PPC vs SEO: Which is the best for Online Marketing in Malaysia?

by Aiman Aminudin

When it comes to digital marketing, the term PPC and SEO may have come around from time to time. Yes, these two methods of online marketing go head to head in the battle of who is the better option, but with advantages that can match each other and disadvantages which can deter both away.

So now the question comes, the question of which one should small businesses in Malaysia choose in order to market their services and products to the public and netizens online?

In order to help find a solution to this dilemma of choice which small business owners might face we will be comparing these two methods of digital marketing here in this article!

We will be going over what they are and what they mean and comparing their respective advantages and disadvantages and hopefully, business owners reading this article can get a good idea on which one to pick when it comes to online marketing Malaysia.

SEO

What is SEO?

SEO stands for “search engine optimization”, is to increase traffic flow to a company’s website through search engines such as Google

One of our articles is on the first results page on Google, thanks SEO!

It is also ensuring the right types of customers a company seeks gets directed to their site. For example, if your company creates custom designed phone cases, people who search for phone cases on a search engine, will most likely find you and be directed to your company’s website.

How Does It Work?

To understand how SEO works, we must first understand how search engines work as well. When you search for something on a search engine, let’s say Google, an algorithm comes into play and that algorithm works in real time in order to get you the best results you were looking for.

The search engine would look over literally billions of pages on the web in order to give you the best results that are relevant to what you were searching for.

Though there are many search engines which serve the purpose of bringing the user results for their queries, not all of them function the same way. So, for that reason, we will be focusing on Google as an example, rather than Bing or Yahoo. This is because Google is the most widely used search engine in the world and there is more data about how they function in which we can look at as examples. And come on, when was the last time you heard someone say, “I’m going to Bing that!”

There are three primary functions that the Google search engine applies when scouring the web:

Crawl: It is processed in which the search engine sends out a team of bots, also referred to as crawlers or spiders, in order to find new and updated content.

The type of content can vary between webpages, an image, a video, a PDF, and so on. No matter what format it is, content is still discovered and delivered the searcher.

Index: This is the storage and organisation of the content found during the crawling process. Once a page has been booked in the index, it’s more likely to be featured in the search results.

Rank: The ranking function serves in insuring that it provides the best and relevant pieces of content for the searcher’s query. This means that results are ordered by most relevant to least relevant, this is where SEO is needed for companies.

Ranking

Results given to you by Google are ranked according to its: Relevancy, Authority and the Usefulness to the searcher. These categories work hand in hand to get you proper search results.

Relevance

The basics of relevance are that when you search for a keyword or key-phrases, the search engine will look over many sites with said keyword or phrases to present results that are relevant to what you are searching for.

If a person is searching for “cendol in Kuala Lumpur,” then the search engine will be looking for the keywords or anything closely related to said keywords. This is to ensure that you do not get wrong results in the search results, like results about iPhones when you searched for hotels in Penang. But in this category comes another dilemma.

Loads of websites would probably contain the keywords or something relevant to the keywords, so which of them would be best to display on top of the list for you? That is where Authority comes in.

Authority

This category is involved around the trustworthiness of a site. A search engine would put the most trusted sites among the first results when you search for something. The way that a search engine can determine whether the site has a high enough authority is by looking at the number of links that lead to said site.

The more links it has, the more trustworthy the site is. This also called “backlinks”. This is at least, how Google ranks the authority of sites, which makes it the more popular out of all the other search engines due to the availability to obtain and give trustworthy results to the searcher.

Usefulness

Although results can be relevant and have high authority, a search engine will also need to figure out how useful the content of that result is. Say a person searches for “Dishes in Turkey” (The country, not the bird). There may be conflicting results between the national dishes of Turkey and dishes made with turkey meat. Let us take examples of two results from this query:

The first result is a list of recipes of dishes made with turkey meat from a prominent chef’s website. There is a lot of content on this site and it has high authority as many people visit the site and link back to it, but it is not what the person is searching for, therefore this site is useless to them.

The second result, however, is from a tourist site from Turkey that is highlighting the many dishes in Turkish cuisine. The site seems to come from a small tourist agency and perhaps won’t have as many backlinks or have higher authority than the website example above, however, because it is about Turkish cuisine, this website is more useful than the one that has more authority and content. So, on Google, it will still do well in getting traffic from those who want to know about Turkish cuisine.

