Of course, everyone wants their company to appear on the first page of Google. One way to do this is by running Google Ads, and the other way is to do Search Engine Optimization – commonly referred to as SEO.
There is typically a lot of confusion when I speak to a new client about SEO. The first thing we’ll need to decide is if it’s even worth it for them. You see, you cannot just pay to appear on the first page of Google. That is not how it works.
Google ultimately decides which order they display websites in. They do this by constantly sending out little bits of code (called crawlers) that go around and analyze every website on the web. Then when someone searches for a certain term, Google knows which websites are the most relative to that term.
What you ARE paying for with SEO, though, is the team that’s doing your SEO for you. The amount of SEO work required really varies tremendously from client to client. This will have to do with how much competition there is in your market. Some companies rank high on Google without doing any SEO.
Remember – you’re not the only one doing SEO. Your competitors are also doing SEO, and some of them have been doing it for years. So you may have a ton of work to do just to catch up. You may have zero chance of ever ranking on the first page of Google with most keywords.
How Do I Decide If SEO Is Right For Me?
The first thing you need to do is run an SEO report. An agency (like ours) has software and tools to analyze your website against your competitor’s websites. All this research will help us learn some important things:
- Which keywords we should go after
- Which keywords are pointless to go after
- How much competition there is in your market (how difficult it will be to rank)
- Learn how your competitors get their website traffic (SEO? Instagram? Ads)
You may learn that you can realistically rank for some good keywords that will bring traffic to your website. However, you may also learn that you just won’t realistically rank highly for your keywords. In that case, it makes no sense for you to invest money into SEO.
What If It’s Not Right For Me?
Hopefully, SEO is a strategy that has value for you. But if it’s not, you’ll want to focus on Google Ads. Google Ads are my personal favorite way of marketing a local business, and it’s always where I start my new clients.
Google Ads is a lot more straightforward – you pay Google a set budget to display ads on the search page. These appear at the top and can be perfectly targeted to reach your audience. The only other cost other than your actual ad budget is the fee you’d pay us to manage the ads for you, which is a lot more affordable than SEO.