Which is Better for Your Community: Organic SEO or PPC?
Allocating your digital marketing budget can be difficult if you’re not sure which approach to take. Should your community focus on cultivating organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or just buy your way to the top with a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign? The decision between SEO and PPC is often a difficult one. Is there a right or wrong answer? Could it be both? In order to make this decision, it’s important to understand the pros and the cons of both SEO and PPC.
Organic Search Engine Optimization / SEO
Organic SEO consists mainly of optimizing individual web pages to enhance their position in the naturally occurring Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). The object of organic SEO is, simply put, to make sure search engine crawlers can see and understand what is on your web pages so that they will rank your page higher than the competitors.
While the search engine algorithms and policies might change often, the basic tenets of organic SEO remain the same; it’s about providing the search engines a website that properly explains what your community does and provides helpful content to both online users and crawlers. This involves utilizing clean code when building the site and most importantly, using search-friendly content that appeals to online users and online crawlers.
Pros of Organic SEO
- Cost Effective: Traffic from organic SEO is free while you pay per click with a PPC campaign — not to mention the labor of maintaining the campaign over time.
- Longer Lasting: A website that is properly optimized for search engines can maintain a high position in the SERPs long after a PPC campaign has ended.
- Credibility: When your website is consistently at the top of the organic SERPs, it can influence perceived credibility with online users who are searching for your services. In a lot of cases, users trust organic results more and will skip the ad section altogether.
Cons of Organic SEO
- Slow Moving: Compared to PPC which offers immediate results, organic SEO takes time. In some cases, it can take months to start seeing sustainable results.
- Ongoing Maintenance: Organic SEO is not something you do once and just let it sit. While it does not take nearly as much maintenance as a PPC campaign, you do need to regularly update your website with new content so the search engines have new information to index.
- Time-Consuming: If you choose to do your organic SEO in-house, it can be very time-consuming. This is especially true since sites like Google and Bing continuously change their policies and algorithms.
Pay-Per-Click / PPC
Search engines like Google offer the ability to purchase clicks from online users using their Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing. PPC allows you to quickly acquire search engine traffic by paying or bidding for keywords related to the services that you offer at your community. Once you choose your keywords and start running these advertisements, you’ll see your site at the top of Google’s SERP. The cost per click depends on the number of searches that are performed using that keyword.
Pros of PPC
- Instant Results: Once your PPC campaign begins, your community will immediately be at the top of the search results. Being first on the SERPs will help increase website traffic, generate more clicks, and convert users into leads.
- Controllable: When it comes to setting up and maintaining a PPC campaign, your community is in total control. You are selecting keywords and setting a budget. The results of your campaign will help estimate your next budget and add/remove keywords.
- Consistency: With PPC, you don’t have to worry about Google’s new algorithm or how it impacts your placement. Your placement for PPC depends only on what you choose to spend, not Google’s best practices.
Cons of PPC
- Cost: The results of your PPC campaign will depend on what you spend. In general, the more you pay, the better the results will be, so understand that this is an investment in your community.
- Time-Consuming: When you run a PPC campaign, there isn’t much room for error. Because of that, it’s a big time commitment. Your community will need to research keywords, monitor those keywords performance, measure returns, and adjust bids based off of the last campaign’s performance. Managing a PPC campaign can be like a full-time job.
- Skill/Knowledge of Search: It takes knowledge of SEO best practices and keyword research to set up effective campaigns. Many businesses choose to use a specialist agency.
Which is Better for Your Community: SEO or PPC?
Because the senior care industry is so competitive, it actually makes sense to have a mix of both organic SEO and PPC in your marketing plan. Short-term, a well-structured PPC campaign often leads to the best results for your community. But long-term, it makes the most sense to invest in building up organic SEO.
You may have noticed that both SEO and PPC each had the same con: time commitment. In general, whether you’re optimizing for organic SEO or managing a PPC campaign, you’re going to need to commit a lot of time and resources to make sure it’s worth the investment. At Goldn, our experts have the skill and knowledge necessary to create a marketing plan designed to produce a positive ROI that includes organic SEO and PPC management.
Let us concentrate on your search engine marketing so you can focus on providing the best possible care to residents. Call (888) 482-6691 ext. 1 to speak with a member of our team or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request more information about how Goldn can help your community.