Other Factors Considered

Other factors or categories which search engines may look at to get you the best results are:

  • Domain Name: Length, security, response time, whether the domain matches with the keywords, etc.
  • Social Metrics: How much the links has been shared on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, along with the quality of those who share said links.
  • Traffic: How often and how many people use the site.
  • User data: Whether the results are best suited for the user based on data they share about themselves. (Age, gender, country they are in, etc.)
  • Domain-Level Brand Features: How many times the name brand or domain name of the site has been used outside the web and how often the brand or domain is named in news platforms, media or the press or any entity association.
  • Content Quality: Determining whether the content is readable, it’s length and unique speed. Along with how fast said content loads to present itself.

How to Optimise?

Now that we have gone over the S and E parts of SEO, we will now look at the O, the, Optimisation of content for it to be featured, among billions of other content and results, on the top list.

You could do many things to optimise your brand or company’s site. Ensuring title tags, meta descriptions are appropriate in length and contain the information that is relevant is one way to direct traffic to your site through optimisation.

Here are some steps that you try to optimise your site for SEO:

Step 1: Target Market Business Analysis

  • Analyse your website and take note of meta descriptions and keywords, visible text and code to make sure your site is optimised.
     
  • Analyse your competition’s sites and look at their content keywords and where they rank in the search engine. This will help you figure out an effective engine positioning strategy. You could also select the top five results for your respective market in Google to start this process.
     
  • Select a keyword or phrase that your customers may use to find your service. You can do this by creating a list of targeted search terms which are related to your respective customer base and market segment. Think of what you would you type, as a customer, into a search engine to find your website.

Step 2: Keyword Research and Development

  • As written above you’ll need to identify a targeted list of key­words and phrases and review competitive lists and other appropriate sources within the industry. Use the list you have made to verify a considerable number of recent search engine requests and the number of websites competing for each key­word. Tools like Google Ad Keywords can help with this.
  • Prioritize the keywords and phrases, taking note of any plurals, singulars and even misspellings in your web content. This is because some users searching for something might commonly misspell a keyword, so to put yourself at an advantage, you should identify and use it, no matter what imperfections it may have. However, it should be noted that Google will mostly go ahead and correct the term when searching.
  • You also need to see where your company’s site stands in terms of rankings. This helps to accurately evaluate your rankings in the future.
  • Create and define your set of objectives in advance so you can truly measure your Return on Investment from any programs you use. As an example, you may decide that you want to increase traffic from your current value of 100 visitors a day to 200 visitors over the next month.

Step 3: Content Optimization and Submission

  • Creating and using titles based on keywords and phrases can help establish page a theme and direction for our keywords.
  • It would be of great benefit to place strategic keywords and search phrases into your website source code and existing content on designated pages. You can apply a suggested guideline of one to three keywords or phrases per page. Ensure that related words are used as a natural inclusion of your keywords. It helps the search engines quickly determine what the page is about.
  • When it comes to the word count of content, in the past it was thought that 100 to 300 words on a page was recommended and enough to pop up on the radar for search engines. But, after a few tests, it now shows that pages with 800 to 2,000 words in their content can outperform shorter ones. But regardless of all of this, it is the users, the market, content and the links that will determine the popularity and ranking numbers.
  • Submitting a URL to directories is a better and faster way is to get links back to your site naturally. Links can get your company’s website indexed by the search engines.

Step 4: Continuous Testing and Measuring

  • Testing your site by analysing search engine rankings and web traffic in order to determine the effectiveness of the programs you’ve used, is one way to check on the condition of your site’s SEO, that along with assessing individual keywords. Keeping a note of all changes would help too!  
  • Constant additions and modifications of the keywords and the website content is necessary to frequently improve search engine rankings. This is to ensure you’re your website growth doesn’t halt or decline.
  • You should also make sure to review your link strategy and ensure that your inbound and outbound links are relevant to your business. The creation of a website blog can provide you with the necessary structure and easy platform to add the content that you need.

Organic Search Results

SEO can get you organic search results.

What are organic search results you ask?

