Everyone has a website nowadays, but your website can only be helpful to your businesses bottom line if people can find it. Even if you have an amazing website that makes your business much more accessible, you’re still competing with hundreds and thousands of other financial advisor websites that potential clients could click on instead. There are several tactics that can bring more attention and traffic to your advisor site, and SEO and PPC are arguably two of the biggest ones in today’s digital age. But what’s the difference, and which is better for your company?
Difference Between SEO and PPC
To put it simply, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a free tactic but it can take longer to build and show results. PPC (Pay Per Click), as the name implies, comes with a price tag but can generate more immediate results. The pros, cons, and differences between SEO and PPC can be a lot more complicated than you may expect, so today we’re breaking them down together.
Pros and Cons of SEO
At Twenty Over Ten, we rarely write a blog that doesn’t mention SEO, the importance of it, and how every advisor can be using it to boost their local presence online. Essentially, SEO involves a range of activities that you can execute on your own site to make it more accessible and searchable. From strategic keywords, to creating fresh content, and internal linking, SEO makes your website more visible to prospects. Since these activities are all free, it’s a very cost-effective way to promote and drive traffic to your website. But, it can take a great deal of time and effort that can at times be seen as a tedious job.
1. Increased Brand Awareness
Who doesn’t want increased brand awareness? On average, first time clients need to visit your website up to seven times (if not more) before they trust you enough to work with you. This makes consistent and good content, like blogs, with a good SEO strategy crucial to not only attracting new clients, but keeping them on your site!
2. It’s Free!
As long as you perform these activities yourself, SEO is free other than what you’re already paying to host your site and the time you put into it. If you’re willing to take the time to create quality content and optimize it yourself, SEO doesn’t have to cost a thing.
Since SEO can be executed by your own business, it’s an affordable and trustworthy way to get your name out there to potential clients. Top organic results can bring over 25% of the organic searches for a keyword, while paid ads only bring about 2-3%. Especially in the local business field, SEO can break through the competition to bring huge ROI at a low cost.
Sparktoro’s analysis of organic vs. paid CTR in the U.S. shows that organic CTR/SEO garners much more traffic than paid advertisement.
3. It’s easy to grasp
It’s fairly easy to start executing an SEO strategy, and you don’t have to absolutely master it to start seeing results. Once you’ve optimized a few blogs or pages on your site, it will become second-nature, we promise! We suggest starting by simply including keywords, internal links, meta descriptions, and alt tags for images. There are plenty of free SEO tools out there to help you measure your progress, like Google’s Keyword Suggestion Tool and Google Search Console, as well as other sites that scan your site for old, broken links among other major SEO ranking factors.
4. Long-Term Results
We admit that a good SEO strategy does take time to show results, but if you put in the effort, the results can last for years. We recommend ongoing optimization of old content and SEO audits to check up on what’s working and what’s not, but once you start optimizing your pages, they tend to stay visible in search whether you perform ongoing optimization or not.
5. You’re In Control
You’re creating the content, choosing the keywords, and deciding the titles. You’re totally in control of what you’re linking and displaying, so you can do virtually anything. As people grow more and more skeptical of advertising and ad-blockers become more common, organically bringing in more traffic to your site keeps you in control and builds a sense of trust with prospective clients.
Controlling and optimizing your site’s SEO is easy as 🥧 using built-in SEO tools provided by Twenty Over Ten. Users have the ability to add and edit all of their website’s metadata including blog posts. We’ve also provided tools that help structure pages including social sharing, image alt-tags and customizable URLs.
1. It Takes Time
SEO takes patience. If you need results immediately, SEO might not be for you. It can take six months to a year to really start locking in solid, high rankings from organic search. The sooner you start, the faster you’ll see them. So if SEO sounds best for your business, get started now by downloading our free SEO kit!
2. It’s Hard to Scale By Yourself
If you’re a business with a small team, it can be hard to have a consistent schedule for content creation and even harder to optimize it all. Depending on your CMS (content management system) executing some SEO tactics may involve complicated HTML and CSS skills that can be hard to learn.
