My nephew and I were going for a bike ride recently when he asked me what I did for work.
Working in Digital Marketing, we’re used to the challenge of explaining our jobs to our friends and family (what, do you run the Google?). I usually find that telling a real life story helps get the message across…
So, I asked my nephew (who is 11), “What would you do if your toilet got blocked?”.
The conversation went like this:
Me: What would you do if your toilet got blocked?
Nephew: Well I’d find a plumber of course!
Me: Where would you find the plumber?
Nephew: I’d go into town.
Me: Into town? What, like all the plumbers are just lining up on a side street waiting for people to come and give them work?
Nephew: Ooohh… Well, maybe I could look them up on the computer?
Good thing we can help all those plumbers (& other businesses) lined up in town waiting for people to come find them…
An age-old question in the world of digital marketing is “Which is better: PPC or SEO?” And our response is almost always “It depends, but usually both.” While this may sound like a bit of a cop out, there really is no one-size-fits-all answer – it all comes down to what will work best given the unique factors that make up your industry, company and product or service.
What we can say is that a two-pronged approach will offer the best results most of the time for most businesses.
Well, SEO and PPC are complementary marketing models, each with their own pros and cons. When used in conjunction, they can effectively bolster the other’s weak points, maximising your chances of hitting all your business goals in the short as well as the long term. Read on for a quick primer on the basics principles of SEO and PPC and find out how you integrate them into your marketing strategy.
What are the benefits of SEO?
SEO is the practice of raising the visibility of your website via organic (unpaid) search engine results. About 67 percent of all clicks on search engine result pages go to the top five listings, while the first page receives around 95 percent of web traffic. To get in on this action, you need your brand to appear as high up the results page as possible when a prospect types a business-related query into a search engine.
Perhaps the great advantage of SEO is its longevity. Unlike PPC, there’s no expiry date on SEO content, making is sustainable and – if executed correctly – very profitable over the long term.
Smart SEO content not only helps clients find your company on search engines but can also play a key role in positioning your brand as an authority in your space. Blog posts, FAQs, and how-to guides all lend credibility to your brand, which can increase your chances of conversion.
It does take a while to start seeing results with SEO, but after the initial groundwork has been laid the clicks are more or less free. SEO traffic is organic, meaning there’s no direct cost per click or lead as there is with PPC, which makes SEO more financially sustainable over the long term.
What are the benefits of PPC?
Whereas SEO is more of a long-term investment, PPC is geared toward getting results in the here and now. PPC allows you to immediately get eyeballs on your product or service, and highly customisable targeting options ensure your efforts are focused in all the right places.
Launching a new product? Need instant feedback? Running a flash sale? Sometimes you simply don’t have the time to build up a marketing campaign. PPC excels in these situations, giving your brand an instantly visible platform.
Search engines do a pretty good job of concealing organic search metrics in the name of user privacy. However, the same rules don’t apply when it comes to PPC, giving analytically savvy marketers deep insight into which keywords are converting, ROI and more.
While the leads generated by PPC do come at a cost, the ability to cap daily spend ensures the marketing budget doesn’t get out of hand. Combined with smart, localised keywords, PPC really can deliver fantastic ROI.
A case for using both SEO and PPC
As you can see, SEO and PPC have their own strengths and weaknesses and work best when used in synergy. PPC offers instant results and the information you gain from PPC campaigns (whether it’s A/B testing, analytics information or keyword data) can be used to fuel deeper SEO strategy. Using a combination of SEO and PPC also strengthens your contact points, allowing you to more effectively guide prospects through the funnel from initial awareness all the way to conversion.
So, SEO and PPC should be used in tandem. But how can you start applying them to your business?
While SEO is a pretty deep field, the good news is that there are many things you can do yourself to start optimising your website. Applying the fundamentals of on-page SEO (keywords, meta tags, SEO-friendly headlines and more) are critical for helping search engines understand what your website is about, which in turn can help you climb the results ladder.
In addition, creating a Google My Business listing, maintaining a Facebook business page and establishing your company in local online directories can add more authenticity to your brand, which can further boost visibility. Finally, working toward developing a backlink strategy (that is, links on other websites that point to your website) can also do wonders for your search engine rankings.