Organic search results are the listings on a search engine results page, or SERP, that appear due to efforts of SEO workings, rather than the use of search engine marketing like PPC (Pay-per-click).

Legitimate SEO practices, also named as White Hat SEO are designed to ensure a boost in a website’s SERP position without the need to resorting to search engine deception.

Dishonest practices, such as keyword stuffing, the practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results, are sometimes referred to as Black Hat SEO. We will go into what Black Hat and White Hat SEO practices in the sections below.

White Hat SEO

Image result for white hat seo
Source: Eye Candy Infographic

White hat SEO is a term that refers to any practice that improves your search rankings, all while maintaining the integrity of your website and staying within the bounds of the search engines’ terms of service. Basically, keeping it all legal. Examples of white hat SEO include:

  • Offering content that is of quality standard, along with the services you provide
  • Make sure the mobile version of your site is readable and easy to navigate through.
  • Use of descriptive, keyword-rich meta tags.
  • Doing your keyword research and constantly maintaining your site so it is up to standard.
  • Obtaining backlinks through content marketing by sharing your site via social media, having your pages linked to, publishing on more prestigious sites or through mailing lists.

If you fail to engage in White Hat SEO practices, you could potentially get your site banned from Google and perhaps other search engines.

So, in all, if you want to abide by the rules, which we encourage you do, then implementing White Hat SEO practices is the best way to create an ethical, sustainably successful website for your business.

Black hat SEO

Image result for Black hat SEO
Source: Search Engine Journal

The opposite of White Hat in terms of legality. Black Hat SEO is defined as rejected practices that can still could increase a page’s ranking in a search engine result page. These sorts of practices are against the search engine’s terms of service and can result in the site being banned from the search engine. You can find list of tactics and strategies used by those who apply Black Hat SEO practices on Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, which have all been openly condemned.

Examples of Black Hat SEO tactics include, and there are quite a few:

  • Content Automation is the process of creating content for a website by using tools or scripts. It means the content of the website will be automatically generated without any human input.
  • Doorway Pages are pages have very little value and are solely used to trick the search engines and takes the person searching from a chosen result to an unrelated destination.
  • Hidden Text or Links is hiding texts like the keyword behind images or using white text to put a list of keywords hidden in a white background. How sinister!
  • Keyword Stuffing involves overusing the same keywords throughout one page in order to maximize its visibility and organic traffic.
  • Negative SEO is the act of sabotaging other websites either through hacking, copying content or putting spam links all over the other site, creating fake social accounts to ruin reputations, etc.
  • Sneaky Redirects is sending a visitor to a different URL than the one they initially requested. Some redirects deceive search engines or display content to human users that is different than that made available to crawlers.
  • Cloaking the content presented to the search engine spider is different from that presented to the user’s browser. This is done by delivering content based on the IP addresses or the User-Agent’s HTTP header of the user requesting the page.
  • Link Schemes are providing any links intended to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results.
  • Link Manipulation is the technique in which the phisher sends a link to a malicious website.
  • Article Spinning a writing technique which creates what appears to be new content from what already exists. This usually involves changing certain words and sometimes entire paragraphs.
  • Link farms are a series of websites set up by an SEO provider for the sole purpose of creating backlinks to specific sites.
  • Link wheel is a link to link exchange approach within a web page of the website or within different websites to pass the page rank and to create a wheel of exchange of links.
  • Rich Snippet Mark-up Spam is when you spam rich snippets (rating stars, prices etc.) on your results.
  • Creating pages, subdomains, or domains with duplicate content.
  • Creating Pages with malicious behaviour, such as phishing, viruses, Trojans, and other malware.

Although Black Hat techniques may bring about some short-term success through increased traffic to your site, the penalties initiated by Google are getting more and more sophisticated and can have devastating effects on your rankings and traffic. 

Image result for white hat seo
Source: Ahrefs

Seeking assistance

Image result for SEO company
Source: Weave Asia

If you are still having trouble getting around SEO, then you can always hire an SEO company to assist in making sure your company’s site gets to the front pages of the Google search. Ensuring that you are making the right decision when choosing you’re a SEO firm has can have a very significant impact for your business and your bank account.

The difference between a boom in traffic and a decrease in Google rankings all depends whether you have chosen a good or a bad Search Engine Optimization specialist.

