Contextual advertising or search engine optimization. What to choose?
Site promotion is the key stage in providing product awareness, sales increase, traffic growth, and, eventually, achieving planned efficiency indicators, business profitability. During its implementation, a lot of web resource owners face a choice: SEO or contextual advertising. These are the two main tools on which all strategies of internet development are based on. They have a different focus, the implementation methodology, and express their efficiency in different ways.
What is SEO and PPC?
In search engines, site ranking is carried out depending on the degree of compliance (relevance) of the contents by the user’s request. For this purpose, special algorithms are used, which are not studied enough by SEO specialists, since the principle of their action is not disclosed. In addition, they are in constant dynamics. Answering the question of what SEO promotion is, it is necessary to understand that this is a whole complex of activities that are aimed at increasing the web resource position in search results on requests that comply with the direction of business development.
For effective implementation of SEO-strategy, it is necessary to carry out large-scale work, which involves the formation of the semantic kernel, filling the pages with relevant unique content, the formation of inner relink, extension of backlinks, etc.
In this regard, PPC is a much less labor-intensive project. The abbreviation stands for Pay Per Click. The user places an advertisement through the search engine service and pays for each transition that the user has made by clicking on the link. Trying to understand what contextual advertising is, it is important to note the high effectiveness of this tool.
Firstly, the advertisements are placed in high-priority places at the top of the search page. It immediately attracts the user’s attention. Secondly, the specific feature of this technology is narrow targeting, i.e. focus on the needed target audience segment. As a result, the advertisement is seen by interested, potential customers.
To understand what is better: contextual advertising or SEO, it is worth considering in detail each of the web site promotion techniques by estimating their advantages or disadvantages.
Contextual advertising: advantages and disadvantages
The popularity of PPC steadily increases in our country and in the world as well, due to a number of its advantages:
Getting a quick result. Under the condition of the competent set-up the traffic, the number of calls and the orders increase greatly within the first day.
The coverage of the target audience. During the campaign setting, consumer parameters may be indicated accurately, narrowing or expanding the circle depending on the customer’s wishes.
The ability to test changes on the site quickly (new design, restructuring, etc.). This is the key advantage of contextual advertising over SEO promotion, since in this case to estimate visitor’s reaction will take months.
Focus on viewing on different devices. The advertisements are successfully displayed on smartphones, as they are immediately seen at the top of the screen.
The necessity of permanent financial investments. The campaign will work until the budget for its holding ends. Then the traffic growth, orders and the like will decrease quickly to its initial level.
High addiction from the campaign organizer’s professionalism. In this regard, the disadvantages of contextual advertising lie in the fact that an inexperienced marketer can spend thousands of hryvnias for payment of clicks that will not give any result.
Advantages and disadvantages of SEO
To begin with, it is worth mentioning numerous advantages:
The increase of the site authority. The competently optimized site receives greater loyalty by search engines and their algorithms.
Users’ trust. Some of them are biased against advertising promotion and do not click on links which contain ads, preferring natural issuance.
Focus on the long-term perspective. If the context has a strictly limited validity period, the advantages of the SEO promotion is that systematic actions create a basis for maintaining constantly high positions in search results.
Relatively low costs of implementing a strategy, sorted by significant period of time.
Disadvantages of SEO promotion:
the risk of getting filters with a decrease in positions on the condition that the use of “gray” methods that are at risk of being forbidden and valid for search engines. At the same time, the web studio can competently use them to increase the efficiency of the instruments used;
low speed of obtaining results. You have to wait at least 1 or 2 months for the first improvements. The implementation of the planned strategy can take from 6 months to a year.
Main selection criteria
Most often the choice: SEO promotion or contextual advertising is based on comprehensive analysis of a particular situation and evaluation of influencing factors.
Some web resources are not initially suitable for organizing an advertising campaign, since the product they represent is not included in the list allowed for advertising. The marketer is unlikely to be able to set up PPC for sales growth on the site of tobacco products, weapons and ammunition, toys “for adults”, etc.
Key goal promotion
To find out what SEO is, it is important to understand that its main task is to attract organic traffic on the website, i.e. visitors who have passed from the search result pages. The growth of their number will gradually lead to the rise of indicators. The main goal of PPC is an increase in sales during the campaign implementation. After finishing it, the traffic growth will just go away.
Terms of expectation
In this regard, the tools are also radically different: the context gives an immediate but short-term effect. SEO will take time to see the first positive steps. But the achieved result will last for a long time.
Factor of seasonality
Sites which specialized in the sale of goods and are in demand mainly several months a year (heating equipment, swimsuits, bicycles, air conditioners, fur coats, etc.), it is worth giving preference to PPC. In the case of promoting such a product, the benefits of SEO often turn out to be minimal.
The neсessity of the site development
According to this criterion, the palm of the championship also belongs to contextual advertising, since to start the campaign you do not need to prepare something in advance on the Internet platform itself. Creating sites is the first step for the implementation of an SEO promotion plan. This strategy involves long-term and multi-step preparation, which includes the development of the existing and writing new optimized textual content, elimination of errors, broken links, improvement of usability, etc.
Each of the tools considered has its own methods of realization, advantages and disadvantages. However, in most cases, it is not necessary to choose between SEO and context, since both can successfully complement each other. Targeted advertisements are rationally run at the initial stage of promotion to ensure brand awareness. At the same time, you can engage search promotion that will give guaranteed results a little after.