Sales
One of the benefits of social media marketing for small businesses is that you can use it to provide your customers with an easy way to express interest in your brand. You can use the different platforms to invite users in learning more about your business through enticing content and even paid ads.
Additionally, social media can be useful in boosting your sales. You can publish content on your social media accounts that can push users further down your sales funnel until they decide to convert. With the help of effective social media tools for small businesses, you can encourage more people to support your business and earn more revenue.
Learn More About Your Audience
The best way to serve your customers is to first learn what they need and want. Fortunately, you can accomplish this by using social media.
Social media platforms can generate demographic information about your customers in real-time. You can use this data to customize your content based on the characteristics and interests of your audience.
You can also use social media to measure how users perceive your brand. Search for mentions of your brand on different platforms and see what people say and how they feel about your business. Then, use this information to improve your products or services to better please your target audience.
Actively Promote Your Business
One of the best social media tips to utilize for small businesses is to launch ad campaigns to reach more potential customers. Social ads can be targeted to reach your preferred audience and make the most of your marketing budget. You can customize where your ads show up based on a user’s demographic information:
You can also use social media ads to retarget customers who have visited your website but did not convert. Encourage them to return to your website and complete their purchase by showing these users ads for the exact products that they have in their shopping carts.
Boost Your Digital Marketing Efforts
Now that you have learned about how important social media marketing is for small businesses, you should use it to your advantage. With an effective SMM strategy, you will get the chance to experience all the benefits listed above.
But if you want to ensure that your SMM efforts do not go to waste, work with a digital marketing agency that can address all your needs. Choosing the right service provider for your small business can bring you closer to success.
SEO and PPC: Which One Should You Use?
Launching and running a business is not an easy task. You need to consider a lot of things, such as your business plan, competition and market, finances, and staffing. You should also make sure that you are reaching and catching the attention of your target audience. After all, your business will not be successful if you do not have any customers or clients.
There are various ways that you can advertise your products or services to your ideal customers. You can opt to go with traditional marketing strategies and attract them through print ads in newspapers and magazines and other mediums.
You can also choose to go digital. Doing this can provide you with various benefits, considering that almost every individual uses the internet nowadays.
However, you should be aware of the competition in the digital arena. Since most businesses are also going online, you might have to beat more companies to catch the attention of your target audience. To make the job easier, you should come up with a digital marketing strategy.
Your digital marketing strategy should be based on how your target audience behaves on the internet. Determining this will allow you to choose the right approach to reaching them, which can be either SEO or PPC.
What is the Difference Between SEO and PPC?
Digital marketing can be a tricky field to get into. You have to learn about various strategies and choose which ones best suit your business model and goals.
While trying to figure out a digital marketing strategy for your business, you might have heard about SEO and PPC. Continue reading to learn about the differences between these two strategies.
What is SEO?
SEO or search engine optimization refers to the practice of optimizing a website to improve its visibility and ranking in search engine results pages. This strategy is also used to help websites gain organic traffic from search engines, such as Google.
You can benefit from SEO basics without spending money on any platform. All you have to ensure is that you are optimizing your website regularly and publishing content that will improve your visibility to search engines and your target users.
Investing in SEO services allows you to enjoy several advantages:
With an effective SEO strategy, you can rank highly in SERPs for your target keywords. When this happens, you can ensure consistent traffic to your website as long as you keep your pages optimized.
One of the greatest differences between SEO and PPC is their cost. Compared to PPC, using SEO strategies is cheaper in the long run.
Yes, you might still have to spend time, money, and effort when you choose SEO. However, the costs you will incur will still be cheaper than PPC.
After creating and publishing relevant content for your website, you do not have to keep spending money to target your ideal audience. You also do not have to shell out money when a user clicks on your website, unlike with PPC campaigns where you pay per click.
Trust and Website Authority
Optimizing your website regularly for keywords relevant to your products or services will allow you to rank higher in SERPs. If your target audience constantly sees your website whenever they search for the keywords you rank for, they will have more reasons to trust your company. You will also have more chances of establishing your brand authority.
Although SEO is a useful strategy, it still has some disadvantages:
It Takes Time
You would not see immediate results after investing in SEO services. You would have to wait months before you even see some of your keywords ranking in the top 10 of SERPs.
