INSIGHTS - June 2019

Should I use SEM or SEO to advertise?

We get quizzed all the time by our clients and prospects about which way is the best way to go to market for your advertising spend. So are you going to spend a lot of money trying to rank your site organically – SEO! Using on-page and off-page and technical solutions to get you up site ranking. Or are you going to pay Google for the privilege of advertising on the site so pay-per-click (PPC) those three banner ads that appear at the top of the Google search and pay for the privilege to advertise on that.

There are other options, but let’s have a look at what scenario suits different business, every situation is slightly different, it depends on your market, your business type, competition – so I’m just going to go through some of those now to give you an indication of how our processes work, when we’re considering which channel to us.

So if your competition is really really high on a Google search then I would probably… SEM might be just a little bit too costly you know, your pay-per-click you might have to throw to at it, if you’ve got deep pockets and lots of budget to spend then yeah sure but you might want to look at more longer tail phrases keyword phrases to pick up in SEO. It’s a bit of a mixed bag I wouldn’t say SEO is great for that either, it is in the long term, but you really have to weigh that up that’s a pretty challenging if they’re really competitive environment you’re just gonna have to spend some dough. How well do you know your segment?

If you’re watching a new product to market and you don’t know the market very well then SEM is absolutely brilliant, you can set up search phrases, test the market, test the clicks, see whether they buy the product, you may not even have the product already yet! But you can actually calculate your costs of going to market with your advertising. SEO not so much! SEO takes a long time to rank, over time , so six to 12 months plus, so you wouldn’t bother actually doing that initially if you don’t know your segment.

Is your buying cycle or are your clients buying cycle short or long? If it’s short, then SEM is really good, you know, click on the ad, go through, buy the product, leave the site. Simple! Click, click, click! Landing pages all good. SEO… is good for people who are doing more research around a particular topic so you there’s a longer keyword phrases again you could pick up some access to your market if you’re buying cycle is longer, but not if it’s short.

Average cost-per-click… so this is a big one in Google these days you’re spending more and more in higher competitive environments so if it’s a huge cost per click so for example personal injury is plus $100 per click you just wouldn’t go there without really really deep pockets. But SEO, you could certainly launch a SEO campaign over a long period of time and really try and rank organically you pick up so again some longer keyword phrases.

Website age, If your website is young, it’s not going to rank in Google organically for a very long time so the SEM is absolutely perfect for turning on those campaigns getting that traffic flying through for SEO you know you’d start work on it but it’s not a great go-to for that for short aged websites, but if your site has been around up for a while, and it has longevity some domain Authority etc then it’s actually quite a good way to go.

If your current SEO is poor, then obviously you’ve got no choice are you going to have to pay Google for the privilege of ranking for those phrases so don’t hesitate to look there. And you would think about short term not so good , but you would clean up the SEO profile and go from there. So what are the other options? Well we can’t overlook these days “Social”.

So social opens up a whole lot of other advertising opportunities for us through content through boosted posts through a whole bunch of different areas of driving traffic and for some markets you would absolutely swear by ignoring these two altogether and going straight for social media. But you can certainly if its high competition you can target particular niches much more effectively in social especially in facebook if you don’t know your segments you can run tests, you can set up groups, you can do a whole bunch of different scenarios around trying to attract it’s a little bit like an SEM in that situation.

The buying cycle is short… absolutely social! Facebook’s brilliant for that and if it’s long also you can set up groups and topics and a whole bunch of broad content marketing strategies in this space. So it works on a short and long-term.

Average cost-per-click social is quite accessible, much much more accessible than SEM can be so let’s let’s give that a tick – if your website age, obviously great, exactly like SEM there you can turn on ads instantly and get some clicks through if you’ve got the right product of course. Current SEO same sort of thing you can go straight to market instantly.

So you can see there’s a whole bunch of different options here across a range of channels and you really need to consider some of these variables in your business and with your product in your market if you know that your market live in a particular channel then don’t bother doing the others don’t burn cash just go straight for that channel.

So if you’d like to know more about advertising online or how you can promote your business or set up your website so that it actually works for you then please give us a call at KND. We can do an analysis on your side for free! We’ll talk soon.