One of the most important aspects of internet marketing for Brisbane firms is the simple step of getting visitors to come to your website.
Social networking plays an important role in attracting people to come visit, but having your site show up in the Google search results when people in Brisbane are searching for your business is vital. Although getting your website onto the first page of search results will boost your sales incredibly, the actual process of getting there requires effort.
There are two different methods to getting your website on the coveted first page. The first is by using SEO (search engine optimisation) methods, and the second is by advertising on Google’s advertising platform known as AdWords.
The Definition of Search Engine Optimisation
Before we start to compare the two methods, it’s important to define our terms. As you may know, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. When you are using SEO it means that the content you add to your website is designed to make your website show up early in search results for the keywords that you are targeting. So in your case it may be local terms like “Plumber Brisbane” or “Lawyer in Brisbane”. Or you show up locally when people are searching for you in Brisbane for national terms like in our example below where we rank No.1 for “National SEO Campaign”.
The process of using SEO to market your website involves a variety of things, such as making sure your content is high quality and using keywords strategically.
It also involves things like keeping your site up-to-date and frequently adding fresh content and encouraging others to interact with it by visiting multiple pages and commenting.
In actual fact there are around 200 ranking factors that Google takes into consideration when determining where and how to rank pages of any website. This is discussed further in this excellent article by Moz.
It is still a fact that right at the top of the list of importance for ranking any page in Google is still backlinks. However, obtaining the right kinds of quality backlinks these days has become harder than ever as Google continues to update and tweak their ranking algorithm.
What is Google AdWords?
Now that we’ve defined SEO, it’s time to explain how Google AdWords works. AdWords is a PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising program, which means that you only pay when people click on your ad, rather than paying for people to merely view the ad.
When you market your site with Google AdWords, the ad will appear in Google’s search results at the top of the page, generally along with a couple other relevant ads. These are placed above as well as to the right hand side of the organic search results.
Comparing the Costs
At first glance, it may seem that Google AdWords is obviously the more expensive option. This might be true if you’re looking at the money spent per visitor.
The exact cost depends on a large amount of factors, including what search terms you’re targeting and how many other websites are trying to advertise for the exact same keyword.
Regardless of the exact cost, however, you will be assured that you only pay when your ad is actually clicked, resulting in a visitor and potential customer on your site.
However, money isn’t the only element which needs to be looked at. SEO doesn’t have a monetary price tag attached to it, but it will cost you a lot of time and effort. In the end it will pay off, but that doesn’t mean it’s totally free.
You’ll spend hours composing keyword-rich posts and making new content for your site. Then you’ll have to spend more time and effort encouraging people to look at your content and tell their friends about it. Even if you don’t pay a dime, you’ll end up doing a lot of work, and for a while it might seem like you’re working for nothing.
As mentioned earlier, Google is constantly updating its search algorithm making it harder for you achieve results with SEO.
Unless you are an expert SEO yourself most website owners now turn to SEO companies that specialise in this field – fact is it’s much cheaper to pay an expert like Websites That Sell to just do all the hard work for you, and pay for the shortcut of years of research and trial and error testing that would cost you a lot more than simply hiring an expert.
Long-term, SEO is worth the investment of your time and energy. However, you can’t expect to see the results in a short amount of time.
Ads will give you quicker, more obvious results, but they also require you to keep handing over money for them to keep being displayed by Google.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Both
Google AdWords is incredibly beneficial to businesses who can’t wait for months or years to see results. If you use it strategically, it’s a great way to get your business off the ground and grow a customer base.
Optimising your website for search engines requires a lot of initial effort and a delayed pay-off, but once you’ve managed to get your website on the first page your efforts will be rewarded in huge ways.
Because Google AdWords requires a constant stream of cash, it’s really not a great solution when it’s the only focus. Long-term, the cost is going to add up, and if you need to tighten your budget and stop paying for the advertisements, you will see an instant huge decline in visitors and sales.
A drawback to SEO is the delay between your actions and the repercussions on Google. Besides the fact that you won’t get paid right away for your efforts, this also means that it can be difficult to quickly adapt your targeted keywords if your product or the audience changes.
With AdWords, you’re able to begin and end campaigns instantly and adapting your keywords to reflect the market is simple and easy.
Thankfully, the strengths and weaknesses of SEO and AdWords actually make them a perfect duo when used together. AdWords will give your website the traffic it needs right away, giving you customers and cash to work with as you work with the SEO aspect of your site.
Advertising on Google AdWords will bring visitors to your site, and if you’ve designed your website well, they’ll likely visit multiple pages or share your site on social media. This, in turn, gives your site’s SEO a boost and can help make your rankings better.
Once your site is one of the top results in searches, you’ll see the fruits of your SEO labors. Once this happens, you can choose to discontinue your AdWords campaigns (saving you money) or to use them in other ways to expand your reach.
Either way, you’ve benefited greatly from using both methods in harmony.