You might think that SEO is simple because you only need to make sure your website is optimized. However, that is not entirely true. This is because the algorithm that search engines use in ranking websites constantly changes.
This means that if you are using SEO strategies for your website, you should also be updated regarding industry news. You also have to keep a close eye on your organic results to see if anything changes. This is important because some algorithm changes are not announced by search engines.
Although SEO seems simple because you only need to optimize your website regularly to enjoy its benefits, it is not always easy. Optimizing a website requires time and effort, and this task does not end once you rank for your target keyword.
You have to start monitoring your web pages from day one and ensure your content is relevant. Accomplishing these might mean having to refresh previous blogs and remove old and expired links regularly.
Requires High-Level Skills and Expertise
Your SEO success partly relies on your ability to create and publish high-quality articles that are relevant to your products or services. To accomplish this, you would need to have expertise in the industry and high-level writing skills.
If you do not think that you can write articles that your target audience will willingly read, you should consider hiring a writer. Working with someone who has the knowledge and experience in content writing will do wonders for your SEO strategy.
What is PPC?
PPC stands for pay-per-click, a type of advertising solution where you can bid on the opportunity to display ads on different platforms. You only have to pay when a user clicks on the ad that leads to your website.
Although using PPC on your digital marketing campaign can cost you money, choosing this strategy will allow you to enjoy the following benefits:
Unlike SEO, PPC is not momentum-driven. This means that you do not have to wait long just to see the results of your efforts.
Once you finish setting up your PPC campaign, you will immediately see your ads on SERPs after a few hours or on the next day.
PPC allows you to use your ads in targeting a specific group of people. You can choose to target individuals based on their:
- Geographic area
- Marital status
You can also target a specific behavior in the customer journey. Whether you want to focus on the top- or bottom-funnel, PPC is the way to go.
Appear Above Organic Search Results
Another benefit to investing in PPC services in Ireland is that your ads will appear above organic search results. This means that users will see your website first whenever they search for a keyword that you bid on.
PPC allows you to reach your target audience outside search engines. You can advertise your products or services on other platforms, such as Facebook and YouTube, and help users recall your brand even if they are not actively searching for it.
You can read a guide to PPC to learn more about how to maximize the benefits of this strategy. However, no matter how much you try, there are still some cons that you may encounter with PPC. Here are some of them:
You need a considerable amount of money to successfully launch a PPC campaign. This is because if you want people to click on your ads to go to your website, you must be willing to pay for those clicks. When you run out of budget, the traffic to your site also dries up.
PPC campaigns may also be more expensive if you are in a competitive industry. Fields such as law and insurance will have various companies bidding on the same keywords. The only way you can get ahead of your competitors is to bid higher.
When users see the same ad from you all the time, they will get tired of it eventually and start ignoring your paid ad. To avoid this, you have to make sure that you are constantly refreshing your ads. You can do this by regularly creating new content and using different images for your paid ads.
Lower Profit Margins
As you continue running your ads, your customer acquisition costs may get higher without any increase in the price of your products or services. This means that you may be spending more money to acquire a single lead than you did before. This makes PPC an unsustainable option in the long run.
SEO or PPC?
Now that you have learned about the pros and cons of SEO and PPC, you might be thinking about which one of them to use to advertise your brand. The answer to this question is hard to determine without taking your business’s unique situation into account.
Some of the factors you might have to consider when choosing between SEO and PPC are the following:
- How many leads you are trying to gain
- When you need the leads
- Your short- and long-term goals
Considering these aspects will allow you to decide which strategy works best for your organization.
Take Advantage of Both Strategies
Ideally, you should use both options to improve your brand’s visibility and promote your products or services. Using PPC and SEO side by side will allow you to cancel out their disadvantages. Additionally, combining them will allow you to reap benefits of SEO and PPC that will help you become a successful digital marketer and business owner.
How Much Do SEO Services Cost Today?
Search engine optimisation (SEO) refers to the practice of enhancing your site to increase its visibility for relevant searches and for it to rank higher in search engines, including Google. Accomplishing these will allow you to attract more prospective and existing customers to view your website and support your business.
