Have you ever noticed how often when you ask a seemingly simple question the answer comes back, “that depends”. Well so it is with the question “should I focus on Search Engine Optimization for more traffic or Google Adwords or other paid ads”. The answer to that seemingly simple question depends on several factors that we will explore in this article.
1. Do You Have a Working Marketing Plan For Your Business?
A marketing plan does not have to be a book sized document that is complicated and never used once it is written. It can be (and should be) simple, direct and functional. It can be as little as a single page. See The 1-Page Marketing Plan by Allan Dib. Your marketing plan clarifies who your target audience is, what you have to offer them, why what you have to offer is their best choice, and how you will reach them with a laser focused offer that they can’t refuse. Once you are very clear on the who, what, why and how it becomes much easier to execute a plan.
2. What Are Your Short and Long Term Goals?
It is a well known fact that the internet is the leading source for finding goods and services for consumers and businesses today. You simply must have a solid presents on the web. Google is the leading search engine but Bing and Yahoo account for about 19% of the traffic and are not to be ignored. Since almost every business has a website and is vying for the top spot in the search results, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is necessary in almost every niche and market going forward.
But SEO takes time to develop and get results, 3-6 months at least. Longer term, solid SEO is very important to a business since about 80% of the search traffic does go to “organic” listings, (that is non-paid). Building a solid online presence for your business is no different than any other asset that you build or create to grow your business.
Having said that, if you need leads immediately and are on a budget that is an either or scenario then paid ads would be your best solution. However, launching into paid ads without knowing with a fairly high degree of certainty what you are doing is a recipe for destroying that budget with nothing to show for it. Paid ads are not particularly difficult to set up but they are very difficult to make profitable for the novice. If you are just starting with paid ads make sure you have the budget to get expert help.
3. The Best First Step
Almost certainly the best first step for a business is to complete their Google My Business listing. Their first goal if they are a local business is to be in the top three of the Google 3 Pack or Maps Pack that appears at the top of the search results page. Along with this, every business needs to continually accumulate great online reviews. Have an active program to collect reviews on Google, Yelp, Facebook, and any other review site important to the niche that you operate in. At this time it is quicker to get into the 3 pack than to SEO your way to the top of page one in the organic listings. For that reason focusing on the 3 Pack is a short cut to page one.
4. Don’t Ignore Social Media
Social media sites are free to set up and posting on these high domain authority sites on a regular basis with links back to your website is a good practice to build consumer awareness, backlinks and traffic to your website and to your offers.
5. Final thoughts
The beauty of a working Marketing Plan is that you can focus your message and the medium to reach a targeted audience at an acceptable price. Having a time-frame in place helps map out an operation plan. Proper SEO is a means to a page one ranking in the search results, but on the way to that result getting in the top three of the Local 3 Pack and running an optimized Google Adwords campaign can do much to drive traffic and leads to your business. With the power of the internet most businesses will want to have maximum exposure and be found everywhere that their customers are online.
Gideon Marketing is here to help. We can assist you with your marketing plan and we can help you implement that plan to get maximum return on investment.
Call Gideon Marketing 417-385-3537
4200 McClelland Blvd
Joplin, MO 64804