Curious about how SEO-friendly your website currently is and how you could improve? Register for a free SEO site audit and we’ll give you a comprehensive report revealing how you can better optimise your website, as well as a free 30 minute strategy session.
Professional digital marketing agency, great communication. Knowledgeable and up to date with current practices.
11:26 26 Nov 20
Professional service with a good understanding of the nature of digital marketing. Easy to deal with. Recommended. Prompt and great communication at all times.
17:41 17 Nov 20
Since transferring from a big agency to Harper Digital our advertising engagement has been through the roof. Being able to track the offline leads has really helped understand our direct return on investment. Thomas and the team came highly recommended, they kept things simple and did what they said they would do.
02:48 16 Nov 20
Keeping us going bringing the people to the phone/email and front door
01:48 16 Nov 20
I have been working with these guys for over a year , its often difficult to write a review but not so for the service and the delivery achieved on a modest budget by these guys - highly recommend
The Events Group
08:01 11 Nov 20
Harper Digital are the only online marketing agency we have used that deliver on what they say the can and will do. We signed with them right before COVID hit. The help/support they gave us was great and their ability to move quickly in the ever changing covid/event landscape made a huge difference to our businesses survival. The team really care about us and what we do and they believe in us! Which makes us believe in them...we have never had such amazing results with web enquiries. Thanks to Steve and Zoie - and the rest of the team.
22:39 27 Oct 20
Thanks Adrian and Matt, and the rest of the team, for sorting my business marketing out so quickly, smoothly and professionally already seeing great results and I am really happy. We are already in a much better pace with incoming calls, bookings, vouchers and we have only just started! On top of that, its improving our business image and branding. Def will be recommending!
01:33 31 Jul 20
New to the world of google words and marketing, Harper patiently worked with me as I promoted our childcare business. Steve and Zoie listened to the results I was wanting to achieve and provided excellent feedback as to how we could tweak words and our google ads to get the best result. Once we have discussed our desired outcomes in our monthly debriefs, I leave it in the capable hands of Harper to execute.
01:48 28 Jul 20
Adrian is our go to man for all things digital marketing. We changed providers end of last year as we didn't feel we were getting a very good return for the money we were spending. For roughly the same amount of spend we are getting a much better result. Very happy with the service we are getting, highly recommend the team at Harper Digital.
04:57 22 Jul 20
I deal with Steve from day 1, has been there every step of the way in setting up our google Ads campaign & given recommendation on whats needed to bring leads into our site. Well recommended!
06:20 20 Jul 20
"We changed my advertising over to Harper Digital at the end of last year as I was not getting sufficient leads from my current Google Ads supplier. Adrian predicted that we could get 4 times the current amount whilst keeping the current budget. Despite the shutdown Harper has exceeded this figure and it is continuing to improve."
02:09 29 May 20
04:06 26 May 20
Harper Digital have been an integral part of our marketing 'team'. For a small business to learn the ins and outs of digital marketing platforms like Google Adwords and Facebook, it can take hours/days and still not get the right results.To be able to pick up the phone, understand solutions available to us and have them implement the ideas we come up with has been invaluable. Freeing us up to work on the business instead of in it.We've grown so much with their support and our own understanding of digital marketing has increased so much. At Zeenya we couldn't recommend Harper Digital enough.Open, patient and friendly. They believe in their clients and what can be achieved together. We never feel judged for asking the obvious questions.
04:56 05 May 20
Thanks Steve & Leighton for helping us navigate the convoluted beast that is Google! Appreciate all your help and constant attention to growing my business.
05:12 16 Apr 20
Harper Digital really are digital marketing specialists with a very professional, no nonsense approach and I have enjoyed working on a couple projects with them. They explain conversions and results in a way that is easy to understand. Best google ads in Auckland.
01:52 15 Apr 20
These guys really know their stuff. Highly recommend working with Harper Digital for any business looking to increase traffic to their site and their conversion rate on inbound leads.
01:52 15 Apr 20
Highly recommend Steve and the team at Harper Digital.
04:56 26 Feb 20
Otara Family Health
20:33 28 Nov 19
Matt and Irene we were easy to deal with. In our initial brief we disclosed that we had a budget of $10K and Matt came to us with a quote for $6.5K which showed me Harper Digital's integrity and understanding of customer needs. They didn't quote us for the entire Budget.Irene has also been very easy to work with while building our new site.Exactly what a small business like ours wants - down to earth but great service!