When you pay for website and SEO services, you will be able to enjoy various benefits, including the following:
- Increased ROI: Investing in digital marketing strategies costs quite a lot, so it is understandable that you would want to acquire the highest ROI possible. Luckily, with an effective SEO strategy, you will be able to increase your lead conversion rate and earn additional revenue.
- Improved credibility: When you optimise your website for SEO, you improve your on-page and off-page signals. Search engines use these signals to tell whether your website is safe and credible and use them to rank your site.
- Better traffic: Reaching the top position on SERPs allows you to obtain a large number of impressions and clicks, increasing the traffic your website receives. In addition, you will also be able to drive higher-quality traffic to your website through SEO. This is possible because, with SEO, you will be reaching your target audience at a prime time—when they are actively searching for the products or services that you offer.
How Much Does SEO Cost?
SEO agencies offer different packages to their clients. That is why there is no exact answer to this question.
Most of the packages offered by SEO services provider costs €200 – €10,000 per month. However, not every SEO agency in Ireland offers the same SEO charges for a website.
How are SEO Services Usually Priced?
Companies offer different rates for their services. Some apply hourly rates, while others charge their clients monthly. Here are some of the most common SEO pricing companies offer:
This type of pricing is commonly offered by SEO agencies and freelancers that work with small businesses. Hourly rates are applicable if the client prefers to run a short-term SEO campaign in order to be more cost-effective.
If you want to manage your SEO expenses, then you should work with a company or professional that offers hourly pricing. However, remember that you might get limited results if you choose this type of pricing.
Some SEO service providers charge their clients per SEO work done. For example, once they complete a round of on-page optimisation for 10 of your web pages, you will be asked to pay for a certain amount.
This type of pricing is best if you only require a little optimisation and monitoring done on your website. If you need more than that, then project-based pricing may become costly for your business.
The most common type of pricing SEO agencies offer is the monthly retainer option. With this, you will be required to pay a set amount of money for a package of SEO services, ranging from fixing on-site issues and on-page optimisation to link building.
Aside from the continuous optimisation of your website, you will receive a monthly report. This will allow you to compare your progress over the months and see how your website is improving. Because of this, choosing a monthly plan is the best decision if you plan on running a long-term SEO campaign.
How Do Agencies Price Their Services?
Although SEO agencies follow the same types of pricing scheme, their SEO optimisation services cost differently. This happens because companies base the price of their services on different factors.
Some providers use their years of experience as leverage in pricing their services. They might argue that since they have been in the industry for a long time, they have acquired the skills and knowledge necessary in addressing your SEO needs. They may have also developed expertise in various competitive niches and can help you rank in them.
Another factor that can affect the rates of the SEO services a company offers is its client profile. If an SEO agency works with high-end clients, they might price themselves accordingly. They do this to stay true to their brand and make sure that they only attract clients that fit the profile of their existing ones.
Choose the Right SEO Agency
Before setting out and looking for an SEO company to work with, you need to consider a few things. One of the most important aspects you need to think about is your budget. Do you have enough money to pay for a monthly plan or do you prefer to manage your SEO expenses and go with an hourly rate? Knowing this beforehand will help you narrow down on the companies you want to work with.
You should also set your SEO goals and learn about the services that will help you accomplish them. This will allow you to know if the services an SEO company offers align with your goals.
Once you have prepared these, it is time to look for an SEO company. Make sure to research every company that you consider to know if they will be able to handle your requirements.
You should examine every company’s reputation and track records. Looking at their client testimonials is a great way of learning about the quality of an SEO agency’s services and customer relations.
It is also advisable that you look at their client profile and check how their clients’ websites are performing in SERPs. Doing so will provide you with concrete evidence on how effective an SEO agency is in optimising its clients’ websites.
SEO services should not cause you to break the bank. If you conduct adequate research before deciding on which SEO agency to work with, you will be able to find a company that offers exceptional SEO services without having to go over your budget.
How Digital Marketing Can Help Your Business Survive the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has altered people’s lives all over the world. Not only has it provided a great threat to public health, but it has also affected countries’ economic progress.
Due to the situation, governments across the globe were forced to implement strict protocols and lockdowns, which greatly affected several businesses. Some companies had no choice but to lay off their employees just to stay afloat, while others needed to completely close their business.
