Is SEO the Holy Grail of Internet Marketing?

The Holy GrailWe previously discussed whether PPC (pay per click) is a cost or an investment and concluded, from our point of view, that it leans more on the cost side of things. We love that PPC can get you instant results; however, we do not like that we are fully dependent on paying for this model.

Here is where Search Engine Optimization, also referred to as SEO, comes into play. Before we start discussing this topic any further let us define what SEO is.

As you can read from Yoast’s explanation, SEO is the process of optimizing a website to make it appear in a higher position in search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing (by the way, Yoast makes excellent tools and plugins for SEO so make sure to check them out).

What makes SEO so different from PPC?
If we take the example of the search result we used in the previous post (“online advertisement”), the results that show up right below the “Ads” are what we call organic results.Organic search results These results are not paid for and if we dig down deeper, these top 10 organic results are what Google thinks are the best results for your search query. A website doesn’t just happen to show up on the first page or rankings. Google takes hundreds of ranking factors into account to judge who deserves to be on the first page of search results.

Unlike PPC, if the SEO for your website has been done with high standards, your high rankings should stick. Your website will remain on the first page of search engines even after you are done paying for the campaign. On the other hand, without organic rankings, once you stop paying for PPC, your visibility disappears.

If you are like us, we rarely ever click on the “Ads” that show up on the top because we feel that these are biased. Any company can promote their product, service, or website in this spot as long as they pay up (assuming that they aren’t breaking any rules set forth by Google). On the other hand, the organic results can’t be bought. You can consider these results as vetted for by Google. So from our point of view, these organic results are more trust worthy. Studies also show that most clicks go to organic results and only a fraction go to paid results (PPC Ads).

Now you must be wondering, “How do I get my website on the first page of search engines?”
The easiest and least stressful answer would be to hire a reputable SEO Company. You can start studying SEO and try to do things your self; however, you must be warned. Google has hundreds of factors they consider when ranking websites and they make hundreds of changes to their algorithm every year. This means that SEO is always changing and the one implementing this must evolve and adapt along with these changes. If you are busy running your business, you will definitely not have the time to stay on top of all this.

How long does it take?
This is a very difficult question to answer because this all depends on what your current website is like, what kind of keywords you are going after, the general competition for the keywords, and your target niche. It may take as short as a month or as long as a few years. To get a rough idea of how long it will take, it would be wise to speak to an SEO specialist. They should be able to tell you how long you should expect the process to take.

How much does it cost?
Once again, this is a very difficult question to answer because there is no one specific answer or rate card. Sure, you can find 100 USD/month SEO offer sin your inbox but most high quality SEO costs a pretty penny. We have heard of companies investing hundreds of thousands of dollars PER MONTH on SEO. That being said, it really depends on how difficult your target keyword is to rank. Consult an SEO agency and have them send you a quote. If you cannot decide on a good SEO to speak to, we recommend you to visit our SEO partner’s facebook page and see if they have any special deals.

Last words.
Ideally, we would work on a PPC campaign and an SEO campaign simultaneously; however, if we had to pick one, we would opt for SEO. For our Cycle Slam promotion we were lucky enough to have enough budget to use both PPC and SEO.

Let us know if you have any questions!

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