Which is Better – Organic Search or Paid Search?

Can Organic Search and Paid Search Co-exist?

Every business owner has different goals for their website. These goals could include increasing the number of web pages viewed by visitors, decreasing bounce rates, or increasing traffic from new visitors in general. Whatever your goals for your company website, the overarching goal is for your business to first be found online. How does that happen? Someone – a prospective or existing customer – has a need for a product or service and performs an online search. Where that search ends up could make or break your ability to meet your goals, depending on how well your online marketing strategy performs.

Online marketing involves the use of search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) to draw traffic. While Yahoo and Bing still get some amount of search traffic, Google is the search engine used in the vast majority of online searches. Google’s two main vehicles for returning search results are paid search and organic search. But, is one better than the other? Does organic search provide better results than paid search (or vice versa)? Online marketers everywhere have been trying to find the answer to that question for some time. Let’s next review what each type of search is as well as the main differences between the two.

SEO Philadelphia

A user who performs a query based on entering specific keywords and key phrases is performing a natural, or organic, search. Proper implementation of search engine optimization is the strategy used in this type of search, as SEO must align with the words and phrases a user enters to perform their search. A business appears in organic search results based solely on the content on their website/webpage and its usefulness and value to the user. Google looks for content that users will find relevant and valuable.

According to Search Engine Watch*, more than 90% of web traffic occurs as a result of a business’s website appearing on the first page of Google search results. Using relevant key words and having quality SEO content is the best way for that content to eventually get indexed in search engines and thus ranked higher in Google’s search results. (Yes, it takes time and effort for your web pages to be indexed so that they generate traffic.) Other benefits of proper SEO include increased leads and improved close rates.

Online searching and shopping has been on a swift and steady rise in recent years – and the trend shows no signs of slowing down or decreasing. Additionally, Google is, by far, most people’s preferred internet search engine. Savvy web developers and internet marketers understand this and continue to rely on proper implementation and ongoing management of SEO to keep websites as highly ranked on search engine results pages (SERPs) as possible.

SEM Philadelphia

Search engine marketing, on the other hand, involves the use of certain keywords in paid/sponsored online ads that appear when a user performs a search using those keywords. In contrast to SEO’s organic search quality, SEM is a paid search function in which a business actually pays for visits to their website rather than earn them through an organic search. With SEM, a business bids an amount of money on specific keywords to ensure their ad appears if it matches a user’s search query. Sponsored search results are identified as ads and appear at either the top of the search engine results page (above the list of organic search results) or along the right side of the page.

Business owners and digital marketers have found that paid search strategies such as pay-per-click pay off for them – big time. Because of the prevalence of paid ads, users have come to view these listings as normal search results, in spite of them being labeled as ads. And, a business no longer needs to wait months to be indexed and appear on a SERP, as they can pay for the opportunity for their ad to appear in search results immediately and be seen by targeted users. A well run paid search strategy can yield a hefty return on the paid ad investment.

SEO, SEM, or Both?

Together, SEO and SEM as digital marketing strategies produce results; they can increase and improve your online presence and ensure targeted users receive information that is the most relevant and valuable to them. Improved conversions, increased web traffic, more qualified leads, and ultimately, business growth and profits are all realistic with SEO and SEM campaigns that are designed to work for you. When you understand the timelines for both strategies – SEO can take months to yield results and SEM can provide virtually immediate results – you are well prepared to implement the strategy (or strategies) that best meets your digital marketing needs and overall business objectives.

If you want to learn more about how to combine SEO and SEM to boost your website’s ranking on Google, contact Perfexion, Inc., Philadelphia’s web design and development company. The professionals at PERFEXION are digital marketing experts. They collaborate with business owners to design and deliver SEO and SEM strategies that are sure to improve your bottom line.

