Search engine optimisation (SEO) and paid search marketing (also called search engine marketing or SEM) are the foundations of digital marketing. Companies around the world, from small sole traders to huge multinational corporations, invest heavily in both to promote their brands, goods and services online. But when it comes to search marketing, it seems clear that SEO has the edge in terms of sustainability.
The benefits of SEO
In this article, we will take a look at how SEO can truly pay dividends in the long-run, especially when compared to paid search marketing. With organic SEO, it takes a long time and significant effort (involving excellent content, quality links, relevant keywords and more) to get good rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs), but once a page is ranking well, it usually stays that way for a long time. On the other hand, paid search methods such as pay-per-click (PPC) get instant results that don't last for long.
Organic SEO also has the advantage of forcing you to improve your site, as in order to rank highly, you'll need to make constant improvements and changes to your content and design. But with SEM, your site can get visitors just by paying for them, which could allow you to rest on your laurels and result in a less than perfect site and user experience.
Another reason SEO is more sustainable than paid search marketing is that you can integrate it with social media. You can share links on social media platforms and users who like your site, company and content can also share links, meaning your site builds more authority and there are more chances for people to find your site as time goes on.
As you can see from the infographic, which compares SEO and PPC, the latter may have more noticeable, immediate results, but SEO has stronger results over a longer period of time.
To pay or not to pay? That is the question
You may now be thinking about abandoning your SEM activities altogether, but this should be avoided. Although SEO may be more sustainable, it still pays to invest some of your marketing budget in SEM as it can still attract visitors to your site, especially in the early stages of a new product, service or piece of content. Also, according to the infographic, visitors from sponsored links are actually more likely to buy. So for maximum marketing impact, make sure you're utilising both SEO and SEM.
Give your SEO a boost with iFactory
If you want to take advantage of the long-term benefits of effective search engine optimisation, get in touch with iFactory today. We're an award-winning, full service digital agency located in Brisbane, and we have the internet marketing know-how to get your business seen online.