Implementing a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy for your website is extremely important for small and mid-sized businesses for many reasons.
Primarily, it’s one of the most budget-friendly marketing options. At little or no cost, it’s easy for businesses to maximize their return on investment (ROI).
Plus, using on-page (utilizing target keywords on your website’s landing to engage with search engines and users), off-page (links to your site from trustworthy 3rd party websites and social channels) and technical (speed, security, mobile-friendliness, and other behind-the-scenes elements) SEO methods helps your website rank higher on search engines, builds authority, drives traffic to your services and/or products, and reaches audiences at different stages of the sales funnel.
However, SEO is a long-term process. It may take weeks or months or a year before businesses see a significant increase in their traffic, conversions, and revenue.
Yet, there is a way to generate more immediate results while waiting for the SEO plan to take root and grow: using Search Engine Marketing (SEM) or pay per click (PPC) advertising to achieve the top spot on the search engine results page.
Key takeaways this article will cover about paying for a premium SERP spot:
- When it may be necessary to pay for a top SERP spot
- The benefits of paying for a SERP spot
- The cons of paying for a SERP spot
When should you pay for a top SERP spot?
As we mentioned, SEO is a smart marketing tool. Using keywords, backlinks, and a speedy, mobile-friendly site to reach prospective audiences is a low-cost, necessary way to drive business to a website. The only major drawback is the time it takes to achieve these results.
Although organic (non-paid) SEO is a longer-term marketing strategy, it’s not as problematic for an established website – especially if they have already optimized their site in the past. These websites have a head start over new websites or established brick-and-mortar stores that just launched their first website.
Since new sites have to build their awareness and generate interest from the ground floor, they need a bit of a boost. That’s why investing some of their marketing budgets in pay-per-click campaigns is a good idea. Launching paid advertising campaigns with search engines and user-favored keywords directed at the right audience can spread the word more quickly while organic SEO marketing gradually gains ground.
What are the benefits of paying for a premium SERP spot?
As mentioned above, SEO is a very long-term process. Yes, the results can be rewarding, but they do not happen overnight. That’s why a paid advertising campaign can help jumpstart your brand awareness and increase audience engagement.
Here are just a few of the ways paying for a premium SERP spot benefits an ongoing SEO strategy:
- Ads appear above organic results: When a user types in the favored keywords or phrases, and the search engine delivers the results, the most effective paid ads appear at the top of the list. This is extremely beneficial for new sites since they may not even appear on the first page of results if they only rely on organic SEO.
- Quicker results: Unlike organic SEO which takes time to develop, PPC campaigns can produce more immediate results when launched. Using the right combination of keywords, audience demographics, and budgeting, PPC ads can find themselves in front of users much faster than organic search results.
- More specific audience targeting: Paid ads allow businesses to target audiences using a variety of demographics. Instead of strictly relying on keywords, paid ads let businesses target specific age groups, interests, locations, marital status, and devices (mobile, desktop, tablet). All of this may help paid ads rise above organic searches.
- A/B testing: While SEO is an ongoing process that requires updates, it takes some time to see which methods are working better than others. With paid ads, businesses can perform A/B testing with paid ad campaigns to see what’s performing well and what’s underperforming in real-time. That knowledge lets businesses adjust campaigns on the fly to achieve or maintain that top SERP spot – which is something organic SEO cannot accomplish.
What are the cons of paying for a premium SERP spot?
While the benefits listed above sound fantastic, they are some downsides for small businesses.
- Cost: Organic SEO is budget-friendly. Paid campaigns can be implemented with a small investment – but in order to reach that top SERP spot or maintain it for longer than a day, it may require an investment that extends beyond a small business’s marketing budget.
- More updating required: Digital marketing doesn’t just evolve over time. SEM marketing evolves from minute to minute. Since competing companies of all sizes are competing over the same keywords and audiences, businesses have to frequently update their paid ads.
- Lower profit return: Although the results may be faster, the conversion rate may not change. PPC campaigns may gain that top SERP spot but they may not deliver the ROI that a new business needs.
New and existing businesses need an organic SEO strategy to build awareness, drive traffic, complete conversions, and increase revenue. But it takes time for it to grow and produce results. Investing in paid advertising campaigns can build that awareness, traffic, and engagement in a more immediate manner. If a business has the budget and the knowledge, it can invest in organic and paid strategies simultaneously to produce the best results.
While small businesses can launch organic SEO and paid campaigns on their own, it may benefit them to partner with an agency like Results Repeat to achieve the best outcome. If you’re interested in utilizing SEO, paid advertising, or both to benefit your business, we can help. Contact our team of experts today to see the best results tomorrow!