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* https://searchenginewatch.com/sew/study/2276184/no-1-position-in-google-gets-33-of-search-traffic-study

Thinking of Dumping Your PPC Program? 4 Common Misconceptions…

Clearing up the Misconceptions around PPC

Have you considered using Google or Bing pay-per-click – PPC – to market your business online but are concerned PPC won’t work for you? Perhaps you’re already using PPC but feel you’re not getting the hoped-for results and are even thinking of dropping your PPC campaign. Before walking away from pay-per-click altogether, make sure you fully understand the power behind PPC and the results you can ultimately achieve. Don’t be swayed by negative opinions about PPC, but rely instead on the factual information and data only a professional PPC administrator can provide. Here we clear up a few common misconceptions around pay-per-click advertising and provide a fresh perspective on how to eye your PPC to further attract customers and grow your business.

True or False: PPC is the only form of advertising your business needs.

False. Pay-per-click is good and can get results, but it should not work in a figurative silo. Only when PPC is combined with one or more other forms of advertising you do in other marketing channels will you see real results. When you promote your business in other channels, such as through SEO, social media, in print, or on radio or TV, you gain name and brand recognition. That way, when a new or existing customer is searching online for the services you offer, the chances of that customer seeing your ad and clicking on it are improved. Decide on the types of advertising that work best for your business, and combine these with a properly run PPC program for best results.

True or False: SEO alone is more cost effective than PPC and can return equally good results.

False. While it is true that SEO may cost less to run and manage than paid search/PPC, in the larger context of advertising and ROI, it doesn’t. That is because PPC serves to support your SEO programs and, just as PPC should be combined with other forms of advertising to maximize results, PPC should also be used strategically to enhance the return on your SEO investment.

A business that is looking to cut expenses and trim their advertising budget may target PPC because they perceive the cost is too high when compared to what they pay for an SEO program alone that provides organic search traffic. But when they look more closely at how paid search is working in concert with organic search results, direct traffic, local listings, and other advertising channels, they cannot help but see how they all support each other. If any one piece of the advertising pie is removed, you can most surely expect to see decreased click-throughs, calls, traffic, and other results.

True or False: PPC is expensive when compared to the cost to acquire a new customer.

False. This myth can be quickly and easily debunked when you step back and look at the entire customer life cycle. Business owners understand they need to first reach a potential customer, then acquire the customer by bringing them to the company website or store, then convert the person into a paying customer, then keep the customer beyond their first purchase and hope they become a loyal partner and advocate for your business and your brand.

None of this happens by accident. In fact, PPC helps at every step of the customer life cycle and your paid search expense is offset by the overall (lifetime) value derived from each customer. This, of course, assumes your PPC program and SEO campaign are well organized and properly run to work in conjunction with each other. When your company’s relevant information appears in different places in a web browser, and SEO gives you solid results from organic searches and click throughs, you will more than compensate for, and validate, your PPC expenses.

True or False: Once I establish my PPC campaign, it will run itself.

False. For a PPC campaign to be successful, it must be logical, organized, based on well researched keywords, and relevant to your target market. Campaign management is also important to track performance and make changes based upon user activity (or lack of activity).

Beyond these pay-per-click advertising must-haves, business owners can leverage PPC in other ways that also drive targeted traffic and spur growth for their business. Consider the business that sets up a PPC campaign based on a particular product or product line they sell. With some creative thinking (and help from a digital marketing professional), that business could consider offering new products and services that are related to their original line, and take advantage of the existing PPC account structure to bring in new customers or entice existing customers to buy more.

An effective paid search advertising campaign ensures that a company’s online marketing message lands directly in front of the company’s target audience and gets them to click on the ad. Paid search and pay-per-click advertising is not going away any time soon. This type of digital marketing has proven effective and lucrative for businesses who fully understand and are engaged in how their campaign is set up and run.

If you’ve been struggling to understand how PPC works or would like to know how well your pay-per-click ads are working for you, talk to a professional. Perfexion, Inc. is a professional web design and development company located in the Philadelphia area that understands everything you need to know about PPC and internet advertising. We specialize in helping clients maximize their return on every internet advertising dollar they spend.