To survive in today’s economic situation, most businesses have decided to go digital and transition into an online platform after closing their brick-and-mortar shops. However, this has not been proven to be the perfect solution to the plight of business owners.
Since transitioning into an online platform has become quite a trend for most businesses, competition has increased rapidly. Because of this, companies have been struggling to reach the same group of customers and trying to fight for their attention.
In order to address these issues, business owners have decided to experiment with digital marketing or work with a digital marketing company.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing refers to the practice of conveying promotional messages through internet- and online-based digital technologies and media. It can appear in various forms, including the following:
- Display ads
- Social media posts
- Blog articles
Why is Having a Digital Marketing Plan Important?
When done right, digital marketing can provide your business with various benefits. Realizing the importance of digital marketing can help you enjoy the following advantages, among others:
Digital marketing is much cheaper compared to traditional marketing. Although you can still spend money on online ads, it does not compare to how much you will have to pay for a billboard, magazine ad, or direct mail.
With the help of an effective online marketing strategy and the internet, you will be able to expand your reach to your target customers wherever they are. Since many consumers have started doing most of their shopping online, you can easily entice them to visit your website and even pay for your products and services through ads and brand awareness campaigns.
Additionally, you can use digital marketing to reach an estimated 3.68 million mobile users in Ireland alone. You can do this through remarketing ads, email and text marketing, and social media posts, which individuals might see while using their phones to browse the internet.
There are several types of digital media you can use to advertise your products or services. Utilizing all these will allow you to explore your creative side and determine which type of media best resonates with your target audience.
Digital marketing also allows you to pause or stop a campaign immediately if it is not performing well. This will help you save time and money from focusing on a poorly executed marketing plan.
Better Customer Service
Through digital marketing, you can have a better way of communicating with your customers. You can use various digital channels to directly interact with your audience and address their concerns immediately. Doing so will help your customers feel valued and might make them prefer your brand over others.
The importance of digital marketing for your business does not end with being able to provide exceptional customer service. It also allows you to monitor their activities. You can get insights into the ads and types of content that your customers have seen before deciding to pay for the products or services that you offer.
Having this ability will give you more information on which of your digital marketing methods are the most effective. After determining the kind of ad or content that works the best, you can refine and improve your strategy to make more sales.
Establishment of Authority
Through digital marketing, you can easily comment on certain topics regarding your industry through blogs and social media posts, among others. Doing so will help you establish your authority in the field, encouraging your target audience to trust you, turn to you for information, and, most importantly, patronize your business.
Utilize Digital Marketing for Your Business
You might be quite unfamiliar when it comes to digital marketing and might even be intimidated by it. However, with the right tools and learning materials, you can come up with a digital marketing strategy for your business. This will help you reach your customers easier and boost your sales amidst the pandemic.
You may also opt to work with a digital marketing company that has all the equipment and knowledge necessary for coming up with an excellent online marketing plan. For more information, do not hesitate to get in touch with us today.
What is SEO? Learn the Basics and How it Works
Have you ever searched something on Google and wondered how the results came to be? For instance, why is Google showing a particular page from this specific website and not another? And what is the search engine’s basis for ranking website A higher than website B when they tackle the exact same topic? More importantly, how can you make your website be the number one result?
In a digital-first world, search engine rankings are a winner-takes-all game. The top result has an average click-through rate of 28.5%. That average CTR sharply falls after position one with the second and third results having CTRs of 15% and 11% respectively. By position nine, it drops to just 2%.
Banking on the fact that there are approximately 89,206 Google searches happening per second, the Internet has now become an integral channel for advertising and marketing your business. If your website doesn’t appear on the first page for relevant search terms or queries, it’s not reaching its full potential.
That’s where search engine optimisation (SEO) comes in.
What is SEO?
Most of the top search results you see on Google and other search engines didn’t happen by accident. SEO helped them reach those highly coveted spots.
In a nutshell, SEO is the practice of optimising your website for organic web searches to improve the quality and quantity of the traffic it receives. Many brands have built their websites to adhere to SEO algorithms to reach the top positions.
SEO involves technical aspects such as your website’s architecture (how your website is structured), and other elements like keyword research, content creation and user experience.
