All too often, companies rely on only one type of search engine marketing: either paid or organic, but not both. Doing so limits the online reach of the company and can result in missed opportunities to demonstrate value and build authority with your target audience. Fortunately, search engine marketing does not need to be an “either/or” choice. In fact, the best choice for search engine marketing is a combined approach that utilizes the best qualities of both.
First of all, what is the difference between paid and organic search engine marketing (SEM)? Paid SEM is just what it sounds like – you pay for online ads that appear on search engine results pages (SERPs). With a paid ad, your website appears as the top result for certain online searches. You are able to select the keyword searches you want to target, and the page of your website that you specify will appear as the first result on the SERP.
Organic SEO (search engine optimization) focuses on using unpaid strategies to gain online traffic. There are many ways to optimize your website and your content so that your site will perform better in organic search engine results.
So, if both strategies – paid and organic – are good ways to gain more traffic online, why do you need both? The truth is that you need both in order to establish your authority online and create a lasting impression on search engine users. For example, some people skip right over the paid ads at the top of SERPs, so having a high-ranking organic result would be ideal for you to be able to reach those people. However, many people do look at and click on paid search engine results if they are relevant to their search. You do not want to miss out on either of those groups of potential new patients by limiting yourself to only one type of search engine marketing.
Here are three ways using a combined approach of paid and organic SEM can benefit your practice:
- Build awareness of your brand (i.e., your practice) and establish authority.
Whether the search results are paid or organic, people will click on the result that is most relevant to what they are looking for. Since paid ads place your website as the first result on the SERP, appearing at the top of the page can help people become more aware of your practice and signals that you are an authority on the topic.
- Form a lasting brand impression on your audience.
Ideally, your website will appear as a top result in several different keyword searches. This tells the person searching that your practice is an authority on all things related to your field (audiology, in your case).
To achieve this, you can use both paid and organic efforts. For example, using paid ads to appear at the top of several different SERPs, like searches for “audiologist,” “hearing practice,” “hearing aids,” and “hearing loss,” can show your audience that you are a top authority in hearing healthcare and will encourage them to trust you.
- Create a special, curated user experience. If you are using paid SEM, you have the opportunity to create specific landing pages on your website dedicated to particular paid ads. When a user clicks on the ad for a certain search term, they will be directed to this special landing page that features the exact content and information they are looking for. You can also use this opportunity to include information about you, your services, and your practice.
With a combined approach of paid and organic search engine marketing, your website can bring new patients to your practice. However, you do not have to figure out how to do this alone. After all, your specialty is audiology, not SEO/SEM!
At AudiologyPlus, our specialty is marketing. We are dedicated to providing the individualized solutions and services you need to grow your practice. Please contact us today to learn more about how we can improve your online marketing efforts and help you build your business.