With the fast-paced, fast-changing world of Digital Marketing, Let’s Get Visible investigates how to approach a Holistic Digital Marketing Strategy. Get teams working together to ensure the best success possible for your online presence and sales.
Search Engine Marketing teams have often worked alone on the paid marketing plan, plugging away at paid advertising and analysing data to ensure their advertisements are working the best they possibly can. While their SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) teams often are busy tapping away, researching keywords and phrases to ensure the SEO on a website is functioning correctly from an organic perspective. They are busy guaranteeing your website speaks to search engines through optimisation to improve usability and visibility.
Both sections are busy focussing on growing website traffic, brand awareness and leads. However, these channels often simply do not communicate effectively, leaving brands not performing as well as possible. ENTER – the Holistic approach!
It’s all about an approach to marketing that gets the teams to work together for the best outcome for their clients. By having a holistic approach, your business can ensure you are getting as much page ranking real-estate as possible and getting the very best out of the teams who work for you.
SEO vs SEA – Leads & Traffic
Wondering what’s best when it comes to your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and your Search Engine Advertising (SEA)? The great news is that they can hugely benefit each other, but getting them both right is important for any emerging and existing website.
It’s no surprise that every website wants to be ranking in the best position possible on every search engine – right up the top. Being visible allows that all-important click to increase your traffic and generate leads. However, this seems like an almost impossible feat for some websites, particularly if competing with bigger budgets or lots of other businesses.
With the right approach, you can ensure that no matter what your budget or how highly competitive your products or services are, you will be able to be seen and, more importantly, convert your website from a stagnating page into a well-ranking and functional site.
Let’s first explore the main differences between SEO and SEA.
SEO or Search Engine Optimisation can take several months to see results. They allow your organic (unpaid) ranking to slowly increase by using specific keywords in your website that allow the search engine to find you. It’s all about matching your page with the search engine user. With SEO, your visibility does not stop if you choose to stop advertising; it is seen as a much more sustainable effort when building a good quality website that ranks well on search engines such as Google.
SEO needs special attention and needs to be regularly updated as your services/products grow, or when Google tweaks their algorithms – that can be a daily/weekly event. The best thing about SEO is that it lasts, and it’s relatively inexpensive to conduct. You can easily implement good SEO into your website yourself with the right knowledge and monitoring.
With SEO, leads are generated in many ways. Optimised content with trending keywords, increasing your website speed, link building, social media channels and promoting customer reviews are all ways you can increase your website traffic and also leads.
- Great results that last!
- You can try to do it yourself
- Works all the time generating leads & traffic
- No extra budgets needed
- Easily scaled
- Traffic for free
- ROI (Return On Investment) is very high
- Takes time (up to 7-8months to see results)
- You need lots of content
- Google changes rules constantly, so you need to monitor
- It’s all about the long haul
- Google controls the ranking
With SEA (Search Engine Advertising), you can quickly become visible; however, it comes at a cost – that will typically increase. Cost Per Click or CPC will typically and constantly improve over time.
Research suggests that even during the height of the pandemic, CPC was still on the increase. However, SEA does give quick and targeted results, and the data is fantastic for businesses. It allows deep analyst into demographics, target audiences, common phrases, keywords, and all the great info about who is finding you and by what means. It can also give you direct feedback on the keywords you choose to use or the phrases people are typing in that find your business.
The main downfall is – once you stop or reduce your advertising – the ranking disappears, along with your traffic and possible leads. This can be a very costly exercise for websites when not done correctly.
- Works quickly
- Great for data & analyst
- Quick & Targeted
- SERP guarantee
- Can easily test
- Creates instant traffic & leads
- It can be very costly
- It doesn’t last
- It needs constant tweaking to ensure it’s working and not costing too much
- CPC will increase over time
- Needs to be analysed – how much you spend, how much you convert
- It needs to be proven to be profitable
- Expert advice/knowledge needed
You might not ever get to the top of the organic search, but you must have the best SEO you can offer to ensure you are visible. It’s imperative that even if you only want to run ads, your SEO is up to scratch, or once you turn the advertising off, you can lose your ranking immediately.
It’s also good to note that some studies indicate that customers generated from SEO also have a huge amount of value. They are noted to be more engaged, loyal, and spend more. In other words, SEO can provide you with those types of customers who will keep returning to your website for products or services you provide.
What’s the perfect solution for SEO and SEA? It’s all about combining your efforts and fine-tuning, so they work in perfect synchrony. Also known as the Holistic Approach, SEO and SEA can complement each other and produce huge traffic and generate leads.
