SEO and PPC for the Solopreneur

Phase Two - Be Found Online

Now that you have a few ways for people to research your company, you'll need to start promoting it. If you don't have a way for people to research your business, check out part one of Online Marketing Basics For the Solopreneur.

This part will be learning about two effective strategies for reaching your target audience though SEO and PPC. If these acronyms are foreign to you, here are the definitions:

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a marketing strategy to increase your website position organically (non-paid) in search results. When people search for your product, your website will appear for free. The goal of SEO is to improve the position of your website on a search results page. Being ranked #1 means your website is at on the top of the first page of Google or Bing. If you're ranked #19 you're website is on at the bottom of the second page of Google or Bing.

PPC (Pay-per-click) is paying to advertise your business on Google, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Yelp, Pintrest, or Youtube. With a PPC strategy, you only pay if someone clicks on your ad, hence pay-per-click. Clicks can cost anywhere between $.01/click - $600/click and popular PPC platforms include Google AdWords and Bing Ads.

In the screenshot above, we have the search phase "coffee beans for sale" which gives us four PPC ads created in Google AdWords. Below the AdWords ads are organic results (from SEO). Google shows organic websites based on how relevant they are to your search query. 

Additionally, for ecommerce, you can advertise your product with AdWords Shopping ads. 

If you're not getting enough traffic to your site, consider SEO or PPC. So which is right for your business? Or should you consider both?

Benefits of SEO:
• Don't pay per click
• You may appear higher in search results and get more traffic
• Increase your company's credibility
SEO Cons:
• Your website may never rank high
• There's lots of competition for organic ranking
• It may take months or even years to rank on the first page
• You have to be consistent with posting new content and making updates to your site

Benefits of PPC: 
• Immediately be seen by your target audience
• Only pay if someone clicks on your ad
• Measure where your budget is being spent and see what searches are resulting in sales or leads
• Set your PPC budget and never go over
• Immediately build brand awareness

PPC Cons: 
• If you don't have a high quality landing page or website, PPC may not be effective
• It takes time to a/b test ad copy, keywords, and configuration to optimize PPC campaigns

As a next step in Online Marketing Basics for the Solopreneur, I recommend implementing at least one of these strategies for your business. If you spend time and effort building great content, you need to make sure your likely customers will find it.