We are a Philadelphia-based web design and development company located in Plymouth Meeting just outside King of Prussia. We specialize in optimizing our clients’ web content and ensuring their sites perform to the best of their ability. Contact us today to arrange an initial consultation.

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Paid Search

Is Paid Search Marketing for You?

The vast majority of businesses today rely on their company website to promote themselves and their service offerings. Interested people visit a company’s website and take any number of actions: read about the company’s services, fill out an inquiry form, call their toll free number, buy their products, or, if they’re not interested, click away.

The challenge companies face is to get people – potential customers – to visit their website in the first place. If these people know you, they can perform a quick, simple internet search based on your company name. But, if they don’t know who you are or what you do, getting them to your website takes some doing.

Web developers specialize in making sure a website is optimized to appear in search engine results through the use of search engine marketing (SEM) tools such as search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is about making a website appear high in natural, or organic, search results. A user enters a search query using relevant keywords, and receives search results that match the query based on relevance. A website that has been search engine optimized will have taken into consideration all relevant keywords and thus improve their chance of appearing higher in search results – and ultimately being shown to the person looking for their services.

Another way a business can be found on the internet is through paid search results. Paid search is a form of internet advertising – also known as pay-per-click (PPC) – by which a website owner pays for their web page/ad to display when a user performs a search using specific keywords and then clicks on the company’s ad. Different search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) display paid ads differently, but, in general, the ads appear on a search engine results page either above the results of an organic search or set off to the right. Paid search results can be further set apart with other visual indicators such as shading or a border around the ad itself.

The advertising space available on a search engine results page is limited, so advertisers must compete for this space by bidding on how much they are willing to pay if someone clicks on their ad. If an online advertiser bids higher than other advertisers, and their ad is highly relevant to the search being performed, their ad is likely to appear at or near the top of the search engine results page.

As with other forms of SEM, the objective of paid advertising is to strategically increase traffic to a company website and generate leads and conversions for the business. An effective paid search advertising campaign ensures that a company’s online marketing message lands directly in front of the company’s target audience – those who are most likely to buy their products and services – and gets them to click on the ad.

Of course success and effectiveness of a paid search advertising campaign also depends on how well the campaign is managed and monitored. Because a company pays for their internet advertising every time someone clicks on their ad, the ad should be the most relevant it can be to the person viewing it. If someone clicks on a paid ad and is taken to the advertiser’s website, but then immediately clicks away, the relevance of the ad to the person doing the search was not optimal. The goal for a company that uses paid advertising should always be for whoever clicks on their ad to be looking specifically for the very business offering the company provides, so that once the person lands on their website or landing page, they see exactly what they’re looking for.

A business that is thinking of doing a pay-per-click campaign would do themselves a huge favor by consulting with a professional web development company that is experienced in managing these types of campaigns. The expertise that goes into understanding, setting up, and running a successful campaign is usually beyond that of the average business owner. The best way a company can maximize the return on its paid search advertising investment is to rely on an expert to run and manage their campaign. Paid search campaigns require the following, and more:

    • Proper keyword research
    • Well-written, effective advertising copy
    • Analysis and tracking of the coding and tagging associated with the ad campaign
    • A relevant landing page that maximizes the investment on the advertising and conversions
    • Checking for click fraud (fraudulent clicking on the ad)
    • Industry expertise and competitive knowledge (knowing what the competition is doing)

 

Paid search and pay-per-click advertising is not going away any time soon. This type of SEM has proven effective and lucrative for those companies who fully understand and are engaged in how their campaign is set up and managed. To learn more about how your business might benefit from paid search and PPC, contact Perfexion, Inc. – a professional web design and development company in the Philadelphia area that understands everything you need to know about internet advertising. Perfexion specializes in helping clients market their business using all available online tools. Contact them today to schedule your initial consultation.

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Understanding Search Engine Marketing

Online Marketing: What Is SEM?

