When was the last time you Googled your own business to see how your listing appears to potential customers?
On average Google processes over 3.5 billion searched per day which represents 86.87 percent of the market share. Since their introduction in 1997, Google has successfully dominated the search engine market. With such a commanding lead over the competition, claiming your Google My Business listing is one of the most important tasks for anyone trying to increase their online visibility.
Search Engine Optimization vs Pay Per Click Advertising
There are many different factors that play a part on how and where your listing will appear on searches, but to simplify for this article we will divide them into two categories, paid advertising (AdWords, PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO). While both categories are important and have their own strategic benefits, search engine optimization provides a much longer lasting benefit compared to the immediate benefits of paid advertising. I have always equated paid advertising to renting your website and SEO marketing to owning your website.
Generally, AdWords and PPC campaigns are very similar to paying for leads, that is without the vetting process. While this method is perfect for driving traffic to your website immediately, once the money is gone, so are your clicks.
Search Engine Optimization is all about content creation and usually comes in two flavors:
- White Hat SEO (slow and steady wins the race)
- Black Hat SEO (Paid Link building, Buying Reviews, etc.)
As search engine spiders continue to become more sophisticated, websites that utilize White Hat techniques will yield better results in the long run while also avoiding penalties common with Black Hat SEO.
Google My Business is the perfect example of quality SEO that continues to build on itself over time.
The Winning Mixture:
The most successful campaigns will often have a mixture of both paid advertising and optimized content. For example, a company that is just starting to develop a web presence will likely want to use paid advertising to help draw leads to their website immediately while they simultaneously develop their 12-18-month SEO strategy.