Here are some tips for choosing the right specialists:

1. Avoid anyone who talks about it theoretically.

The process of optimizing your company’s website to drive organic traffic, is rather difficult, therefore it is often misunderstood.

People who maintain that they have ‘special insight’ into Google’s algorithms, or who play up the charm surrounding SEO, are, usually, full of crap.

Good SEO involves a deep understanding of how search engines work, attention to details, and constant modifications since Google’s algorithms change almost weekly.

Taking shortcuts like buying links, keyword stuffing, and cloaking or any other form of Black Hat SEO, can lead search engines to demote your website as they violate the search engines’ rules. Once Google’s bots discover that you’re using these tools, they’ll demote your site in their rankings, which will decrease organic traffic.

SEO specialists who claim to have special knowledge could be employing the use of Black Hat SEO techniques, for which you will ultimately pay a high price and lose valuable resources.

2. Be specific about your goals and find a firm that can meet them.

Never hire an SEO service that gives an imprecise goal like “increasing your traffic.” There are many kinds of organic traffic, meaning that simply increasing traffic does not lead to increased revenue.

To avoid vagueness, you and your company or team members should outline exactly what you’re hoping to achieve with SEO.

No matter which SEO firm you choose, make sure you’re confident on what type of results you are looking for and what services you’ll require.

3. When looking for one, go by word of mouth.

When seeking an SEO specialist online, try and avoid finding them based on their websites ranking, this is because usually, the best SEO consultants are too busy optimizing other websites for their customers rather than work on their own website.

The best services would usually have quite a few of long-term and loyal customers who have referred members within their professional circle to the same service. Only companies that need new clients will bother to rank for “best SEO company in Selangor,” as an example.

Additionally, do not assume that any list countdown article, like “Top 10 Best SEO companies in Malaysia,” is fair. Generally, the companies on these list articles have paid a premium for them to have a place on it.

Good SEO companies are usually busy tending to other clients to bother paying for a spot on these kind of list articles. But that does not mean that there are no reliable lists out there.

4. Find an SEO firm with metrics that work for you.

After you’ve defined your goals and narrowed your options to a select few companies, it’s time to make sure that you and the company that you choose to work with have a clear method of charting your progress once you get started to reach an end goal.

It is important that you and your SEO firm are on the same page when it comes to Key Performance Indicators or KPIs. KPIs, in terms of SEO, can mean may things. For example, a starter company with a new product will have different objectives than a much older one with an established clientele.

KPIs are vast in the information they can provide, so it is easy to become confused with what data you are looking at. Therefore, an SEO firm that understands which metrics are the most important to your business and can concentrate that information into something that you can understand is important. Some important KPIs to consider for SEO are:

Organic sessions: The number of people coming to your site through organic search is often considered the most basic and important KPI in SEO. You can also look at other factors like the average number of page views, time spent per visit and number of unique visitors.

Conversion rate: This is the measurement of the percentage of visitors that use your service or buy your product that also signs ups for your newsletters or engage with your content

Keyword rankings: This is looking at the keywords do you ranked for and whether that keyword ranking has increased since you hired an SEO firm.

Google crawling mistakes: If Google bots have trouble reading your website, it won’t be able to index it, and this will have a negative impact on search results for your company.

Page load time: The time it takes for a page to load directly relates to how quickly people leave your site. No one who is in a rush to find a product wants to stay on a site that takes too long to load.

5. Choose an SEO firm that communicates effectively.

Although you should have access to the tools like SEMRush, Google Search Console or Google Analytics, which are used to measure your KPIs, you will mostly likely have no time to spend analysing all that data. So, hiring an SEO specialist team that works that harbours a bridge of trust is important.

Bear in mind that SEO is a dedicated process so you might end up working with this firm for a few years to come. Even if you intend on working with an SEO company for a short while, meeting your organic website traffic goals takes time, patience, and a positive working relationship.

PPC: Pay-per-Click

Source: KDH Digital Services

Pay-per-click (PPC) is another popular model of online marketing Malaysia has. Many businesses and firms use this marketing technique, that lets marketers place ads on an ad platform (Websites, search engines, online video streaming) and pay the host of that platform every time their ad is clicked.

