In a recent post we talked about what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is, and how it helps get your small business website on Google and discoverable for the right searches. There is another common approach to getting a website listed on Google. Pay Per Click, or PPC, refers to paid-for advertising on primarily Google, but other web platforms too such as social media sites. Where SEO is a slow burn that organically grows over time, with PPC you can be right in front of your customers instantly, but have to pay for every visit to your site via that advert. Each website design company has its own view on which route is better, but let us have a deeper look about how PPC works and how it compares.
Pay per click
Noun: A business model whereby a company that has placed an advertisement on a website pays a sum of money to the host website when a user clicks on the advertisement - Oxford Dictionary
The core concept of a PPC campaign is to get your website in front of a big audience as quickly as possible. On Google, this usually means that a rather generic search will have a number of listings at either the top of the page, or the bottom, that may not organically be the best rated or most relevant to your search, but instead have paid for an advert under that particular search term. These can be spotted by a little black 'ad' that appears next to the web address.
PPC can be a great way of getting your site to appear on top in front of a large and competitive sector. In construction industries, PPC could be used to highlight your building services instead of older more content heavy sites that may have organically won the top slots, while in the cut-throat world of takeaway pizza, the big chains often take out adverts on searches for their competitors.
What's the Catch?
So, if it's that easy to get any website design to the top of Google, why should I care about building something beautiful and thinking about SEO? Well the answer is simple. It's all about cost.
Sure, PPC adverts could get you to the top of the rankings, but you are essentially bidding for the opportunity to be there. Once you have agreed a price, and Google starts to list your Google Ads campaign, then for every click of your advert, Google reaches into your marketing pot and takes what it's owed.
While there are obvious protections in place to stop someone sitting down and clicking your site all day to drain your funds, it's still worth keeping in mind that any friends or family who want to check your new website, clients who are following up on your quote or competitors checking out the new competition, will all cost you the same amount as a new potential client who's keen to see how you could help.
These Ads can cost anywhere from a few pence a click, to some very specialist fields being over £20!
Google's algorithms will look at the amount of competition and at how many people on average search for your chosen term to work out what this Ad cost would be for you, and the costs will fluctuate based on market demand.
Is PPC Right for Me?
Everyone has their own views on how cost-effective pay per click campaigns can be. If you think it could be a good fit for your industry, it's worth keeping in mind that custom professional website design is still be an important factor. Not only does a site need to look the part, or risk someone who just clicked your valuable link, backing up and going elsewhere, but a fast and responsive website not only instils confidence in your visitors, but is tracked by Google and a quick website could get a discount on its ad listings.
Additionally, a level of organic SEO in the site won’t detract from your PPC campaign, and gives you a good buffer if your marketing pot was to run dry by simply putting your site back in its natural place rather than dropping off the listings all together.
Here at DotGO, we are keen believers in building a beautiful website and powering it with organic SEO at no extra cost. Of course, we can interlink a PPC campaign into your site, but unlike other firms we don't focus on building something simple, reselling ad-word credits and crossing our fingers that PPC can solve all your problems but instead work with you to provide you a beautiful website that gives your customers confidence in your professionalism and allow your website to organically grow in rankings.
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