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What Are Google Adwords, SEO, SEM, PPC, and Link Building? And How Do They Work Together?

What Are Google Adwords, SEO, SEM, PPC, and Link Building? And How Do They Work Together?

Marketing is an essential expense for any business, but it can run a large tab! Nearly a quarter of all spending on marketing in the UK is spent on paid ads, accounting for billions of pounds. What if we told you that it doesn’t have to be that way?

Believe it or not, you can build a solid digital marketing strategy with little to no ongoing costs, but only if you know-how. Let’s talk about the most popular digital marketing tools around today and how you can use them to build online traffic!

What Is PPC?

Pay-per-click ads (PPC) are a popular structure for online advertisements. As an advertiser, you will only pay a certain amount for every click you receive on your ad. You may have to bid on prices or it may be a fixed rate, depending on the platform.

Any type of ad can fall under the PPC umbrella, including banner/display ads, video ads, search ads, and more. Google AdWords is one of the most common PPC options, offering search ads for a price that you bid on for various keywords. It’s a great way to only spend on the traffic you earn.

AdWords allows you to target your intended audience as closely as possible, but it comes at a price. If you have high conversion rates, the costs can be negligible.

Conversely, some competitive fields have high CPC (cost per click) and low conversion rates, which can make them quite expensive. For example, if you have a fairly average conversion rate of 2% and it costs £1.50 per click, then you will need to earn an average of $75 from each customer just to break even. For some industries, that isn’t feasible. 

Fortunately, there are ways to diversify your traffic and become less reliant on ad campaigns. Let’s talk about that.

SEO & SEM: What’s the Difference?

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a part of search engine marketing (SEM). SEM is the umbrella term for any marketing effort on search engines like Google, including SEO, Google AdWords, and more. Diversifying your SEM strategy can help maximize traffic in the long term.

However, SEO can be entirely free if you know what you’re doing. Once you have a strong website, you’ll only need to follow it up with a great content marketing strategy and build some off-page SEO to continue generating organic traffic. This is something to work toward in the long term, as it can help you become less dependent on paid ads campaigns.

By optimising your website’s content for search engines, they will promote your content for relevant keywords. When people find you organically, they are far more likely to trust your content, make conversions, and repeat business. To optimise a web page, you will need:

  • Fast loading times
  • Mobile-friendly features
  • Strong page structure
  • Clean navigation system
  • Proper linking structure
  • Original content
  • Proper keyword usage

There are many other factors, but these alone will get you quite far with your strategy. From there, you will need to build both on-page SEO and off-page SEO by building backlinks (links from other sites), which act as a vote in your favor to search engines. The more you have, the more credible Google will believe you are.

The only downside of SEO is that it takes a while to develop. However, once it’s working, the benefits can last for years without any additional expenses. When combined with Google AdWords (especially for short-term gains), users will have a much easier time finding your content.

Also, with all SEM strategies, make sure you’re tracking your campaigns using analytics tools to check your quality score. These will help you make necessary adjustments and maximize the effectiveness of your strategy!

Other Organic Marketing Strategies

There are two other widely popular digital marketing strategies to try to build organic traffic or an organic following: social media and email. Both of these can have very high ROIs and conversion rates, and they’re both excellent tools for building repeat customers and brand loyalty. Believe it or not, email marketing has an average ROI of £42 for every £1 spent or a 4,200% return.

The only challenge is building an organic following overtime for both of these. However, with enough consistency, prompts on your website, and great content, you can turn these into profit machines. Remember, getting new customers is only half of marketing, keeping them is the other half.

What Is the Best Digital Marketing Tool?

Overall, there is no “best” digital marketing tool for every business, as it depends on your needs. For example, a startup is likely to benefit more from PPC ads, as they generate short-term traffic and awareness. However, a well-established business may get most of their traffic from their organic marketing campaigns, as they’ve had the time to build them up.

We strongly recommend using as many strategies as you can within your marketing mix, and to start as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more time it will take to build an organic strategy, and the more dependent you will become on paid ads!

Build Your Traffic Today

Now that you know the difference between some of the most popular digital marketing strategies, you can make an informed decision for your business. There’s no such thing as a bad marketing strategy, you just have to know how to use them, which is where expert help can save the day!

Stay up to date with our latest digital marketing tips and feel free to contact us with any questions or for help with your marketing efforts!

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