Search engines are incredibly popular advertising platforms. They allow you to display ads that are relevant to what users are searching for and on the top few lines too! Without the need of SEO.

Advertising services like Google Ads implement real-time bidding (RTB), where advertising inventory is sold in a private automated auction using data, all in real time.

How Paid Search Works

Every time there is an ad spot on a search engine results page (SERP), an auction immediately takes place for the keyword.

A combination of several factors, including bid amount and the quality of the ad will determine the winner, who’ll appear in the top spot of the SERP.

To get involved in these auctions, advertisers use accounts on platforms like Google Ads to set up their ads and determine where and when they would like those ads to appear.

Keywords

Like SEO, keywords lie at the centre of PPC marketing, connecting advertisers to users’ search queries.

Keywords work as generalized abstractions of a wide range of search terms, which are prone to mistakes like misspellings.

Advertisers can match search queries with precision depending on the keyword match type.

For example, advertisers can have the option to match keywords with search queries exactly or to allow for variations such as different orderings of the words, different spellings, or the presence of other words.

Ads in SERP

Along with keywords, you need to prepare ads in your marketing campaigns.

These are nestled together within ad groups that target shared sets of keywords.

Ads that a searcher will see on a search query will typically contain a:

  • Headline.
  • URL.
  • Description.

They can show up on top of the results or at the bottom of the page.

Ad Rank

Ad ranking is the position of a pay-per-click (PPC) advertisement on a search engine results page

The stance of this ad depends on the position of keywords included in the ad. This is determined by your bid for that keyword or ad group multiplied by the matched keyword’s Quality Score.

The more relevant your keywords, ad text and landing pages, the higher your Quality Score is and the higher your ad will rank.

Greater exposure for your products or services can come from having a high ad ranking.

Budgets & Bids

Advertisers must decide how much they’re willing to spend on a given keyword if they are about to participate in an auction for said keyword. This is done using:

  • Budgets at the campaign level.
  • Bids at the ad group or keyword level.

Budgets are set at the campaign level and can be go over their daily limit, but it will not go over on a monthly basis. Budgets should be set according to overall account strategy, but bids are a more accurate way to control your ad spending.

The true amount paid by the advertiser depends on the activity of the competitor and their ad rank.

Search engines look at different factors to determine which ads should be at the top, the most valuable spot on the SERP.

Google considers the ad’s:

  • Bid amount.
  • Relevancy and quality.
  • Context of the search, considering the user’s device or time of day
  • Format.
  • Quality Score, like the ads historical click-through rate (CTR), relevance of the keyword to the ad, relevance of the keyword and ad to the search query and landing page quality.

Search engines can penalize advertisers who bid on keywords with low Quality Scores by rarely showing their ads, even if they have high bids.

That’s why it’s very important to have engaging and relevant ad copy that has keywords which are popular or known as high-volume keywords.

In all a webpage must be relevant to the user, load quickly and provide an overall smooth user experience on all devices.

Targeting

To choose the right keywords for the right people, there are other targeting options which are available to optimize campaigns these include:

  • Device.
  • Location.
  • Day and time.
  • Demographics.

This way, advertisers can target users who are on mobile or are online in the evening, or even users who are under 30. You can target users within a certain radius of an area, like users in Pulau Penang for example, in order to optimize the performance of your ads.

Image result for target search
Source: Search Engine Land

These targeting options are incredibly important as different variations of ad copy might perform better for one group of users than it would with the another.

Bids can also be modified for keywords based on the targeting options. This gives advertisers more control over traffic and bid spending for customers which are more valuable to the company.

Conversions

Conversions are the actions that advertisers want users to complete after clicking on an ad. It all depends on the type of business being advertised. Basically, the actual result you seek after advertising.

Common examples of conversions include:

  • Purchasing a service.
  • Signing up for a newsletter.
  • Placing a phone call.

It’s imperative to track conversions to see whether a PPC campaign is doing well and how many conversions can be credited to PPC than other marketing channels.

Conversion tracking can be a bit tricky, because conversion paths also tend to be more complicated than a simple click on an ad and a direct purchase. This is because they often may include numerous searches and website visits or can lead to an email being sent or a customer going to the store itself.

