Hopefully you know what paid social ads are now, how and why they work etc.  If you’re not sure, have a quick look at our previous blogs.  www.arccreative.co.uk/blog/ 
Very briefly, they are what they say, adverts that you pay for, which go out to your chosen audience on your specified social platform.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization – which is what is happening behind the scenes when you search for something with Google, for example and then you get a list of websites that most suit your search.  Ideally, you want your website to be the top answer when people search and you certainly want to be on the first page of suggested websites.

When we are talking about these results, we are talking about Organic search results, not the (paid for) adverts that appear at the top of the page – you know the ones, those with ‘Ad.’ next to them.  Research shows that 70-80% of users actually focus on the organic search results and completely ignore the paid advert listings!  However, this can be really tricky to achieve because it is based on the search engines individual algorithms and you cannot pay to have them improved.

With Organic Search Results, as with most things – you want quality.  So this means that when Google, for example, uses its algorithms to position your web page on the SERP (search engine results page) your website needs to answer the question that the user was asking.

Quantity is also important though, because users are more likely to click on the pages nearer to the top of the results.  This is where your SEO strategy comes into play and you should try to rank relevant pages as highly as you can.

The more high quality visitors you can attract to your site, the more likely you are to see an increase in valuable conversions.

Both of these strategies are important to an overall improvement in business.  The fundamental difference between the two is the time scale in which you will see results.  Paid Social Ads will give you a return as soon as they go live!  As in immediate!  With a steady interest during the period of time that you pay for.

SEO, you are looking at more long term – so don’t expect huge improvements within the first six months, but it is certainly an area you do not want to ignore!  It is also much harder to target specific areas with SEO.  Paid Social Ads can be as general or specific as you would like, again, highlighting the importance of each strategy and the overall combined effect.

Therefore, if you can afford to invest in both simultaneously – just think of the overall results you will get.

Both SEO and paid social ads should ideally be incorporated into your marketing campaign, because when used together they are a pretty phenomenal force.  As we talked so much about audience, in relation to Paid Social Ads, you get a completely different, organic audience with an SEO which translates into very high quality website traffic.  Often people you may never have been able to reach any other way, but as long as you can answer their question, you can almost guarantee a willing customer. ROI? Tick!

The higher you can rank on an SERP the more your credibility increases, which in turn increases trust – and we all know people buy from people they trust.

SEO is working 24/7 – even after your marketing budget runs out!  It makes use of the 60,000 plus, Google searches that are happening every second!  Whilst you can pick the most suitable time for paid social ads to be presented on feeds, SEO happens exactly when customers are actively searching for you and so are already receptive.

As long as you have the content on your website, SEO also targets the full Marketing Funnel – again, building brand loyalty and trust – these traits we know lead to conversions.

Going back to audience you can actually target your entire audience once.  You don’t need to make separate campaigns for each of them!

SEO can optimise Users experience.  It has ‘learnt’ how to interpret whether a user has had a desirable experience or not on your website.  This is related to bounce rates and how long users stay on your website.  Obviously, all of this is pointing very strongly to a need for your website to the absolute best it can be.

Paid search engine advertising can also work really well with SEO.  If your ranking in both sections is near the top, it once again builds trust in your brand.

We can’t really deny anymore that we live in a predominantly digital era.  Therefore, if you want to make a serious impact you need to be visual on the tinterweb!  For that, you really need to find a way to get onto that first SERP.

One major difference between SEO and Paid Social Ads to be aware of is the time frame though.  Yes, you can achieve significant results in the first 12 months with SEO, but over time the results compound and continue to increase – SEO is the long haul, honestly, make sure you see it through, you won’t be disappointed.

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