In the world of marketing, it is important to know what to invest your money in. One consideration to make when planning out your budget is whether to focus on PPC (pay per click) Ads or SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) rankings.

Here, we will cover the difference between the two to help you make the best decision for your business.

What Does Search Engine Optimisation Mean?

SEO is a process of creating remarkable content for your website which has the potential to improve your website’s online visibility. This is created for both users and search engines. The goal is to make your website show up more often for relevant terms related to your business.

It is not just a matter of putting content on your website and publishing it. There are many more aspects to SEO that should be focused on to achieve the best results.

For example:

If we look at the internet statistics for 2018, we can see that, on average, 2 million blog posts are published every day.

Try to imagine a TV with the aerial pulled out and all the fuss on the screen. Now imagine that your blog post is somewhere within all that static. The chances of a potential customer being able to find it is near impossible in this scenario and that’s what happens if you create content without a specific strategy.

There are various things you need to know about creating content for your website that will make it easier to find and more informative for users. Our top tips include:

  • Ensure your content is clear, descriptive and helpful.
  • The content you choose to publish needs to clearly explain the topic you are writing about.
  • You need to use relevant keyword phrases within your content. These keywords should be those that users are using to search for businesses similar to yours. To identify these words, it’s important that you do regular keyword research in order to map keywords to each page.
  • Do not overuse your keywords in your content copy. This is seen as keyword-stuffing and can have a negative impact on your website’s rankings.

Backlinks

Having relevant and trustworthy backlinks to your website can also help to improve your overall link profile and rankings. This will also show a search engine that your website has relevant content on it. Search engines count backlinks as a signal of trust from the linking source so the better the source linked to your website, the more trust you will build for your website.

There is no cost for your website to appear in organic results like Google or Bing. Making small changes to your website can be all it takes to positively impact your rankings over time.

A key aspect of SEO and generating higher search engine results is to ensure your website is indexed and available for users to find. There are a number of ways to do this.

How Google Indexes Your New Website

Every business that moves online will have gone through the process of agreeing on a design with their web design company and having their website developed.

Normally, this will be created on a development URL so any tweaks can be made before it goes live.

Development websites should not be indexed in Google. This allows you to build and tweak content before it goes live and prevents you from being negatively indexed. To prevent this from happening, you should password protect your directory. This will mean that a username and password will be required to view the website.

Once the website is ready to go live, it’s important to make sure that Google and other search engines can only index pages that will add value to search results.

For example:

On the popular WordPress platform, you have a plugin called Yoast. This app helps you to understand which pages will be indexed and make changes as and when needed. You will want to double-check what pages can be indexed and what pages can’t.

This is called open for indexing. Instead of going through the source code of each page and checking if it has the No Index Attribute, a free tool called Screaming Frog allows you to crawl up to 500 URLs quickly.

It will show you lots of helpful metrics about your website pages, including whether a page is indexable or not. You should make sure that the pages that are indexed support your SEO goals by containing the most relevant and keyword-rich content.

Once this has been done, a professional web design company can help with the following points to get your website indexed on search engines.

This is a simple process and can be seen below:

  • Add your website to Google Analytics – Your web design company will add a specific tracking code to your website. Although this doesn’t help with indexing, it does give you valuable data that allows you to track how well your website is performing.
  • Add your website to Google Search Console – This is a crucial stage of setting a website live. Once Google gathers enough data, it will be able to show indexing issues, mobile issues and much more.

Note: You can also add your website to Bing Webmaster Tools to view similar data.

  • Submit your sitemap.xml file to Search Engines – To help Google or Bing understand the architecture of your website, you will need to submit a sitemap. You can do this by using Google Search Console or Bing webmaster tools.
  • In Google search console and Bing webmaster tools, you can request to have your URLs indexed. For a new website, it is a good practice to submit your domain and wait a week to see what pages get indexed.

Note: If within a few weeks, there are other pages that have not indexed, you can request to have them indexed too. However, it’s worth noting that Google does not guarantee that these pages will be indexed.

Once the steps above are complete the Google Crawlers, also known as Robots, Bots or Spiders, will start to crawl your website.

This process follows the same format with all websites:

  • The crawler will find your website live on the internet with the help of your sitemap.xml file that was submitted to Google or Bing.
  • Each website is assigned a Crawl Limit controlled by Google. You can lower this if needed. Doing so will mean that Google is only able to crawl (x) number of pages of your website.
  • Once your website gains more trust and authority, Google will up your crawl budget.
  • The crawlers will find links on your website and follow them, as long as this process isn’t blocked. Think of a crawler as the main pipe with lots of smaller pipes leading off. If some of these pipes are blocked, they will prevent water from flowing through properly. This is how crawlers work. A ‘blocked pipe’ would be the same as a Nofollow attribute on a page.
  • Once they Crawl A Page, the crawlers will download the content of this page onto one of their many servers based in data centres across the world.

Note: Remember that crawlers don’t see your webpage as you do. They just see the HTML code.

