Website positioning is one of the most effective and cheapest forms of advertising on the Internet. It is an inseparable element of practically every online business project. If you cannot afford to take such actions, it will be extremely difficult for you to gain free traffic from Google, which, by the way, is used by 97% Internet users in Poland. This cannot be ignored in any way. The second place on the search engine podium is occupied by Bing with a share of 1%. It can be safely said that positioning websites focused on other search engines than Google does not really make sense in Poland.
What is the difference between positioning and Google AdWords advertising
AdWords and organic results work on completely separate algorithms. In both cases your website may be on the first page of search results with the difference that in the case of Google Adwords, the so-called sponsored links, you are only high up if you pay enough for the advertisement. If you stop paying, your advertisement will immediately cease to be visible. In the case of SEO, if you manage to get to the top, even if you stop doing something, the positions do not drop immediately. Yes, sooner or later they will go down because the competition does not sleep, but it will not happen overnight.
Many specialists dealing with Internet marketing suggest using both forms of promotion as it has a positive influence on brand recognition. If a searcher sees two references to your website on the first page, he automatically gains more trust, which increases the chance of conversion, i.e. purchase, registration, etc... So if you have such an opportunity it is worth checking this model of operation.
Another difference between positioning and AdWords campaign is the waiting time for the effects. The process of positioning usually takes a long time, while the search engine advertising appears immediately after its launch and acceptance by Google. In other words, in the case of positioning you have to wait for traffic, while in the case of AdWords advertising traffic will appear within a few hours or faster.
Advantages of positioning
- Increased confidence - High organic or natural search engine positions increase the credibility of your website. In most cases, internet users trust natural results more than advertising.
- Costs - How much you pay for positioning does not depend on the number of clicks on your website link. Regular SEO activities systematically lead to an increase in website traffic, and this traffic is much more stable. It will not disappear overnight as it would if you stopped publishing ads.
- Higher click-through ratio - Usually the CTR for positioning is higher than for advertising. This is due to the fact that many people trust natural results more than advertising. A high position in organic search results means more traffic to the website than in the case of advertising.
- Building brand awareness - If you are high in the search results, you do not disappear from them immediately. You are visible every time someone types in a key phrase for which you are positioned. In this way, you build brand awareness incomparably more effectively than with advertising.
Disadvantages of positioning
- Often the positioning process takes a lot of time
- Experience and relevant knowledge required Without which it is easy to make mistakes, which can result in serious sanctions from Google.
- It is very important to build new content on the site, so you cannot do without investing in a copywriter
Advantages of AdWords advertising
- Location on search results page - When advertising using Google AdWords, a link to your website appears above or below the organic results. Although CTR is still lower than in the case of natural results, it cannot be ruled out that this will change in some time. Google is making paid results more and more similar to natural results.
- Additional information - You can decide what additional information should appear in the search engine. These may be links to subpages, information extending the data on services or products offered, and in the case of the latter you may also display their images using a product campaign.
- Ad targeting - You can select the target group for which the ad should be displayed quite precisely, although not as precisely as, for example, on Facebook:
- people who type in a specific phrase in a search engine,
- people living in X town. However, this often does not work very well, especially that many people use Google with mobile operators where the IP is variable and we often get a number identified as an IP from the other end of Poland.
- people who search for your products or services at a particular time of day or on particular days of the week
- people who have already visited your website, the so-called remarketing
- and several others
- Speed of appearance of effects - As I have already mentioned, there is no need to wait for results from AdWords ads. They appear practically immediately after the campaign is launched.
- Measurability of key phrase effectiveness - You have access to detailed statistics where you can not only check which ad variant or phrase enjoys the highest CTR, but you can also track conversions. This tool can be safely used at the beginning of the positioning process to verify whether specific keywords you care about most can bring results. So if you have the opportunity to invest in a pilot Adwords campaign do it.