PPC Strategy

At the core of any successful PPC campaign is a competent strategy. Knowing what you seek in the end game is the first step.

A PPC program consist of many different goals. For the most part, your PPC goals will be obvious but some may require some considering and thoughtful planning.

The most common goals that advertisers seek through PPC may include:

  • Brand awareness
  • Product and brand consideration
  • Leads
  • Sales (Obviously)
  • Repeat sales

These goals are also associated with the basic sales funnel phases: awareness, consideration, and purchase. We can look at the above PPC goals and tactics and see how they can accomplish the sale funnel phases.

Brand Awareness

PPC is often used for brand awareness to introduce and raise the visibility of a brand or product.

You would surely maximize your company’s profile to a relevant audience as this can lead to clicks, which will result in leading to the consideration phase.

The implementation of PPC display ads can be useful when the targeting is relevant by using keywords, topics, relevant placements, or combination of those elements.

The use of social media PPC ads is best for branding since there are so many targeting choices based on different demographics and individual interests.

Search campaigns with more general keywords can also be effective for branding.

As example, if the business sells hijabs, potentially bidding on the keyword, “hijabs,” could increase awareness product being offered by the company.

The downside of this approach is that you will often see an increase in the cost-per-clicks and sometimes irrelevant click-throughs.

Product & Brand Consideration

When people are considering and researching a purchase, it will be good to reintroduce the brand with more detailed and focused targeting and use more effective call-to-action language in the advert to really reel them in.

Image result for online shopping
Source: Super Market News

When consumers hit the considerations phase, their search queries will usually become more detailed and specific. They may search for several different and specific brands to research and compare, along with looking at reviews.

This is a beneficial opportunity to implement re-marketing techniques with banners or responsive ads to bring a consumer back to the product they viewed.

Another excellent form of targeting is the in-market lists. This list has several users whose online behaviour has indicated they are in the market to buy.

Leads

If you can’t make a sale instantly or online, you’ll want to gather leads to follow up with interested options and engage with them

Calls-to-action techniques may include:

  • Request a demo.
  • Obtain a consultation.
  • Get access to a free trial.

All these techniques are intended to tempt the user to call or fill out an online web form.

How the lead is followed-up on depends on the business, but now you have the necessary information that can be used for PPC customer match campaigns.

Sales

Consumers who are ready to purchase tend to use words in their search queries that indicate an intention to buy. Their queries can include things like:

  • Model numbers.
  • Shipping information.
  • Discounts.
  • Coupons.
  • Financing.

It is useful to have separate campaigns that focus on this phase. You can provide ads that can satisfy a buyer by giving offers, guarantees, warranty information, or your return policy. This assures customers that your business is the right one for them to buy from.

Repeat Sales

PPC is a superb way to get repeat sales if your product or service is in need replacement, maintenance, accessories, updates, etc.

In constructing the repeat sales approach, ask yourself these queries:

  • How long does the product last or need to be replaced?
  • Is there a new and improved model coming out?
  • Does the consumer buy multiples?
  • Are there opportunities to cross-sell accessories or complementary products?
  • What would motivate the customer to purchase from you again? Brand loyalty? Fast shipping? Unique features?

Use PPC re-marketing and customer match to re-engage previous customers with messaging aimed at what might motivate them to purchase from your company again.

Like the sales phase, coupons and discounts are always good motivators to get customers to purchase a product.

But in all, providing a good service and product can bring about loyal customers any day.

PPC Ad Formats

PPC ads come in many shapes and sizes.

They also change frequently, which means it’s nearly impossible to provide a truly comprehensive guide for every ad format available.

At the bottom we have listed some examples of PPC ad formats available on Google ads.

On the SERP

Text Ads

Text Ads are the foundation of PPC, usually consisting of two headlines and one 90-character description.

Google however, got rid of the old version of standard text ads, so now we’re seeing larger text ads with a more diverse grouping of extensions than we have been exposed to in the previous years.

Normally, ads give two headlines side by side, with a description and extensions below.

Sometimes ads will serve with a third “headline,” which is usually the URL itself. But, having a URL as a headline can be awkward to read, so the choice to deactivate it is there.