On paper, SEO sounds relatively simple. However, SEO is a moving target, even for the most experienced digital marketers. Algorithms constantly change and the SEO tactics that once worked can suddenly land penalties for your website. To keep a website optimise, one needs deep and current knowledge of how search engines think, and how real people react with your site’s content. This mix of site architecture, usability and optimised content creation means SEO is all about seamlessly connecting search engines and people.
How Does SEO Work?
As much as we would it want to, SEO results don’t happen overnight. The average time for rankings to go up takes between four to six months, and that timeline is influenced by a number of factors. But when done right, SEO can yield unimaginable results as long as you regularly update your site and abide by quality guidelines. For a comprehensive overview of how Google understands and finds your website’s pages, you can refer to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
If a search query or term returns hundreds of thousands of results, how can you ensure you’re the one at the top? Well, it’s all about convincing the search engine that you’re the best result.
Crawling and indexing
Google alone handles an estimate of 3.5 billion searches per day. It pores over all of the websites to return relevant results in seconds. In order to do that, these three things happen behind the scenes:
- The search engine creates an index of pages on the web
- It then instantly accesses this list
- It pores through the list and decides which pages are most relevant to the search query
In the world of SEO, this process is known as crawling and indexing.
The web is made up of sites with an ever-expanding mass of pages interconnected by links. Search engines crawl and index these websites continuously, keeping track of recently added pages, deleted ones, fresh content and new links. When an online user performs a search, Google then has an updated index of billions of possible solutions for the searcher. All that’s left to for Google is to rank these results according to quality and relevance, among other factors.
Factors that Affect SEO Ranking
There are 200 factors that influence a search engine’s decision to rank you on the first page. It’s keen to know that determining the best and most relevant results aren’t done by a team of humans at the Google Headquarters. Instead, the search engine uses algorithms to understand search intent, find relevant results and then rank those results based on popularity and authority.
That said, search engines don’t reveal exactly how their ranking algorithms work. However, most algorithmic decisions are influenced by the following major factors:
- Content Type: Searchers looks for different types of content, from blog articles and infographics to videos and product reviews. Search engines prioritise various types of content based on intent.
- Content Quality: Search engines prioritise informative and useful content. While those are subjective measures, SEO specialists generally regard this as content that’s original, thorough, based on data and solution-oriented.
- Content Freshness: Search engines typically show searchers the latest results, as long as they meet other ranking factors. So when the algorithm judges two pages to be of equal quality, the most recent one is likely to appear on top.
- Page Popularity: Google still uses a variation of their PageRank algorithm, which measures a page’s quality based on the number of links that point to it, alongside the quality of those links.
- Website Quality: Search engines bump down spammy websites with poor quality.
- Language: Not everyone searches using English. Search engines also prioritise results in the same language as the search query.
- Location: Many searches are local (e.g. “dental offices near me”). Search engines understand this and rank local results higher when applicable.
By keeping these factors in mind, SEO marketers can execute a strategy and create content that’s more likely to be found and ranked by search engines.
Important SEO Terms to Know
SEO is a complex subject matter, so let’s discuss the most common terms associated with it.
Search engines use keywords to figure out searcher intent, or what an online user hopes to find when they enter a search query. Keyword research helps SEO marketers understand what users are searching, specifically what keywords they’re using to do so. Those keywords will bring traffic to your website.
There are three main types of keywords:
- Short-tail: uses only one or two words. These keywords have high search value but they’re also extremely competitive. Examples: ‘shoes’ or ‘digital marketing.’
- Long-tail: uses three or more words. These are more specific with respectable search volume. Examples: ‘high heels for sale’ or ‘what is digital marketing.’
- Latest Semantic Indexing Keywords (LSIs): these provide search engines with contextual information. For instance, a page ranks for a vague term like ‘parasite.’ It could be about the film, the organism or even a dictionary definition. Google uses LSIs to figure out which one a searcher wants to see. For instance, a page about the Bong Joon-ho film could contain LSI terms such as ‘Choi Woo-sik’ or ‘Oscar-winning film.’
This is the art of optimising a website for crawling and indexing, making it a crucial step in getting a website to rank. If you build a site on unstable technical SEO foundations, you likely won’t see good results even if your on-page content is of high quality. That’s because sites need to be structured in a way that crawlers can easily access and understand the content.