Disadvantages of AdWords advertising
- High cost per click - especially if the campaign has not been developed by a specialist and then properly optimised in the process. The costs vary from several groszy to even several dozen PLN for one click(!). The more difficult the industry and the more companies advertise on a given phrase, the costs increase. There are also isolated cases of overpricing by competitors or even intentional clicking away of the advertising budget.
- Results are not stable - As long as you're paying the right click-through rates, which need to be monitored on an ongoing basis, you're high up and appearing for every query. However, if you don't optimise your campaigns, your share of views may drop, and if you run out of budget your ad stops displaying and you disappear from view altogether.
Website positioning or Facebook
Website positioning and Facebook are two completely different worlds. Many people I talk to say that they are trying to sell on Facebook so they find that SEO is not necessary. If you belong to this group of people consider two aspects.
Firstly, Facebook is used by around 60% internet users in Poland, some 35% less than Google. This means that by opting for Facebook alone, you are giving up quite a large target group. The second equally important aspect is the intention of internet users. When you start a Google search you don't do it to chat with friends, you go because you are looking for something specific For example, a product, a service, a guide, an opinion, etc... However, when you go to Facebook, you don't do it to find something specific, you want to see what's going on with your friends and what's cool on your wall.
Look how radically different these intentions are. In the first case these may be purchase intentions, i.e. someone is looking for your product or service, so they are already very close to buying, and in the case of Facebook there is no such intention, you need to know how to arouse it, and this requires additional actions involving the implementation of fairly complex marketing strategies in order not to burn through your budget by advertising. Unfortunately, free reach on Facebook is very limited, which means that without investing in advertising, your fanpage post will not reach all the people who like your page. It will reach maybe a few percent. In the case of Google, if you rank in the top positions for a given phrase, a link to your page will appear to everyone who types it in.
I hope you can feel the difference. Facebook and Google search are two very different channels for reaching potential customers, requiring you to do things decidedly differently. I'm not saying that you shouldn't search for clients on Facebook. Of course it is, and in many industries it works really well. In my opinion, you should be present both here and there, and it is even better to take a broader approach to social media, not ignoring other services such as LinkedIn or Twitter. A lot depends on what industry you are in and who your client is.
I'm not going to go into detail about social media because our article is about SEO on Google and we'll focus on that. I just want you to know what the difference is and how SEO differs from advertising campaigns and social media activities.
Which is cheaper positioning or Facebook?
Facebook can eat up any money you put into it, and investing in advertising is practically a necessity because organic traffic, as I mentioned above, is severely limited.
To be effective on Facebook, you should plan your entire marketing strategy carefully. Do not act on impulse on the basis of "I'll run an ad". Usually you will only lose money and the effects will be poor. Remember that most users here have no intention of buying your services or products. Therefore, you need to build not only as large a group of people as possible who will like your page, but in addition they must be people who are interested in what you are doing, not just random people from the crowd.
Next, you need to be able to engage them in such a way that you don't just sell to them, but play the role of an advisor, which in time will result in them trusting you and even liking you 🙂 Only then can you start selling.
Additionally, it is necessary to automate activities, e.g. the use of chatbots. There are also ways to build mailing lists via Facebook. You should create such lists and then start sales funnels. To do this effectively you need good tools such as ActiveCampaign, Getresponse, Salesmanago or similar. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
As for costs, a lot depends on how you run your Facebook marketing. If you do it poorly the costs will be high. It may turn out that you spend on advertising 1,000 PLN per month, and it will earn you 200 PLN or nothing at all. So you need to invest in knowledge or outsource your marketing activities to specialists. It's not about giving the agency just to run the campaign, because it will work very similarly. The agency will run the campaign, but nothing more. Here you should invest in developing the entire marketing strategy including the creation of sales funnels. This is an expense of several thousand PLN, plus running the campaign and its optimisation at least several hundred PLN a month, or maintaining additional tools, which may also generate costs of several hundred PLN. Then we have landing pages. You can do them yourself, but if you can't do it, you have to order it and again pay a few hundred PLN. To this you must also add the advertising budget. All in all, it makes quite a mountain of money. You may think that you can handle the topic on your own. It is possible, but before you start creating effective campaigns you will have to learn many things, which usually takes months. By learning from your own mistakes you will burn through a lot of money anyway. The question is whether you can afford it.
