In today’s business landscape, an online presence is required, and the heart of any business’s online presence is their website. The driving force behind the success of any website is the traffic or users who are visiting it.
On average, Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second, which equals roughly 3.5 billion searches every day. It’s safe to say that someone, somewhere, is searching for the services your senior living community offers. But how do you help them find you?
There are two ways Google can help you drive traffic to your website.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
Both SEO and PPC will help your website appear in search results for the words or phrases you want to rank for. Though their goal is the same (website traffic), they are different marketing strategies, which require different approaches.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
When comparing the two, one of the most obvious benefits of SEO is that it is free of charge. Aside from the time and effort you have to put into your SEO strategy, there is no cost to rank organically in a search engine’s results.
While pay-per-click advertising can benefit the performance of your website, your search engine optimization should lay the groundwork.
SEO Results are Consistent and High Quality
Search engines are smart, and as technology changes, they get even smarter. Search engines want to improve the user experience and deliver the most accurate results to a search query. SEO allows you to build your website’s authority regarding certain queries.
If you want to rank in results when a user searches “senior care daytona beach florida,” and your community regularly posts content to your website (blogs, posts, web pages) that includes that keyword phrase, a search engine is going to crawl your site – notice the use of this phrase throughout – and reward you with a higher ranking.
This may seem easy, but there are hundreds of ways a user could search for a service or benefit your community provides. At Markentum, we always say that SEO is a long-term strategy. If you are looking for instant results, this is not the marketing method to use. Why? Because search engines take time to crawl your website and there are factors that do impact a user’s results (location, device, search history).
While this strategy is similar to how Google ranks their paid ads, your ads are only as effective as the budget you put behind them. A “popular” search query is going to have more business’s bidding to rank, which can increase your cost.
Furthermore, contact conversions you get from those who found your website organically tend to be of higher quality since they were likely doing ample research before deciding to fill out a form on your website.
Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
As previously mentioned, SEO is a long-term strategy, meaning you may not see consistent results for months. If you are building a brand-new website, it may be beneficial to consider PPC to generate traffic to your site while you build your content base for SEO.
PPC Results are Fast and Highly Targeted
Even if your website isn’t new, PPC is still a marketing strategy that can amplify your other efforts!
It’s important to note that, contrary to what businesses think, paying more doesn’t guarantee you higher results. Just as they do for organic results, search engines want to ensure that the ads being served are relevant to a search query.
As stated by WordStream, “…advertisers cannot simply pay more to ensure that their ads appear more prominently than their competitor’s ads. Instead, ads are subject to what is known as the Ad Auction, an entirely automated process that Google and other major search engines use to determine the relevance and validity of advertisements that appear on their SERPs [Search Engine Results Page].”
Since you have to pay for each click your ads receive (hence, the name pay-per-click), you only want to bid on relevant keywords, so you can be sure to get ROI from your ad spend. This process, and the fact that you can narrow down by demographic data, allows for very targeted traffic. Beyond age or income bracket, Facebook advertising even allows you to target based on hobbies or interests.
PPC advertising can be very powerful for promotions, time-sensitive offers, and event marketing.
When building a marketing strategy, neither SEO nor PPC is better or worse than the other. Both should be utilized in a successful online strategy and can be complementary to each other.
If you would like to learn more about search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, or other services offered at Markentum, we encourage you to contact us for a free evaluation!