Pros And Cons Of SEO – Which Is A Better Investment In 2020
“Ads For Show, SEO For Dough”
A phrase coined from the golf term “driving for show, putting for dough” but it does have relevance in the digital marketing world.
Once you have climbed the mountain of SEO and your main keywords are ranking, you are going to be in a really nice position to move forward and this traffic is highly targeted, ready to be introduced to your brand and possibly do business with you. Getting to the top of that SEO mountain is not going to be a walk in the park however and you need to be constantly vigilant of the things that can trip you up along the way or knock you off the top once you get there. SEO like any other skill, needs to be learned and there are plenty of false Gurus out there waiting to teach you their dodgy methods. There are a lot of advantages to SEO but like anything else, there is also potential drawbacks to keep in mind .
SEO should be generally straight forward and if we can create what Google is looking for, we can get a sustainable advantage in the top spots on the search engine so let’s jump straight into the advantages and disadvantages of Search Engine Optimization.
Advantages Of SEO
The traffic that we get from SEO is ‘FREE’ in the sense that we don’t have to pay for each click like we do with Pay Per Click or Facebook Ads and that is despite all the effort or fees we may have paid for SEO to get there.
Once you are up to the top you should not have to put in the same effort week on week to stay there as you did to get to the top and show have a steady stream of quality, free traffic for the foreseeable future once you have targeted the right keywords.
Majority Of Traffic Still Goes To Organic Listings
Much to the Dismay of Google and Microsoft Bing, we find that at least 60% of users are skipping past the Ads and going straight to the Organic results in every industries with other reports suggesting only 15% goes to the paid Ads.
This is excellent news for people who put the time and effort into SEO because no matter how many companies want to skip the line and how much they are willing to pay to get to the top, you will have a lot more of the traffic and probably the better converting traffic as well.
If you are ranking in the top 5 results on Google it is because you are providing exactly what it’s users are looking for and they trust you to provide them with an accurate solution.
Google has been around a long time now and their Search Algorithm has matured enough over Trillions of searches per year to determine what the best Search results are and show them at the top.
When you get an organic visitor to your website, they have more than likely come to the right place to find the info or the business service/ products that they are looking for and there is no messing around with Broad Match keywords that bring in unrelated searches to your site often at a high cost to your business.
With SEO your getting the highest % percentage and the best quality traffic available on the search engines.
People that are ready to convert to the purchase, usually skip the Ads and head for the top of Organic Search.
So, we have established that only 15% of traffic goes to the Paid Ads and we also need to point out that Organic traffic converts at a much higher rate than Paid Ads in most cases and the reason is trust.
Google knows and the Users inherently know that anyone can pay to show an Ad but if a result is it the top of Organic, it has a certain trust factor that has been built with google and the users recognise this, choosing to go to the organic results to give their business.
The listings at the top of organic are usually better quality as well and the Ads are often leading to very ‘salesy’, landing pages.
Long Tail Keywords
If you are anything like me, you will use Blogging as one of the main weapons in your SEO arsenal and this can bring in a huge range of long tail keywords.
Blogging is one of the key aspects of SEO because it actually helps the users of the Search Engine to find what they are looking for and that is exactly what Google wants.
Google will even tell you what people are searching for related to your niche with it’s autosuggestion feature and is a perfect way to get the titles of your blogs.
Another way is to look at long tail search terms in your Google Search Console and tailor content to rank at the top for those words.
The more blogs you write, the more long tail searches will appear and the more traffic you will get to your website.
Keep in mind that Google is looking for quality AND quantity when it comes to blogging so make sure you give them plenty of both.
Eye up the competition for the search term before writing the article and make sure you write a better article than your competitor does.
Endless Opportunity For Growth
With Paid search, you are pretty much limited to the main keywords that convert the highest and controlled Long Tail Keywords. You will always have to pay enough to stay in the top positions.
If other companies start bidding higher, you will have to increase your bids to stay at the top, costing you more per lead.
Then you also take into consideration Invalid clicks and bidding wars and the costs can add up quickly in a market that only makes up 15% of the overall searches.
With Blogging and SEO there is endless opportunities for increasing your traffic and growing your authority within a niche.
If people are researching the topic before making their buying decision and they keep seeing your website coming up at the top, they will note you as someone that is seriously worth considering giving their business to.
Gets Traffic Into Your Funnel
“When People Visit Return To Your Site More Than Once, They Convert At A Much Higher Percentage.”
We have talked about percentages in this article already, Organic gets a higher percentage of traffic and it converts at a higher percentage than Paid Ads.
Another percentage that may not come as a surprise is that, when we can get people back to the site for a second, third and fourth time, they commit to the purchase at a higher rate and that it is why it is so important to build a quality funnel with remarketing to increase our conversions, sales and market share.
We suggest remarketing to your website visitors with Google Display Ads, Dynamic or Static which cost a lot less than Google PPC ads and also Youtube Remarketing.