As mentioned previously it is crucial you only let Google index pages that add value to your target search results. If you do, it will end up Wasting Your Crawl Budget. This is very common on large websites where all pages are open for indexing. Here, the assigned crawl budget by Google runs out and hundreds of relevant pages may not be indexed and available for search engine users. If, for example, you had a 1000-page website selling products and you had many variations of products. If your Crawl Budget runs out, you run the risk of many product variations not being indexed and, therefore, becoming less visible for potential customers.

Another common mistake is letting search results pages be indexed. This is against Google’s Guidelines. Your website needs to be free of 404 errors and Bad Navigation Issues. Crawlers will only try to crawl certain areas of your website a few times and, if unsuccessful, they will leave. This could mean valuable parts of your website never get indexed and aren’t available on search engines

How Do Search Engines Process Your Search Query?

The 5 most popular search engines available on the internet are Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask and AOL.

  • Google has an estimated unique monthly visitor of 1.6 billion and has an Alexa Rank of 1. It has 72.48% of the world’s market share of search.
  • Bing has an estimated unique monthly visit of 400 million and has an Alexa rank of 22. The video search is significantly better than Googles and has twice as many autocomplete suggestions than Google.
  • Yahoo has 300 million monthly visitors, putting it slightly lower than Bing.
  • Ask has an Alexa rank of 31 and has 245 million estimated unique monthly visitors. The search engine is good for specific question-related searches with the results centring on question-and-answer related matches.
  • AOL search has an estimated 125 million unique searches a month.

From the information above, you can see clearly that Google Dominates Search Traffic.

If you were to enter a Search Term into any of the search engines, you would be presented with results that are relevant to your Search Query.

For example, his is how Google processes your website and search query to show relevant results:

Google crawls your website and downloads a copy of pages to its servers across the world. This means there are pages in Google’s index ready to be shown for Relevant Search Queries.

It then runs these pages through its Algorithms to determine what result set your pages will be shown in. Normally a result set is approximately 800 pages and your page may be shown, depending on how relevant your page is.

Google will check to see what keywords you have used within your content. This will include copy used on your page and in the metadata. The most important factor of a page is your Page Title and this should contain a keyword used in the searcher’s query.

If the relevant keyword is used in your metadata or within the content, you increase the chance of your page being shown as a result. However, this is not guaranteed and also does not mean you will be shown on the first page, even if it is super relevant.

There are a number of factors that contribute towards the possibility of your website being shown on the first page of Google, other than your content. These include:

  • Backlinks
  • Trust
  • Page Speed
  • Architecture
  • Etc..

This list is not exhaustive. In fact, in total, there are over 200 Ranking Factors.

Google’s algorithms develop significantly over time. This allows them to be able to notice which keyword phrases are being used and are related to the user’s query. It will also notice where the content available is relevant and return these pages to the search engine user. This means that pages on your website can be returned for searches using keywords that don’t appear in your content or metadata.

In a nutshell, Google will cache your website pages, run these pages through its algorithm and determine all of the search terms that your page should be returned for.

If you update a page on your website, Google will repeat the above process to re-index your page and rank it for any relevant keyword phrases.

This is why it is so important to do Keyword Research for all your important pages on your website. It gives you a better chance of standing out and gaining better rankings and more traffic.

In a year, Google algorithms are Updated 500-600 Times, so it’s important that you monitor these changes and make any adjustments necessary.

What Does PPC Mean?

Google AdWords is an advertising solution called PPC (pay per click). This allows website owners and businesses to bid on keyword phrases that will help your Ads show at the top and bottom of search results.

You only pay for PPC when someone clicks on an Ad to visit your website or if they click an Ad call extension to call your business.

Google Ads gives you the opportunity to be visible to a wider audience online. You have the option to tweak your Ads at any time. This helps to optimise your activity, especially if they are underperforming or you need to target specific areas, locations, by interest or even promote products or specific deals.

There are numerous options available when it comes to using Google Ads. You can show your Ads outside of Google search results and have them appear on the Google Display network. This network of thousands of websites gives you the potential to connect with more customers.

You also have the option to pick the websites you want to use or the types of people you want to reach.

A PPC ad solution for your business will not have the same results as SEO and has no effect on your organic search rankings.

PPC is very flexible and can help all businesses of different sizes grab the attention of online users when it matters. This is normally most successful when customers are searching for products or services related to your business.

Why Do Google Ads Have No Effect on Your SEO Rankings?

The main objective of Google’s search results is to provide users with the most relevant results for their queries. If a business could pay for higher rankings in any search engine results, users would be unlikely to get the most relevant search results.

Summary

Both SEO and PPC have their advantages. In the digital world today, people look online first to determine what they want. These searches could be related to restaurant recommendations, answers to questions or business reviews, as examples.

It is important to realise that both SEO and Google Ads can help you connect with users that are searching for what you offer.

SEO is great for online marketing because it gives your business the best possible chance of being found. SEO is not a quick process and building authority and trust for your business website can take a while to see results.

Google Ads is different from SEO in that you can reach your target audience immediately no matter what size your business is. You can also customize your Ad campaigns at any time to target different audiences.

Using SEO and Google Ads together will give you the best opportunity to drive traffic to your website in the short term and build your business’s reputation and presence online in the long run.