SEO and PPC are often compared by business owners looking for the most effective SEO solutions in Long Beach, CA. One of the most common refrains is that they are both worth pursuing because they serve different ends: PPC is ideal for getting lots of fast traffic through the door while SEO takes a while to grow but brings excellent brand reputation and conversion rates over the mid- to long-term. The assumption, then, is to pursue both at the same time.
But what if that’s not possible? What if your marketing budget does not allow for spending in both traffic-generating funnels? If this describes your situation, then you need to go with the approach that drives the most qualified leads at the most affordable price over time. And that approach is SEO. Here are two reasons why SEO continues to be the most cost-effective way to bring in leads and grow a sustainable marketing funnel.
Reason #1: SEO Brings Better ROI
SEO is all about publishing valuable content that gets clicks from highly targeted searchers for free. It is the most affordable inbound marketing strategy by a long shot because you are not paying to bring in traffic on a 1:1 basis as you do with paid search. Paid search is kind of a vicious cycle because the incentive is always there to pay more to get more traffic. Only companies with big budgets are able to drive strong conversion rates because they can afford the top ad placements. There is also no guarantee that traffic will convert to leads and eventually customers. Conversion rates are usually quite low with paid search—and, of course, when you stop paying for ad placements the clicks dry up.
With SEO, you are investing in a site full of quality content that is targeted to searcher intent and designed to turn an interested searcher into a qualified lead. Since searchers tend to return 3 or 4 times before converting on a desired action, you want to invest in content (and conversion optimization) that will keep them coming back to your site and spending quality time on there. You can push down cost of customer acquisition while simultaneously extending customer lifetime value by continually improving your on-site conversion metrics. Optimizing for these metrics by publishing evergreen content is, in a nutshell, why SEO tends to bring better ROI than PPC.
Reason #2: Traffic is Higher Quality
The buyer’s journey is broken down into three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision. You have to assume that all your traffic is made up of searchers at different micro-stages of this journey. The question then becomes: How do you create content that answers the core questions your target audience is asking at each stage? How do position your brand to be a valuable resource to guide searchers through their micro-journeys? In the paid search approach, limitations in budget and word count mean you never get a full grasp of your searchers’ intent. While you can carve out precise geo-location targeting and harness traffic from strategic keywords for searchers in the decision stage, you are hard-pressed to reach searchers in the awareness of the consideration stage; often these are impressionable people performing general knowledge searches. Targeting these early-stage buyers is much easier through content marketing endeavors. With content marketing, you are free to produce thought-leadership material that is appealing to buyers in the awareness stage before they even want to buy anything. The simultaneous boost in traffic and brand sentiment is powerful and enduring – and leads to higher quality traffic over time.
Leverage Knowledge, Not Profits
With paid search, you are always going to be operating with very thin profit margins. Your ad spend will move in parallel motion with your traffic, which is a dangerous cycle if your customer retention rate begins to slip. With SEO, the benefits outweigh the costs overtime. Business owners in Long Beach, CA should know that, through search engine optimization services, they can leverage knowledge and make their industry expertise a competitive advantage!
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