Search engine marketing – SEM – is a form of internet marketing in which an online business purchases ads on a search engine such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing, with the goal of increasing traffic to its company website. SEM can be a highly effective and valuable strategy in support of a company’s digital marketing efforts because SEM lets advertisers place their marketing message directly in front of their target audience.

The real power behind SEM is that a company’s ad appears in front of their target customer at the very moment the customer is the most motivated to buy – when they have just performed a search for whatever it is the company is selling or promoting. SEM can also be highly effective when used in conjunction with social media outlets such as Facebook, YouTube, and other online apps.

SEM Paid Advertising

SEM is also known as paid advertising, pay-per-click advertising, keyword advertising, and targeted advertising. The advertiser bids on specific keywords that an internet user – the advertiser’s target customer – might enter when performing a search for a particular product or service. Then, when a search query is performed using those keywords, the advertiser has the opportunity for their ad to appear on the search engine results page (SERP) along with the search engine’s other results.

These paid or sponsored ads can be text-based or they can be more visual and provide potential consumers with information they likely find most useful upfront, such as customer reviews and price. Ads appear alongside other search results on a SERP and are identified as such. Sponsored ads can appear above the list of search results at the top of the page, or they can be located along the right side of the page.

SEM works in combination with search engine optimization (SEO), which involves managing a website’s content and behind-the-scenes site architecture with the objective of improving the website’s ranking and visibility in search engines and on SERPs. Understanding SEO and applying it correctly and wisely is critical to the success of any SEM campaign, since success is determined by how well you, or your web developer, selected and bid on keywords to be used in the paid ads.

Different search engines refer to their paid advertising programs differently. For example, Google’s service is called Google AdWords and also Pay Per Click (PPC), and Bing’s service is called Bing Ads. Google is, by far, the most widely used search engine, but the benefits derived from paid ads through any available search engine are generally the same.

Benefits of SEM

Through search engine marketing, businesses can:

  • Gain new website traffic and improve click-through rates, as paid ads help attract more potential customers – Well-managed ad campaigns rank well in search engine results, which means a company’s ads can appear directly in front of their target consumer at the moment they are searching for the company’s products or services.
  • Trust that the web traffic they receive from paid advertising will be highly qualified – Consumers who click on a company’s ads are looking specifically for what they offer.
  • Set their advertising budget, then pay only when a consumer clicks on the ad.
  • Reach mobile customers anywhere, anytime – Ads appear when customers are out searching (that is, shopping) for the very products or service a company offers.
  • Paid ad campaigns are flexible and can be customized – Target consumers by: geography, gender, remarketing, age, day, whatever aligns with the advertiser’s needs and budget.

SEM requires close attention to know what is, or is not, working. Web developers continually test, monitor, and adjust ads to ensure each ad investment returns the maximum results. They track keyword performance and make real-time adjustments if something is not performing as well as expected.

Web Development SEM Support

Web developers and digital marketing experts should work with businesses to ensure the SEM services they provide will generate results. Web developers should:

  • Consult with and analyze the business – And the competition, and fully understand the business’s target market.
  • Gather the business’s detailed requirements – In terms of the goals for each ad campaign, the maximum budget, and the expected results.
  • Research keywords – With proper analysis, a developer can come up with a list of optimum keywords the company’s target audience might use to search online for the products and services they offer.
  • Properly align budget with each ad campaign – Advertisers often have multiple bid strategies with different amounts of ad spend for each.
  • Place ads and monitor results – Ad testing, monitoring, and adjusting is mandatory to ensure the best results and maximum return on each ad investment.

SEM Goals

The goal of SEM is to increase and enhance a company’s visibility and relevance to targeted users – both customers and potential customers – with the purpose of increasing web traffic, improving conversions, gaining additional qualified leads, and ultimately growing profits. Perfexion, Inc. provides search engine marketing services including establishing and managing pay-per-click campaigns. They specialize in online marketing and understand what is needed for SEM to perform at optimum levels and provide a positive return on every client’s PPC investment. We are a Philadelphia based Search Engine Marketing, web design and development company located in Plymouth Meeting just outside King of Prussia.

