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Is SEO or PPC Right for Your Business? Ask Yourself These 3 Questions

03/11/2015 04:23 pm ET | Updated May 11, 2015

Often SEO and PPC are approached with separate strategies. And while they are dissimilar in many ways, it is still important to remember that they are part of the same domain: search. So although they both may be best suited for different outcomes, SEO and PPC can be particularly complimentary when utilised together. Capitalising on both to achieve a strong search engine marketing strategy is vital if you want to target the 60-70% of traffic that search engines account for. So before you tell yourself that search engine marketing no longer applies to you, ask yourself these three questions.

1. Do You Want a Credible Online Presence?

About 81% of consumers research a product online before buying, which shows people consider the internet as a credible source when they are looking for product recommendations. SEO and PPC help reinforce that credibility.

People tend to trust results garnered from an organic search, due to the fact that they have to be earned rather than purchased. The algorithm that determines site rank has no vested interest in any of the products or companies being chosen for the top spots. About 68% of searchers choose one of the top 3 search results because of this unbiased perspective.

Many people are wary of small businesses with no online presence. With PPC, businesses can ensure that they come up first for their business name and reassure potential buyers that they have a credible, reachable online presence. PPC is particularly relevant for start-ups who may need to acquire quality leads quickly and have yet to build up their organic foothold.

2. Do You Need Traffic That Delivers Qualified Leads?

Search engine marketing, whether paid or organic, offers something that very few mediums offer. It offers instant, qualified leads. When someone searches for a product or service on the internet, it's likely they are considering a purchase. These inbound leads pay off, as search engine marketing is reported to be the most effective sales channel for 85% of retailers.

Users tend to favour organic results, with the vast majority of them bypassing paid ads. This allows for a lot of free exposure, but the organic audience might not be the most primed for purchase. While those people who head to the organic results might just be browsing, people who click on paid advertisements are more likely to make an immediate purchase. Paid results account for 64.6% of clicks for keyword searches that imply high commercial intent, meaning that users who make up PPC traffic aren't just looking for information; they are actually looking to buy a product. In addition, PPC offers speed. With SEO, you will have to wait a while to see significant results. With PPC, once you start a campaign, you can see results almost instantly.

3. Do You Have Visitors Who Are on Mobile Devices?

As of 2013, about 46% of all searches occurred on mobile devices. This mobile movement has a unique benefit over desktop searches, in that it can improve results at brick and mortar stores as well as online. About 50% of all mobile searches are conducted in hopes of finding local results and 61% of those searches result in a purchase. To make it to the top of local results, a strong focus on local SEO strategy is imperative, for tips on local search strategy click here.

Not only this, but Google has recently announced that it will be putting 'mobile friendly' labels on the search results of mobile optimised websites.
PPC has a special advantage on mobile. Click through rates are higher on mobile than they are on desktop computers. On a Smartphone, the average click through rate of a paid ad is 5.87%, as compared to the click through rate of a desktop ad at only 2.29%.

In order to achieve the best results, a holistic campaign that includes both organic and paid strategies will work best. Organic search can be great for stabilising traffic and long term lead generation, while paid is best for getting you noticed quickly and targeting motivated buyers. By using PPC and SEO together, you can be sure your search engine marketing is well-rounded enough to be effective for long term online success.

For more information and tips on online marketing check out the Magicdust website, we are a Sydney web design company specialising in small business.