Technical SEO mainly focuses on site infrastructure and architecture. It has nothing to do with content creation or link building strategies. It deals more with URL hierarchy and structure, page speed and XML sitemaps.
This refers to the process of optimising individual web pages so they rank higher in search results and earn relevant traffic. On-page SEO involves optimising website content as well as the HTML source code. Internal links also comes into play. In other words, if technical SEO is the back end, on-page SEO is the front end.
This encompasses factors that occur outside your website but still influence your rankings. Factors such as the number of backlinks you have and the quality of those backlinks fall under this category. Off-page SEO basically affirms to search engines that your site is authoritative, valuable and deserves to rank high in search results.
Link building is the process of acquiring links to your website in order to increase your site’s authority and drive referral traffic. There are two types of links:
Inbound: also known as backlinks or external links. These are links from other websites that lead to your content. Think of them as positive votes regarding the quality of your content.
Internal: links that lead to pages on the same domain. These improve your site’s crawlability and triggers signals to Google about the most important keywords on a page. Internal links also keep visitors on your site longer and helps them better navigate your site.
White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO
White hat SEO is the act of doing SEO by using only strategies and techniques deemed acceptable by search engines. As major search engines have guidelines, SEO marketers are encouraged to follow them when optimising a website for SEO.
Black hat SEO, on the other hand, involves using unethical tactics such as keyword stuffing, hidden text, page cloaking and so on. Not only will black hat SEO get a website penalised and lose a big chunk of traffic, but it will also bring in users who aren’t relevant to your business.
Why Do Businesses Need SEO?
Imagine a situation where you need to buy a new pair of headphones. You want them delivered straight to your home so you head to Google to search for an e-commerce store. You type in a search query and all the gadget retailers in your area pop up. It’s likely you will click on the top three results. You browse through their website, look at their products or services and then check out reviews. You might even make it all the way to the checkout page.
That transaction happened because you saw the website on the top positions. And the reason why that website is on the top is because of SEO.
As long as people use the Internet, SEO will help deliver quality leads to your business. SEO increases your online visibility, boosts brand awareness and ultimately drives more sales. Of course, the process involves all of the things mentioned in this article and more. Once you manage to master SEO and utilise it correctly, it will be a formidable part of your overall marketing strategy.
A Beginner’s Guide to Pay Per Click Marketing
Reaching the top of search results through organic methods can take months before it yields significant results. If your objectives are to boost your online visibility, drive high-quality traffic, generate leads and increase conversions within a strict timeline, pay per click (PPC) marketing can help you accomplish all those things.
But before you can reap the benefits of PPC marketing, you need to understand how it works and the best way to optimise your ads so you attract your ideal audience while fully utilising your budget.
In this article, we help you expand your knowledge on PPC and how to set up high-performing PPC campaigns.
What is PPC?
Pay per click advertising is a tactic where businesses set up an ad online and then pay each time a user clicks on the ad. There is no cost to placing the ad. You only pay when users engage with it.
If SEO is a type of inbound marketing, PPC is a type of push or interruption marketing. In other words, you directly sell your products or services to your target audience. Think of it as the Internet’s own version of a TV commercial. You have a limited time, space and copy to communicate your brand message and effectively sell your products and services.
PPC marketing can be broken down into three major categories:
- Search advertising – Text-based ads that appear as search results on the Google Search Network
- Display advertising – Ads that appear as graphics, paid posts or videos found typically on third-party websites and social media feeds
- Retargeting – When people go online to buy an item, most do their research first and compare prices, especially for expensive products. Retargeting ads are an excellent way to remind past visitors of your site to go back and purchase from you.
Currently, the most popular platform for PPC marketing is Google Ads. This doesn’t come as a surprise as Google leads the world’s search engine market with a share of a whopping 91.38%. Until now, a huge majority of online users, including those in the UK, continue to search on Google for information about products and services. It’s the most profitable place to put up paid search ads.
How Does PPC Work?
To determine the most relevant ads to show to searchers, PPC channels have a meticulous auction process. Depending on the channel and ad type, this auction takes into consideration how much an advertiser bids, the quality of the ad, the ad’s relevance to a specific search term or query and various other factors.