In the case of website positioning in the Google search engine, the topic looks a little different. The most important will be proper selection of key phrases, optimisation of the website (SEO), monitoring of competition, building website content, acquiring valuable links.
However, there are also many pitfalls waiting for you here, which may turn out to be much more dangerous than a badly chosen target group on Facebook. When positioning your website, mistakes can cost you penalties from Google, which means that you will not be able to get to high positions.
Investment in knowledge is a must if you want to operate independently and effectively. If you are starting from scratch, it is best to create a separate website under a different address and educate and experiment on it. Doing it on your company's production website is a big risk.
Another option is to entrust the positioning to a seo agency, how to choose one you will find in the article How to choose an SEO agency. This way is safer as you are entrusting website positioning to specialists with experience. This in turn may result not only in faster gaining of high positions, but also their stability and should protect you from penalties - as long as you choose a good agency not guided only by price.
Just how much can it cost? Depending on location (local or country wide positioning), the industry and level of competition and the number of positioned phrases from a few hundred PLN per month to several thousand. Usually it is worth to spend on such a service about 500 - 1500 PLN net per month, because it gives the agency a wider field of action. In any case, do not buy such services on Allegro or similar sites for 100 PLN. In order to reliably assess a particular case, it is necessary to analyse it in detail and only then you can say what actions need to be taken and how much it will cost. Often customers who I help to build their new sites say that they are discouraged with positioning because they had such a service for 200 PLN net per month with a contract for a year, and after a year practically nothing has changed. Some people even think that SEO is just a prank and money grabbing. It's sad, but this is the effect of irresponsible agencies or freelancers, for whom the customer is not important, only the contract and money. It's hard to convince such a client that if he invests more in SEO and entrusts it to specialists, the results will come.
Web positioning - can you predict the results.
You should start with this question, and the answer is not that complicated. The effects of positioning can be quite different. If you do not diagnose this in advance, it may turn out that you spend a lot of time on SEO, you will get your website high on one or another keyword, and they will generate you a few hits a month. Not very good, is it?
You know that surely someone is searching for your services or products, but how do you find out what people are typing into a search engine and how many people are actually searching for exactly what you offer? There are ways to do this. You can use the keyword planner in the Google Adwords console or use other tools like UberSuggest: https://neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/. With the help of these tools, you will not only verify your own ideas for SEO phrases for their potential, but you will also find many phrases that did not come to mind, but may generate more queries or these queries may have more sales potential. I will write about how to interpret their results in the following articles in the series "Website positioning“.
As for how long you will have to wait for the effects of positioning, the subject is a bit more complex. It is impossible to predict what actions will be taken in parallel by the competition. With local or wide positioning, but in quite niche industries it is assumed that the first effects should appear after 3 months. The bigger the competition the longer you will have to wait for the effects or SEO actions should be conducted on a wider scale. It may take half a year, a year or even 2 or 3 years of intensive actions of SEO agency in case of heavy topics. Long gone are those days when SEO was based mainly on running special programs that spam the Internet with links to the positioned website. At that time the effects could be achieved surprisingly fast, even within a few days. Today Google punishes such actions severely so no responsible SEO agency will undertake such actions.
Is SEO worthwhile?
Whether SEO will ultimately prove profitable depends on a number of factors. Positioning is a long-term process. You can't expect overnight results, it's impossible. If you want to appear high in the search results quickly, Google Ads (formerly AdWords) works best. However, if you can wait, a well-planned positioning strategy can generate a lot of traffic, which you need to learn how to use and convert into customers.