01:56 15 Oct 19
Great support from a very friendly, professional team - helping us grow our business! Great to see the SEO growth our company has achieved from working with Harper!
04:21 19 Aug 19
Matt and the team have been great to work with. Great communication and great results!
21:39 11 Aug 19
We have recently signed over to harper digital with Adrian Clarke. We have been thoroughly impressed with the results that Adrian and the team have produced for us in this short time, we look forward to a long working relationship with Adrian and Harper digital.
00:44 07 Aug 19
Juliette, Irene and the rest of the team at Harper have been amazing to deal with and really deliver great results. Their communication is great and they are upfront when it comes to costings. With them, we've never encountered hidden fees or add-ons, as can sometimes be the case in the industry.
04:22 01 Aug 19
Very good, personalized and informative service.
04:53 31 Jul 19
Great working with the team, communication and good information flow makes things nice and easy!
01:49 31 Jul 19
I had a really great experience working with Harper digital.I worked closely with Leighton who was very helpful and offered a great service that boosted my business and client base of my company.Cheers Harper Digital
23:02 30 Jul 19
Engaged and interested in helping you grow.
07:04 30 Jul 19
Without Harper Digital's help with marketing my business would not be where it is. Their ability to get your business seen online is amazing.
08:29 03 Jul 19
A breath of fresh air - So many companies / individuals have had a bad experience with agencies and most for good reason, Matt and the team at Harper are different, right from first meeting them. No lavish promises or hard sell closing, no contracts just a good old fashioned - how can we help? and lets make it work!. A BREATH OF FRESH AIR
22:03 01 Jul 19
These guys produce results.......
04:13 15 May 19
Great boutique supplier of knowledgeable and effective online marketing for our business. Measured results and creative thinking ongoing. Very approachable and receptive to Client ideas too. Highly recommend to any business!
01:28 17 Apr 19
Matt and the Team at Harper Digital have been looking after us for about 2 years now. They do a fantastic job.
RP Studios Ltd
23:30 14 Apr 19
This team of guys are absolutely marketing genius. Two months into the campaign and huge increase on our bookings and work. Definitely has helped our new company to start up the right and strong way.
06:20 08 Apr 19
The team at Harper Digital are an absolute pleasure to deal with. They always follow up, see how everything is going and really make me feel important. Their digital marketing and campaigns are also incredible with easy to follow reporting, and if I have any questions I know I can pick up the phone and get an answer. I highly recommend this excellent company when it comes to wanting to be noticed online.
04:19 12 Feb 19
Bruno- Smart, listen to problems and come up with solutions. Very knowledgeable. Highly recommended.
20:53 29 Jan 19
Bruno. Gregarious, insightful and a real pleasure. The real deal.
07:18 26 Jul 18
The team at Harper Digital provide me with a Google Adwords and Facebook marketing campaign, through the leads they generate they cost me nothing. Highly recommend.
01:49 26 Feb 18
Harper Digital have done a excellent job of managing our Web Campaign for the past 18 months. They have assisted us in changing our customer profile and getting the right customers onto our website and through our doors. I always feel like a priority, and they get the job done quickly, efficiently and to our budget. Working with the Harper Digital team is always a pleasure, and I recommend them to everyone. Thanks HD!
19:37 31 Jan 18
Harper Digital have taken our business to the next level! We could not have done it without them. Their knowledge & experience in digital marketing has been second to none. Their approach was professional, yet personal, ensuring they got to know us & our business before putting any plans into place. Throughout the years as our business grew they ensured our marketing was keeping up, constantly keeping informed and ahead of the game. Thanks Harper Digital!
21:41 24 Jan 18
Great company to deal with,, they produce amazing results and great website design
20:30 18 Jan 18
I have been very happy with the team at Harper Digital. They are readily available to answer any questions that I have and we have seen an increase in our google adwords leads! It is a rough world out there looking for quality adwords offerings and I finally seem to have found one!
00:04 17 Jan 18
The Team at Harper Digital have been managing our Web Campaigns for the last year and we have had amazing results. They are committed, focused and we highly recommend their services.AmandaAuckland Garage Door Repair Man LTd