Many of our clients have been asking about Calgary SEO and PPC and how they fit into Internet marketing today. There’s been a lot of talk lately about how Google is killing Search Engine Optimization, and some of you are probably wondering whether you should even bother with it any more. Perhaps you used PPC before and saw some good results for a while but started to look elsewhere when those results tapered off. Let’s get past the bluster and misinformation and get down to basics, so you can make an informed decision about what’s right for you.
The O in SEO
Optimization is all about is about doing everything you can to improve your website’s rankings in search results. Calgary SEO looks at how search engines function, the kinds of things people search for, the terms they use, and which search engines their audience prefers. To optimize results, marketers have employed a variety of techniques in the past, including editing content to focus on keywords, coding websites to increase keyword relevance, and using a variety of methods to increase inbound links.
Bad vs. Good SEO
The negative attention directed at SEO recently comes largely from marketers who were trying to game the system by using technical methods to work around Google’s search algorithms to improve their website’s results in the rankings. Rather than encourage their customers to attract customers by using high quality content, many marketers resorted to tactics like keyword “stuffing”, paid links, and comment links to bolster ratings. While this might have worked for a while, Google’s Penguin update last spring took the emphasis off linkbacks and made it more social to reflect likes, shares, and tweets, which hurt the rankings of many sites that relied heavily on “bad” SEO techniques.
What about PPC?
Pay per click allows a website to get listed on search engines quickly by paying for advertisements. Websites using PPC show an ad when a keyword search matches either the content on a website or an advertiser’s keyword terms. Because it takes less time to generate visits than organic Calgary SEO methods, it is a great way to generate traffic to your website or social media pages. It can be especially powerful for brand new online marketing campaigns, but the downside of PPC is cost and limited growth over time. PPC will expose your brand and your message to new potential customers quickly, but because you are paying every time someone clicks an ad, you also need a much bigger budget for PPC.
Using PPC to draw in traffic can help you get a quick look at what your website does well and where it needs improvement. If highly targeted traffic isn’t converting to new business, you can assess your website’s performance to see if you need to improve usability, or if there is some other factor affecting your customer’s user experience.
The real SEO is CEO
The businesses getting the most success from their Calgary SEO efforts are the ones whose websites create the most value for their customers. They engage their visitors with good information and encourage them to come back frequently by offering a steady stream of interesting content. A marketing plan based on customer experience optimization or CEO focuses on the long term results that come from working to improve your website’s usability. The best way to optimize your search engine results is to become known as a source for useful, well-written information. Do your research, so you know the topics that interest your audience and are able to build your blog posts around strong keywords. Remember though, people respond to unique voices, so make sure your writing isn’t just a spin on every other article out there.
With both SEO and PPC the goal is to drive more traffic to your website that will convert to lead generation or sales. PPC is attractive because it quickly draws potential customers to your website, but it’s also been shown to generate less trust among users over time, so the benefits wear off after a few months. By investing your Calgary SEO dollars in a marketing plan designed to improve the customer experience with your website, you will continue to bring in more qualified visitors to your website.