Let us take a concrete example. Let's assume that you run a beauty salon in Warsaw. Let's check how many searches for such a phrase there are on average in a month:
As you can see from the above screenshot, on average it is 2900 queries per month. If someone enters such a phrase in a search engine it is, in most cases, a customer to acquire. This is a person who is looking for a beauty salon. Being in the first position in search results, we will potentially gain about 1000 entries to our website from this one phrase, which means about 32 people who look for our services every day. A properly prepared website will be able to generate from this traffic perhaps even 3% conversions, which means that one new client should come from this phrase daily. With a really well optimised website in order to increase conversions, it might even be possible to gain 2-3 new clients a day. Taking into account the fact that the client will be satisfied with the salon's services, it can be assumed that he will visit us not once, but maybe 2-3 times, and some of them will probably become regulars. Whether it is much or little - judge for yourself.
If you want to check which phrases are worth positioning your website on, you can use Google's keyword planner.
However, this is only one phrase, and positioning brings the best results if it is carried out for dozens of phrases, i.e. the page is positioned for the so called "keywords".long tail". As a consequence of such actions for our salon, we could potentially generate much more traffic of several or tens of thousands per month. If we could achieve this and assume an even lower conversion rate of 1%, then with 100K of traffic to the site we would catch 1000 new clients per month. I suspect that there would be no way out and we would have to open more salons to be able to serve such an amount 🙂 This is of course a rough calculation, but I want you to see / notice the potential. Web positioning can bring surprising resultsBut the condition is to do it well with a proper action plan and a properly developed marketing automation system on the website.
So if you were to spend 1000 or 2000 PLN a month on positioning and after a year you would be chasing clients away, would that be a lot? And if you were to spend 100 PLN a month on positioning and after a year you would not see any results?
Website positioning In my opinion, it is an essential element in any business project today. You can also support yourself with Google Ads campaigns or Facebook, which is even recommended, but no form of advertising can compare to natural, high search engine positions. These positions provide more stability than any online advertising. Website positioning provides a sense of security and increases the prestige of the company. Of course, Google is constantly tweaking its algorithms so what works today may no longer be effective tomorrow, but this is the role of SEO agencies to be able to respond to such changes and keep you in the highest possible positions in search results.
Website positioning and billing models
A few years ago, there was only one model of payment for positioning a website, and that was payment for effects. Today, due to the increasing number of tasks positioners have to deal with, more and more agencies use the flat-rate payment model. This is an increasingly popular form of settlement that gives a wider field of action for the agency for the benefit of the customer.
Billing for the effects is still functioning, although some agencies have completely abandoned it or transformed it into a model of payments for acquired traffic on the website or sales generated in the shop, and this trend will probably continue. In the traditional model of payment for the effect, the client pays only when his website for a given phrase rises to the first page of search results. A few years ago, payments often concerned also the second page of results, but today it is rather rare.
Some agencies use a mixed model, i.e. you pay a lump sum of, say, 500 PLN net per month and additional fees appear only when the phrase rises to the first page of the search engine.
As you can see, there are quite a few models, and the ones I have mentioned are not everything. In fact, as far as SEO is concerned, the most beneficial model is the monthly flat rate model, i.e. a fixed amount. Why?
- this model does not usually require long-term contracts for positioning
- you are able to plan your budget effectively, no surprises here
- the SEO agency has more room for manoeuvre and its actions are more effective
- In the end it is the cheapest form of settlement, because if you sign, for example, an annual contract for positioning for effects, it will turn out that at the moment when you will be pulled into position in the top three you will pay for the service much more.
Website positioning as you can see is quite a complex process requiring time, but it is also the most effective and cheapest form of promotion on the Internet. Thanks to such actions you can effectively increase traffic to your website. You reach people with specific intentions which greatly facilitates further sales. You can conduct these activities on your own, but here you must immediately have in the back of your mind the need to undergo a series of training, which also cost a bit and practical testing not on a living organism. Experimenting on your own website is very risky if you have no experience in this industry.
What I suggest is to entrust the positioning of your website to a good SEO agency with experience. You will sleep much easier and you won't have to spend a lot of time educating yourself and gaining experience, which, believe me, you can't do in a month or two.
This article is the first text in a new series entitled. "Website positioning". In the following articles you will learn what to look out for when trying to position a website yourself or if you want to have control over what an SEO Agency does. You are welcome.
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