Search engines work through algorithms that are possible to change through updates. Even if you put in time to optimize your website and content, things change! With SEO, your at the mercy of Google, Bing, and other search engines and what they determine is a high-ranking site vs. a low-ranking site. According to one source, Google reportedly makes about two updates to their algorithms per day, which comes out to around 600 updates per year😳These continuously changing algorithms mean you must stay up-to-date on the latest SEO news.
Pros and Cons of PPC
PPC isn’t just regular advertising. Pay Per Click gives you the opportunity to show an ad only when someone searches for a specific keyword. Even more, you pay for it only when you get a click – score! Even though it’s often criticized as more expensive and less effective than SEO, there are also tons of good things about PPC.
1. Instant Results
Unlike SEO, you can see basically immediate results from PPC. As long as you are driving traffic to a killer landing page with a CTA (call to action), an accessible contact form, and an easy site to navigate, PPC can generate huge ROI for any business – way faster than SEO efforts.
Twenty Over Ten offers unlimited landing pages to use for PPC campaigns.
2. Easier to Master
In the long run, PPC is easier to master than SEO. Learning best PPC practices costs money, but once you’ve set up a proper campaign and optimized if for a couple of months, you’re pretty much set. You can even get professional support from official Google employees that help you set campaigns, which isn’t something you have access to when running an SEO campaign.
3. It’s Easy to Scale
While scaling an SEO strategy can take lots of time and effort, there’s only one thing you have to do to scale up in PPC – pay more! You can pay for more keywords or a larger daily budget, but either way, your ad and website will reach more potential clients with very little effort.
4. No Uncertainty
Since you’re working with the search engine, updates are upfront and your ad won’t change even if the search engine changes their algorithms. That way, there’s no risk of your ranks suddenly slipping or being removed altogether.
5. It’s Buyer-Oriented
Google only shows ads if it thinks it’s relevant to potential customers, so if the keyword you choose is a buyer keyword, there’s a higher chance of your ad displaying for them. You’ll only be targeting commercial keywords when you place your ad, which makes it much more likely your site will be displayed to someone looking for your specific service.
1. It Will Cost You!💰
Paying per click might sound great, but a click doesn’t guarantee a sale! For there to be good ROI, you need high conversion, otherwise you’re throwing money away. If you are paying for PPC, you better invest in your website too in order to make a click worth your money.
2. Steep Learning Curve
If you don’t have much background in advertising, there can be a lot to learn. Campaigns, negative keywords, budgets, bids … you’ll be swimming in a pool of advertising jargon that you’ll have to work hard to understand. If you don’t know what you’re doing or what the intricacies mean, PPC can be a big waste of money.
3. Lower ROI
Unlike SEO that lasts for years, ROI stops when you stop paying for PPC. Once the ad comes down, your content won’t be displayed which can halt the traffic to your site. PPC is tied to a budget, which means it requires money to grow. If you want more awareness, you have to pay more money!
4. Less Control and Trust
There are more rules for advertisements than SEO practices, so to speak. Titles, descriptions, and content can be limited, giving you much less control on how you market your brand. Some niches and keywords are even banned, which can limit exposure to certain groups.
And even harder, people know the purpose of ads is to sell something to them. Ads can feel manipulative and much less organic to your audience, which can build a bad brand image. Ultimately, you have less control on how your business comes across to potential clients with PPC.
Is PPC or SEO Better for Your Financial Planning Business?
Ah, the million dollar question! Now that we’ve reviewed the pros and cons for PPC and SEO it’s time to decide which may be better for your business. While every business situation is unique, it’s important to consider several factors before deciding which strategy will be right for you. Before making a decision, ask yourself the following:
- What is the current status of your website?
- What are your overall digital marketing goals?
- Where does the majority of your site traffic currently come from?
- What kind of budget are you working with?
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