So What Does All Of This Mean To Your Business?
- Ads – are Paid Placement through Google. While there are keyword strategies involved, basically, the higher bid paid, the better the placement of the ad.
- Maps – are part of the Google My Pages product where you “claim your location” on their map. It is a free service offered by Google and it gives each business owner their own “business page” to display information about their location including photos, hours of operation, videos, and reviews.
- Organic – This is the sweet spot of placement that is free to achieve if you (or your designer) does a good job of prepping your web pages and content for SEO.
- Other Search Phrases – these are helpful suggestions of related searches others have used to find similar information. This is a great tool for web designers and/or SEO strategists to glean keyword/keyphrase ideas to incorporate into your content or web copy to aid in its ability to get more organic visibility.
Saying you want to place “on top” of the page, means advertising. This strategy requires a reasonable budget to be competitive (anywhere from $500/month for small biz to thousands per month for larger businesses depending on the industry and competitiveness of the keywords); then you need to consider looking at the other sections like maximizing your map listing or organic sections through content marketing.
Which Placement is More Effective On Google?
According to the Similar Web Search Report published in 2016, Paid Search only equates for just over 5% of all traffic while Organic results dominate the engagement of most searchers with nearly 95% of all engagement.
This awesome infographic gives more details by both brand and non-brand; and by overall industry performance supporting the organic click-through-rates popularity. (Infographic source: adlift.com)
That said, according to a 2014 AdWeek article, another infographic identified upcoming advertising trends and revealed that more than one-third of Chief Marketing Officers said that ‘digital marketing will account for 75% or more of their spending in the next five years.’
Only 5% of Users Click On Ads, So Why Invest in Advertising?
This is a good question – especially since the CPC (cost-per-click) cost can get pretty steep depending on the keyword and market you’re targeting. Put simply, it comes down to “location, location, location” and most Search Engine Marketers still suggest that advertising and re-targeting campaigns have a solid place in the online environment to build brand awareness. While this is true in some cases, it comes down to how well you’re communicating to your target audience that will determine a buyer’s interest. In most cases, having a combined strategy that incorporates both advertising and content marketing is a good rule to follow (thus giving you exposure both at the top or bottom of the page – depending on where your ad falls, and having organic placement for specific keywords/phrases. Your specific industry and audience would determine the percentage of each to apply to that mix.
A good analogy I like to use to help clients understand what might be best for them is to compare online marketing to financial investments. Ads are a more risky investment where organic content is more stable. You just have to be careful. Ads can be a little more unpredictable. As such many take a more conservative route in developing content covering a wide range of keywords/key phrases to help drive traffic to their web page. In most cases having a strategy that includes a blend of both (like a mutual fund) provides a more stable ROI.