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Online Marketing 101 – SEO and SEM Basics

Online Marketing SEO and SEM

Online marketing is a broad term that refers to the marketing of goods and services using available digital technologies. This article will encompasse both SEO and SEM basics. The most common digital technology used is the internet. A company or business that has a website is already doing online marketing to advertise their business; promote their product and service offerings; and/or announce sales, promotions, news, and events. But the extent to which they are successful with their online marketing efforts is a different question altogether.

You already know how important online marketing is to the survival of your business. If you don’t market your company – or market it well – potential customers may never know you exist and they will shop elsewhere. By understanding the basics of online – digital – marketing, you have the knowledge and power to put digital marketing strategies and techniques to work for you.

As technology and digital platforms have evolved in recent years, so has online marketing, which, today, comes quite close to being an exact science. Online marketing is also known as internet marketing, digital marketing, and web marketing, and the phrases are often used interchangeably. Search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) are two strategies that fall under the online marketing umbrella. They work in concert with each other to produce the desired results of increasing and enhancing a company’s online presence and relevance to targeted users – that is, to clients and potential clients – to improve conversions, increase web traffic, provide more qualified leads, and ultimately, grow the business and profits.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – involves taking steps on a website with the goal of increasing the site’s ranking and visibility within search engines, so that it can be easily found when people search for the goods or services the business offers.

  • SEO –

o   Follows and reacts to how search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing operate

o   Takes into account how users query and perform searches on the internet – including what they search for and the words or terms they use when performing a search

o   Looks for relevance and value in a website’s content

o   Involves having quality (well written) content and relevant backlinks, as well as a properly managed and maintained website in terms of HTML coding, sitemap, etc.

o   Requires removal of items and issues such as broken links that restrict a search engine’s ability to properly index a website

 

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – is placing paid online ads that appear alongside other search engine results when a user performs a search and meets the targeted location, demographic, and other criteria associated with the ad.

  • SEM

o   Can be an extremely valuable component in your company’s digital marketing efforts

o   Is also known as paid advertising, pay-per-click/keyword advertising, targeted advertising

o   Lets you to reach a target audience by placing an online marketing message directly in front of them

o   Involves bidding on the advertising and then paying when a viewer clicks on the ad

o   Incorporates SEO of keywords and phrases to increase traffic to your website as a result of a natural (organic) search query

o   Increases the visibility of your website by placing paid ads alongside user search results when they enter queries into search engines for the products or services you offer

o   Can be used in conjunction with social media marketing

SEO and SEM strategies both require close attention and maintenance to know what is, or is not, working. Savvy web developers continually test, monitor, and adjust ads to ensure each ad investment returns the maximum results. They track which keywords perform the best and can make real-time adjustments if they see something is not working or is performing poorly.

Why Do SEM?

The benefits of doing paid advertising include attracting more customers and new website traffic. A properly run ad campaign will rank well in search engine results, and ensure ads appear in front of the very people who are looking for a company’s specific services. This ensures the people who visit their site are the most qualified and are more likely to follow through with a phone call or inquiry.

Occasionally, the way search engines index web pages and websites and present results to search queries can change. Such changes can affect the performance of SEO and SEM which, in turn, may require a change in the strategy a company uses when doing its online marketing. Good web developers follow and stay abreast of the trends and updates in internet marketing that affect their clients, and inform and educate them on the topic. If your own web or IT team is too busy managing other aspects of your business or website to keep up with the lightning-fast changes that occur with internet and search engine marketing, contact a reputable web development company for information on the latest requirements. Some will even perform an audit of your website and recommend changes or updates you’ll need to make to ensure your existing digital marketing efforts remain effective.

Perfexion, Inc. specializes in online marketing and understands what is needed for a website and all related digital marketing efforts to perform at optimum levels and achieve maximum results and profitability. We are a Philadelphia-based web design and development company located in Plymouth Meeting just outside King of Prussia. We specialize in making sure clients’ websites are technically sound and perform to the best of their ability at all times.

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