Increasing Google Rank vs Google Ads – Which Strategy Is Best For Your Store?
By Mike Hauben, Editor, JewelryEcomm.com
I’m currently on the plane headed to Centurion South Beach in Miami, where we’re hosting our Jewelry Ecomm LIVE! conference. Hope to see some of you there!
I wanted to talk a little about the different approaches you can take to increase your visibility and clicks online.
Right now, there are a few different key outlets to do this. The leaders are clearly Facebook and Google. Both these tools really have to be used if you want to make sure your visibility stays high in the years to come. As far as Google, there are two main approaches, and most experienced agencies will recommend efforts in both avenues.
First, there’s the option to try to increase your Google rank. The second option is paid ads. Let’s examine both.
Increasing your Google rankings should be super important to your company. After all, using a search engine is how the majority of people will discover a new business for the next decade. Considering about 95% of searches are conducted on Google, that’s really the only search engine you need to worry about. They own the game.
There are a lot of proven ways to get listed higher in the rankings on Google. The two most important factors are a) SEO-friendly content on your website b) linkbuilding. These are the two staples of improving your rank. In my opinion (along with most of the worlds top SEO experts), these two factors are weighed incredibly heavy by Google compared to other factors. As such, we always focus on these areas first.
Let’s look at both.
Content. They key to everything you do online. Google decides whether or not to show your page to a searcher based on the relevancy of your site‘ s content vs their search query. They scan your site and decide if your pages have the answers to the searcher’s questions. Which means if you want to be found for searches about “red gemstones’, you better have some blog articles and materials throughout your site about red gemstones.
Constantly adding new information and articles to your website takes time and effort. But it’s how the game is played. You need to decide if your team can manage 2-3 blog posts a week. If not, the search engine game probably isn’t for you.
Where your site’s content is considered an “on-page SEO strategy (which means, it’s something you can do within the pages of your website to increase Google rank), link building is an “off-page” strategy. Google looks at an array of factors besides the stuff on your site to determine your ranking. The biggest of these is the number and quality of links from other websites directed to your website.
You see, Google obviously ranks all websites on the web, not just yours. Naturally companies like Nike and Adidas will have high relevancy in Google’s eyes in the “sports shoe” category. If you were a small sportswear company, Convincing Nike to link to your website in some way would pay dividends for your Google rank.
This is the concept of a link building strategy – trading links with other businesses in your field (or, simply earning these links naturally because other companies want to show your latest products or ideas). Unfortunately, this can sometimes prove to be one of the hardest tasks to pull off. It requires a ton of work and is much more complex than simply publishing content on your site.
(By the way, if you’d like to swap links with us for your linkbuilding campaign, please contact us).
Looking at the two above key factors, you’re probably starting to realize that it’s real work. But hey, that’s what a marketing department (or person) is for. If you realistically can’t manage this, paid Google Ads may be a smarter route for you.
Google ads (formerly Google AdWords up until a couple months ago) enables you to serve ads to people searching on Google for whatever terms you want. It can be a bit daunting to configure and set up the first time, however your digital team can set up and manage this for you for a fairly modest monthly retainer. Google ads is one of those things you can leave mostly in the hands of your digital team if you wanted to, because you don’t need to be a jewelry expert for this – being really good with Google Ads and landing pages is much more important than being an expert on the subject matter (whereas building content on your site will need much more of your involvement).
Additionally, these ads show above the organic search results – which means your ads will show up at the top of the search results even if you don’t have a great page rank.
The downfall – it costs money. Anywhere from a few cents to a few dollars per click. Though for a lot of companies scratching their head at give idea of building content or links, it’s still cheaper and easier.
Comparing The Two
These are two very different strategies with very different mechanics. What it comes down to is:
Growing Google rank – a free, long term strategy that requires effort and time but produces tremendous ROI.
Leveraging Google Ads – costs money but produces immediate results. Though, quality of customers and customer lifetime value may not be as worthwhile as if they were hit with great content.
Improving you SEO rank with Google naturally over time with content doesn’t cost you anything. But it takes time to build content on a site, continuously update it, and format it properly.
The reward for doing so is huge, though. Not only are you much more likely to gain a better overall page rank, but you’ll have a much higher chance of getting found for more specific search terms since you’ll have articles on your site about specific topics. For example, you may be competing with your peers for overall visibility, but if your searcher is searching for “perfect necklaces for Summer” and you’re one of the only companies in your area blogging about this, you’ll probably show up before them – even if they have a higher Google rank.
It’s also proven that click through rates increase from compounded articles and most blog posts are found 6-8 months after publishing. A clear, long term growth strategy for sure.
Google Ads will cost you money for each click. And once someone clicks, that’s it. Without sufficient content on your site to generate long term lifetime value, it may be a wasted opportunity. However if you’ve set up your ads to match the right search queries, use the right landing pages, etc, this loss can be mitigated.
Ultimately the decision is yours. But I hope this gives you a solid overview of what tools are available to you for different goals!