The volume and relevance of this traffic are central elements in evaluating the quality of an SEO strategy, but it is worth asking which are the acquisition channels to favor according to the relevance and the costs of acquiring the traffic. of a website. In this analysis, SEO and paid SEO are fighting a fierce battle. With each their advantages and disadvantages, they are often put back to back … Wrong? May be ! 1ère Position, SEO agency since 1999, gives you the keys to know whether you should promote natural referencing or paid referencing.
Natural referencing or paid referencing: what is it?
Definition of SEO
Natural referencing (or SEO for Search Engine Optimization) designates theset of actions and optimizations of a website to make it more visible to Internet users on search engines. Positioning on the Google results page, for example, is obtained by analyzing hundreds of criteria without any financial agreement being concluded between Google and the site administrator. It’s so-called organic SEO. By implementing the various SEO techniques and targeting the right keywords, the webmaster makes sure to generate sustainable traffic.
The advantages of natural referencing
- Regular traffic : The positions acquired naturally are often much more durable. Indeed, it is very rare to see a drop in your positions in a very short period except in the event of a penalty for example. Unless there is a big drop in the volume of queries, you will get regular and lasting traffic to your site.
- An inexpensive source of traffic : Natural referencing is quite technical, it requires expertise and knowledge in the digital field. Thanks to SEO specialists (SEO agency, consultant…), you will gain natural visibility without having to spend money on an advertising campaign.
- Better brand image : The visibility of your site contributes to the notoriety of your company. Studies show that Internet users have much more confidence in sites that rank well. In addition, by positioning yourself in the first results of search engines, you generally provide answers and solutions to the needs of Internet users, thus improving your brand image.
- Best leads : A well-positioned site is often a pleasant and up-to-date site. This encourages better visitor engagement and therefore more conversions.
- More credibility and trust : A good natural referencing also influences Internet users on the credibility of your company and your offer. Some often turn away from ads (PPC) in favor of organic results (SEO).
- Durability : Unlike paid search, organic traffic does not dry up as soon as your budget is reached. The efforts and work provided for natural referencing are much better amortized over time, because the results are sustainable.
Definition of paid SEO
Paid SEO (or SEA for Search Engine Advertising) means the creation and optimization of advertising campaigns on search engines. For Google, advertisers use the auction system to serve their ads through Google Adwords. Compensation can be done at CPM (Cost Per Mile), CPC (Cost Per Click) or CPA (Cost Per Acquisition).
The advantages of paid referencing
How is paid search different from organic search? With high click-through rates and higher confidence in organic results, why would a business turn to paid SEO? Here are some advantages of paid search (SEA):
- Immediate increase in traffic : As soon as your ads are better than the competition (quality and price), they are visible. It’s a good way if you need quick visibility.
- Enhanced Ads : Sponsored ads are really ads. Advertisers choose and have additional features to make them more attractive: sitelinks, phone numbers, address, call-to-action, hours, prices, etc.
- Good flexibility : Depending on the period and seasonality, you can vary your budget and your ads to spend your budget more efficiently. Correcting a SEA campaign is made easier: you can remove unwanted searches and increase the return on investment.
- Strict adherence to budget : SEA allows very strict control of the budget. It is the advertiser who chooses what he is willing to spend per day with a specific limit not to be exceeded.
- Qualified traffic : A good configuration allows you to get only qualified and relevant traffic to increase the conversion rate.
- Detailed follow-up : Thanks to statistics and tracking, you will be able to know which are the best performing ads and adapt your budget to the return on investment.
- Stability : AdWords is not experiencing the same turbulence as organic results. The changes have a much lower impact and are easier to manage.
SEO vs SEA: opposition or complementarity?
SEO and SEA each have particularly relevant characteristics to give visibility to a website. To simplify the question, we can use a table.
|SEO – SEO||SEA – Paid SEO|
|Time spent||Long. You must set up several optimizations on various fields (netlinking, technique, content …)||Relatively short. The configuration and monitoring of campaigns vary depending on the competition.|
|Quick positioning||Long. Google values optimizations over the medium term (sometimes several months)||Very short. The auction system is almost immediate.|
|Return on investment||Long and medium term. The positions acquired are to be followed and require maintenance (links in particular)||Short term. As soon as the campaign ends, you disappear.|
|Budget||This is about spending time, which inevitably has a cost!||Expensive. The stronger the competition, the more money you will have to spend.|
|Contents||The richer and more relevant the content, the better it will position itself||The more relevant the content of the landing pages, the higher the quality score will be, which will lower the price of your campaigns!|
When to prioritize SEO?
- When you need long term traffic
- When you don’t have a big budget to spend
- When you want to be independent
When to focus on SEA?
- When you follow strong seasonality
- When you want to have immediate results
- When you want to perfectly control your budget
Should you choose between SEO SEO and SEA SEO?
You will understand: choosing between SEO and SEA depends on each situation, the targeted keywords, each web project and the objectives. From one project to another, some will tend to favor SEO in order to limit acquisition costs and obtain a preferential position in the long term. Others will prefer to obtain immediately and with less effort a better position than the natural results and better targeting. Depending on your needs, your budget and your expectations, a web referencing agency can guide you towards the best levers for traffic acquisitions.
However, it is often advisable to treat SEO and SEA as complementary acquisition channels. A hybrid strategy allows you to quickly meet your traffic and conversion needs with SEA while intelligently investing resources in your natural positions for long-term results with SEO. In any case, reaching the first page of Google is essential to acquire traffic because less than 10% of Internet users go beyond this page. For a new website, developed from a new domain name, it is essential to get traffic thanks to the SEA for several months, in order to develop your turnover. Indeed for a recent domain, without authority, it takes an average of 12 months before having regular income thanks to SEO. The first sales for example on an e-commerce site sometimes arrive 6 months after the launch of the site. Who can go without income as long as SEO pays off? Who can miss the big time of the year? Anybody ! So think about SEA and SEO to maximize your turnover and your results.
The advantages of an SEO and SEA SEO strategy:
- Test keywords (conversion data, etc.) via a PPC campaign before integrating them into the SEO strategy
- Increase overall traffic by adding clicks on paid and organic links
- Prioritize expensive PPC keywords in SEO strategy to limit costs
- Test new pages, new content and landing pages with the SEA before integrating them into the SEO strategy
- Occupy the SERP and get more visibility with organic and paid results
- Refine purchasing journeys by offering tailor-made acquisition pages and channels
Working with a Search Marketing agency as a 1st Position allows you to develop an optimal paid and natural SEO strategy. By working with our SEO and SEA project managers as well as web editors, we pool our expertise to achieve a viable and profitable web project by closely monitoring acquisition costs.