Youtube Remarketing is hugely effective as it set’s you apart from the competition as professional and wanting the business, video also sticks in your potential customers head and they will remember you when ready to commit. You also only pay when people watch the video to the end so it can product tremendous returns.
Setting up remarketing for all of your ‘Free’ SEO traffic is the absolute best way to grow your business and you can keep pouring gasoline on it with new Blog Posts.
So far in this article, we have painted a pretty rosy picture of the SEO game but it is also coming with it’s own obstacles and challenges that can make it more difficult than you might expect.
Can Be Highly Competitive
There is only 1 top spot on Google for each keyword and some niches can be extremely competitive and hard to break into.
If people are willing to spend over $10 for a single Ad click, imagine what they will invest in SEO to get the top spot.
It can be easy to say you want to get the top spots, but you will have to establish enough credibility and trust with Google before this actually happens which can be a significant task.
The best way to go about this is to quality informative landing pages, have your On Page SEO ‘On Point’ and build authority through ‘Natural’ link building and Blogging.
It Takes A Long Time
While PPC and Social Media marketing can get you results on the very first day SEO is something that can take a long time to get you results which is why a lot of businesses will shy away from SEO and stick instead with the PPC side of their marketing.
We find with SEO that it will take about 3 months to start getting any traffic on a brand new site with SEO and Blogging and 6 months before you start aiming towards the top of page 1.
It may take a year or even longer to get the very first spot in a lot of industries depending on the competition involved and if it is one of the top industries, you re likely to come across competitors who are also investing in their SEO.
It’s A Skill You Need To Learn
SEO is a difficult skill to master and just like anything, learning through experience and coaching can help you to reduce the amount it will take to start generating traffic. Here are a couple of tips for starting out in SEO.
Meta Titles And URL Are Important
Put The Long Tail Keyword In The Title Of The Page And Put The Keyword As The URL.
This is important as it tells Google what want that page to rank for. Google can’t rank you correctly if you don’t tell it what you want to rank for.
Have A Good On Page Experience
You cant just have a landing page for SEO, you need to have plenty of content on each page to rank well, Answer any questions the customer might have and include your Keywords again in the titles.
If you are a service business in each area, don’t forget to include the location in your Meta Title and heading.
If you serve more than one area, consider having a landing page for each area.
Blogging Is Key
Blogging with Quality and Quantity for keywords people are actually searching for can make all the difference when it comes to SEO.
You can also share shortened versions of your articles on platforms like Medium.com, Blogpsot and Blogger.com that link back to your website and build your trust with Google to rank you higher.
SEO is not overly complicated, it is a case of doing the right things and not trying to game the system which will usually backfire on you.
Leaves You In The Hands Of Google Algorithm
We had created our second successful blog and it was moving quickly towards $10k per month when the Google ‘EAT’ algorithm hit and our rankings absolutely tanked overnight.
You see, we had done everything right up until that point but the rules changed overnight and now Bloggers weren’t welcome in any health related niches so we had to move onto new opportunities for success.
When you are relying on SEO, you are at the Mercy of these Algorithm updates and they are trying to clamp down on people gaming the system with black hat and grey hat methods to rank at the top undeservedly.
That is why we always need to play by the rules when it comes to Google and build up our authority and presence authentically through blogging and white hat marketing.
If you do try to game the rules, Google penalties can come at any time and take away all of your rankings virtually overnight.
Don’t try to game the system but put in the honest work genuinely and reap the rewards for long term once you do obtain them.
SEO For E-Commerce
SEO for E-Commerce can be an extremely lucrative undertaking but it requires a strategic plan almost from the start to get it going correctly.
We have created two hugely successful E-Commerce stores based almost solely on SEO to get the potential customers into our funnel and then converting them with remarketing and offers.
Break up your E-Commerce store into broad categories and determine all sub categories within that.
You should have a page for every main category and a page for every sub category that shows the products relevant to that section.
The page should have the keyword in the URL that people are typing in for ultimate success. Have pages targeting different locations you want to sell to and try to get the main search term into your websites URL like:
NO – MaggiesMegaEmporium.com
YES – MaggiesPatriotApparelStore.com
This will tell Google what to rank the site for overall and what kind of website it is.
Once you set up the correct hierarchy of categories and sub categories, and have the correct products showing on each page with plenty of internal linking, you should be able to move up the rankings over time and generate good traffic, especially if you combine blogging with the methods SEO for E-Commerce methods we have discussed, you will see success sooner rather than later.
When you do SEO correctly and the amount of time has passed for you to rank effectively, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
The main disadvantages are time, which will pass anyway, and competition which we never worry about, because it shows us that there is money in that area. and we know we can compete.
The other disadvantages come simply from trying to cheat the algorithm which you shouldn’t be doing anyway and the odd time an algorithm update can negatively effect us.
Our advice is to learn the game as much as you can, make a strategic plan and give it a shot for yourself!