Having a good list of what SEO keywords are being searched or what topics in your content are excelling can easily allow SEA to be created and fine-tuned to your audience. SEA can allow SEO to fine-tune keywords that were perhaps being missed, while SEO can generate SEA words at the onset of a campaign. This way, you can switch off ads (or pop them on for certain specials or events) without the fear of losing your organic ranking. This will allow you to spend money where you know it will work, instead of flying in the dark and spending up big – making your ROI (Return on Investment) low.
The importance of good SEO is also incredibly vital from the onset. With no SEO, your website will simply not stand the test of time. When budgets change, or you need to focus on other avenues with advertising, you will simply lose your ranking. It can become a very costly exercise if you only focus on SEA. With the right advice, SEO and SEA can work to deliver more clicks, better value customers, and conversations.
Turn Off Paid Advertising – SEO working so well?
It’s not uncommon to hear that many businesses will pause their SEA as their SEO is seeing great results. It could be that you invested in the onset with paid to ensure you had a good listing, then considered once the SEO took effect, you would pause your campaign. Although if you are a major brand, this may not affect your rankings, for many, it can have detrimental effects on your visibility and your SERP
When you combine both together – in other words, when you share the same keywords, strategies and goals – you can ensure you are hitting as much search engine real-estate as possible with great success.
To see where this occurs, you can run a few tests and understand what is working or compare the two areas. It’s important to understand how much is being searched through paid advertising and organic listing.
You can also create a paid and organic report through Google Ads with brand and non-brand as your categories. Some businesses go as far as switching off the paid advertising for a few weeks (some experts suggest three weeks) and then turning it back on to see how much organic is holding on its own. For some businesses’ this six-week test can be a little too much to expect as sales will more than likely decrease; however, most will notice that when you switch off the paid, clicks will drop, and when you turn it back on (after the same period) it will return to normal. From this simple test, you will see exactly how many paid vs organic clicks are converting into sales.
Let’s Get Holistic
It is best done from the onset when considering implementing the holistic approach for your digital marketing campaigns. Have a clear indication that both teams need to develop a strategy to undertake and communicate. Look at what data – if any – is already being shared and what data could be shared to get the best strategy for current opportunities.
From an SEO standpoint, sharing competitor research or query data can help your paid search team understand what is working and what is not. This information can be vital to allow paid advertisements to hit the target quicker a much more efficiently. On the other hand, your SEA team can easily audit pages understand what pages have better traffic and why. This can have a huge advantage, particularly for keywords on landing pages, working together to create the best keywords and strategies that will gain your more searches and visibility in the long run.
This is now where it can become sticky – to develop a great strategy across both channels; it’s important to showcase what’s working and the strengths of each department or person. You also need to outline the weakness of each. The great thing about revealing the weakness’ – you can see where the other channel can help fill the gap. The more you can communicate effectively across both channels; the more strengths each will have. This creates a huge amount of potential and will allow each sector to develop a strategy to combat or help the issue at hand.
This communication will also allow both areas to work and succeed well.
The Data Matters
Before you instigate your holistic marketing approach, it’s a good plan to get some form of analytics. Analysing both reports will show how important both aspects are to online business; more importantly, these results will improve even more when they start to work together. It will work wonders when you can show both teams how well the combined effort is working.
The importance of both SEO and SEA is most undoubtedly comparable for the short and long term of business success. When they work holistically together, the results can be massive. Sharing information, from website design, SEO keywords, paid advertising keywords, page analysts, customer queries and comments and everything in-between.
This can also be implemented across all your marketing teams – including social media, content writing and PR. Making the entire wheel of the marketing goal meet and work efficiently for the best outcome of the business.
For example, if you have a blog receiving a lot of traffic, this can be used as a tool for keywords or additional content. Understanding that most content is based on trending topics makes sense that if a trending topic is getting a lot of hits, these keywords should be implemented into possible advertising and more in SEO.
With the rise of contractors in many of these marketing and advertising sectors, it can leave the business owner has many different departments that work autonomously. It’s the aim of all business owners – small, medium or large – to get these departments and freelance businesses to work in sync and share information.
Double Your Online Power
When you implement these two important strategies to your website’s overall marketing, the results can be beautiful. While a good SEA campaign can get you instant clicks and instant ranking, you will be able to fine-tune your SEO keywords and phrases while your SEO is constantly working in the background to establish a long-lasting SERP (Search Engine Ranking Page). It will also allow you to have better coverage – one is paid, and one is organic, providing you with better exposure and brand awareness.
Working with a holistic marketing plan will also strengthen your team, whether in-house or external, and ensure you gain as much search engine real-estate as possible, have higher click rates, conversions, and an all-around better customer experience.
This type of action will provide better results for your business and website – not only in the short term but, more importantly, in the long term as well.