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Attract customers using SEO and Google Ads

Marketing's best kept secret is search engine optimisation (SEO) and Google Ads. However they still do not get enough attention among businesses in South Africa.
Ronald Magondo. Source: Supplied.
Ronald Magondo. Source: Supplied.

“There is virtually no reason for businesses, big or small, not to use these powerful tools. For a fraction of what you would pay on more traditional advertising, SEO and Google ads or pay-per-click marketing have the potential to reach hundreds or thousands of your potential customers with excellent accuracy,” Ronald Magondo, director at digital marketing agency Nerdware.

So, what is the difference between SEO and AdWords, and why should companies and marketers care?

SEO: Virtually free but difficult to perfect

Whenever your company puts something out into the world, the end goal should be to get your product or service offerings in front of as many people as possible. When it comes to the digital space, that means earning the top spot on search engine result pages.

That first page on Google is worth ten times its weight in gold. Less than 1% of users open the second results page and click on a link. If your SEO score is low, your company may just get lost on that dreaded second page.

“If you’re not on the first page, you often might as well not be online. Good SEO places a spotlight on your company and its websites, online articles, and other posts to ensure that Google’s algorithm can easily find and place you higher on the search page,” says Magondo.

SEO is inexpensive and easy-to-do initially, but difficult to master over the long-term. Most businesses do not have the time to research topics relevant to their businesses and customers, teach themselves to properly implement SEO, practise enough to become experts, then implement SEO into every facet of their online persona.

“Professional digital marketers are able to relieve businesses of that burden, and craft and manage comprehensive online strategies on their behalf. I encourage business owners to attempt SEO for themselves, and then decide whether they want to bring experts onboard to assist.”

Google Ads: Relatively inexpensive and impactful

Google Ads, previously known as AdWords, is one of many pay-per-click advertising platforms that show potential clients targeted ads. But given that Google holds 80% of the market share among all search engines, Google Ads is by far the most prominent online advertising platform.

Businesses can bid to have their websites show at the top of the Google results page as an ad, and only pay when visitors click on and visit their website or call the business. Ads can easily be changed at any time to promote a specific offering.

Google Ads can also place advertisements on your behalf on other websites through their Google Display Network which has access to thousands of websites in various industries, covering any and all topics your company may have a connection to.

“Ultimately, it’s not an either-or situation. SEO helps your company become easy to find online when people search for anything related to your business, industry or offerings, whereas Google Ads makes advertising online simple,” says Magondo.

Google Ads are prefect for driving visitors to your website and helps with short-term growth, but in the long-term you will want to have a solid SEO strategy designed to get eyes on your website more naturally.

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