PPC marketing also involves bidding on keywords. Keywords are terms and phrases that online users type into Google. PPC marketers and advertisers conduct thorough keyword research so they can decide on the search terms they want to appear for. The best keywords are those you believe your target audience uses when searching for information about your products, services or brand.
Here is a standard process of how most digital marketing companies carry out PPC advertising:
Competitive Gap Analysis
Every PPC campaign starts with a thorough assessment of your target audience, revenue goals and the performance of your competition. These data provide deeper insight into your bidding strategy and how to maximise your ad spend budget.
Keyword Research and Bidding
Keyword research is the cornerstone of a successful PPC campaign. Conducting ample keyword research will let you bid on search terms that secure your ad placement at the top of search results. It also enables you to zone in on search terms most likely to result in clicks and conversions.
Ad Copy Creation
Once you’ve finalised your keywords, you have to create your ads. This entails expert copywriting skills so ads can highlight your unique selling proposition. Top it off with a compelling CTA that entices them to click.
Landing Page Optimisation
The traffic you funnel through your PPC ad needs somewhere to go. Create an optimised landing page that meets the interest, intent and needs of your target audience. This improves your ad quality score as well.
Every single person who clicks on your ad isn’t always ready to buy from you. Sometimes, they need a little more convincing. That’s where ad retargeting comes into play. You can position your ads strategically in front of past visitors when they jump to other sites. That way, you can remind them about your brand or products and drive them further down the PPC marketing funnel.
Factors that Affect PPC Ranking
Now that you know how PPC works, how exactly can you ensure that your ads show at the top of Google search results? Take note of these important Ad Rank factors:
Your bid – Once you set your bid on Google Ads, you’re basically telling the platform the amount you will pay each time someone clicks on your ad. The amount you actually end up paying is often less. You can also change your bid any time.
The quality of your ads and landing page – Google Ads assesses how useful and relevant your ad and landing page are to the person who will see it. The measurement of your ad’s quality is summarized in your Quality Score, which you can improve on and monitor in your Google Ads account.
Ad Rank thresholds – Google sets minimum thresholds for ads to achieve. These help ensure that only high quality ads are shown.
The competitiveness of an auction – if two ads with similar ad ranks are competing for the same position, they will both have an opportunity to win that position. As the gap will inevitably widen, the higher-ranking ad is more likely to win. However, it may pay a higher cost per click to ensure the increased certainty of winning the auction.
A person’s search context – Context matters in the ad auction. When Ad Rank is calculated, Google looks at the search terms a user has entered, the type of device they’re using (e.g. desktop or mobile), the location of the search, the nature of the search terms, the time of the search and other user attributes and signals.
The impact from your ad extensions – During ad creation, you have the option to add other details such as a phone number of links to specific pages on your site. Google estimates how these ad extensions will impact the performance of your ad.
Why Do Businesses Need PPC?
You already have an SEO strategy all planned out. You may be wondering: why venture into PPC marketing at all?
Organic search may reign supreme in non-interruptive marketing but paid search can be a pillar of success in your overall digital marketing strategy.
Here are some of the benefits that you can reap with a solid PPC marketing campaign.
- Boost brand awareness – Paid search ads are the first things users see on the first page of search results. That means top position rankings will translate to more exposure for your website. This makes PPC ads ideal if you want to main top-of-mind awareness while generating qualified traffic.
- Create targeted ads – PPC advertising lets you reach target customers based on location, time and device settings for maximum impact. That means you can place your ads directly in front of the people most likely to buy from your business.
- Reduce overall ad spend – Just like the name implies, PPC ads only charge you when a person actually clicks on the ad. Even if you capture thousands of impressions (therefore boosting brand exposure), you remain top of mind and receive future recognition for free unless someone visits your page.
- Get instant, measurable results – Waiting for your website to rank on the top positions of search results can take months. PPC marketing provides instant results as you can drive conversions the moment your ads are up and running.
PPC marketing operates on an entirely different ball game than SEO. In fact, they’re a crucial conversion driver as they’re linked to landing pages that are crafted to convert in a way that organic results aren’t. Additionally, visitors that come from PPC ads often already have high purchase intent. If you play cards right, you can drive high-quality traffic while reducing ad spend.