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Pay-Per-Click vs. Organic SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) can be quite intimidating for someone who doesn’t know much about the subject. Both Lisa and Cody have discussed “Why I Can’t Find My Website on Google” and “What You Need to Know about SEO” on the blog, which are great introductions to SEO. 

A few members of our team recently attended a digital marketing summit at the KU School of Business, where we heard business consultant and SEO expert David Barnes share his insights on SEO, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Here some key insights from his presentation:

The first thing to do before ever thinking about spending money on search is to make sure you have good content on your website. 300-500 words per page of in-depth information shows both users and search engines your expertise. Be specific. If you don’t mention your meat department on your website, you’re not going to show up in a Google search for it.

Alright, now you have quality content on your website describing everything you offer. That may be enough to get your website to the top of a search engine list. If not, should you start paying for search engine marketing? It depends on a number of factors. Here’s a quick list of pros and cons:

Organic SEO

  • Can take 3-6 months to see results
  • Will take on-going learning & experience to master
  • Difficult to control the flow of traffic
  • More cost-effective
  • Search engine results pages are more popular than sponsored ads
  • More difficult to compete with large corporations
  • Better in the long-term

Pay-Per-Click

  • Only 1-2 days to see results
  • Easier for someone without SEO knowledge
  • Can turn on/off at any time
  • More costly per visitor
  • Fewer impressions & exposure
  • Easy to compete with large corporations
  • Can generate exposure on related sites through retargeting ads
  • Better in the short term

Tackling the search engine beast can be a daunting task, but by carefully developing a plan based on your target audience, competition and your goals, you can increase traffic to your website and into your store.

Why do I work at AWG? “I love being a part of a fun team that creates unique ways to help independent grocery stores grow their businesses. It combines a few of my favorite things: marketing, food, and fun. Who doesn’t want to talk about food all day?” -Jimmy