SEO Versus Digital Advertising

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Knowing that SEO is not marketing is one of the first keys to understanding a proper digital campaign. Although good SEO is one of the essentials that are required to achieve a successful advertising campaign, SEO in itself, is not advertising. To use a simple comparison, SEO could be viewed as your listings in phone books and search engines, however, advertising is the method used to get people to use those listings to locate you right away.

While paying advertising dollars to reach out to an audience is key, ensuring that your business can be found easily in the future is also paramount. While SEO for a new site can take months to years to outrank every competitor in every category, an advertising campaign will push and measure visits, clicks, and conversions immediately.

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In order to measure favorable returns on an SEO campaign, however, months of work may be required. Patience is mandatory! Even the age of a domain name goes into the ranking process used by search engines like Google. A brand new domain may take some time to gain the same toe-hold that an old favorite does for new page rankings. The natural age of a domain, of course, cannot be hurried and must patiently be earned by offering relevant content for many years. The good news is that domains who have done so already can place recommendations to your products or services on their sites with a link to help you attain a little more credibility for higher rankings. These are commonly referred to as “backlinks” and are a normal part of any successful SEO campaign.

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With advertising, much less relevance is earned this way. Relevance in digital advertising is most often purchased using a bidding or key phrase driven process.

While most platforms require a valid target, some advertisers still manage to send viewers to alternate content that is sometimes not even related to the search term used to get there.

The best SEO practices actually require that things like high DA (domain authority) backlinks are added in a natural way… not tens of thousands all at one time. Trying to rush the algorithm often results in site banning or blocking for spamming the system, so following best practices is imperative. Blog posts and articles which are slowly added to the site and are keyword or key phrase rich are highly beneficial, as long as they really contain data that are valuable to your main genre. Again, you would not want to add thousands of blog posts or articles at one time… these should be added steadily but periodically, training the search engines to return often for the reading and ranking of fresh content.

It does take time to build an audience for a successful ad campaign. Scattershot ads are never as successful as those directed toward targeted viewers… determining the perfect audience for your ads can take time.

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It takes a few weeks to a few months to compile data on trends occurring within your impression, link click, and conversion patterns. These trends can then be used to indicate who the perfect viewer is… then that type of person(s) is repeatedly targeted within your geographical or demographic preferences.

There are a lot of similar reasons for business owners to use both SEO and digital advertising campaigns, however, it pays to consider the result you’re looking to achieve with your endeavor. While the two practices work the best hand in hand, many business owners are often in a position where they feel they must decide which way to spend their PR dollars. Which campaign that you choose will depend on the results you’re aiming to achieve. Whether they are long or short term, and whether they are targeted to a specific audience or targeted to an audience who searches for you. The most beneficial way is to budget for both SEO and digital advertising for any online entity. Consistent outreach efforts for people who search for your products and services as well as using analytics to advertise to your top audience demographic is the best way to achieve the highest return on investment. Giving both methods time to build the proper data for analysis is the first step.