Responsive Text Ads

Visually, they look the same as “normal” text ads. Advertisers would usually upload a variety of headlines and a few lines of description. After this, Google will rearrange them based on which of these ads might have the best-expected performance.

It’s recommended to include at least three headline variations and two description variations, but you’re could even choose to include up to 15 headlines and four descriptions.

But do make sure that the variables you implement will make sense no matter the order they serve in.

App Download Ads

Source: Boostlikes.com

App Download Ads or for those who have created and uploaded apps on either the Google Play Store or the Apple Store. It allows you to showcase your app to the relevant tablet or mobile users.

The ads will auto-detect the operating system to showcase either the App Store or Google Play.

App download ads can appear in several places including on the SERP, in the Play Store or on the mobile sites. All app download and app engagement ads are included in Universal App Campaign or UACs.

Like responsive ads, UACs can include a variety of elements that are shuffled based on what Google expects will produce the best performance.

At the very least, ads will include up to four independent lines of text that are up to 25 characters. Advertisers can also include things like video snippets, images, or HTML5 assets in order to produce more options.

Local Service Ads

Image result for local service ads
Source: Wordstream

Local service ads they’re only available for those who provide services to their local areas, these services can range from locksmiths, plumbers, electricians, air-conditioning repair or car mechanics as examples.

The ads are largely automated and operate out of a separate UI from traditional Google ads.

The ads primarily shown for those searching for localized queries, including something like a city name, a postal code, or a neighbourhood. Like you might search up “car repair in Shah Alam,” if you reside in that area and need such service.

Rather than pay-per-click, these ads are also referred to as pay-per-lead, which is where the advertiser would pay based on the conversion of leads (Downloads, visits, etc.)

You may see a rise in these sorts of ads in Malaysia as support for smaller business by people and even by the government is growing.

In terms of where the ads will be seen, they will usually appear below sponsored text ads, but above maps and organic results.

Google Maps Ads

When you search for a service or a product, you can find that Google Maps sometimes points out locations within your area that have these products or services. Advertisers can pay to appear in these too and locations will appear at the top of map search results on both desktop and mobile. These are also PPC. The only difference is that advertisers pay when users click on the location on the map or on the map list (or directions or a phone number) rather than a link that takes them directly to the company’s website.

On the Web

Static Image Ads

Although this format has been around for a while, static image ads are still common on the Google Display Network.

Uploading various sizes is ideal, but it’s all dependent om bandwidth and cost. Though it’s important to know Google will occasionally make slight alterations to the image, like squishing or stretching the ads for them to fit “close” ad sizes, this is also referred to as called Seam Carving. Sometimes these alterations may distort ads or cut off the edges.

If you want to try and avoid this, Google does actually have a list of the most common ad sizes , but the sizes are changing constantly as new devices come into play.

Lightbox Ads

This is a more fleshed out ad format designed for engagement and branding.

Lightbox ads can take on several different formats and are Google’s ideal format of a low cost, “rich media” ad.

These ads are interactive, and users can interact with them through various ways, like flipping through a product catalogue, seeing interactive videos and so on.

The ads might begin as standard banner sizes but hovering your mouse over by the user for a short period of time, usually around 3 seconds, will causes the ad to power up and perform their interactive function.

Advertisers normally pay based on cost-per-engagement.

Gmail Sponsored Promotions

Gmail Sponsored Promotions appear in the promotions tab of Gmail both on desktop and the mobile app.

The ads are powered entirely by audience and interest targeting, including:

  • Affinity audiences.
  • In-market.
  • Demographic.
  • Customer match.

The ads are charged on a pay-per-open, meaning an “engagement” doesn’t necessarily equate to a site visit.

Dynamic Remarketing Ads

Dynamic Remarketing Ads follow you around. When you see the same ad of that used Proton Saga on several page, it is because you were probably looking at the listing a few days ago and the algorithm thinks that you might be interested.

The ads are responsive and can alter themselves to fit into a wide variety of ad units.

YouTube

You can place ads on YouTube as well as the platform is very popular among video streaming and sharing sites.

Ads on you tube can either appear as a video (e.g. running a commercial) or as a display (either promoting a video, promoting a site or accompanying your video ad).

Search ads were quietly retired in mid-2017.

In-Stream

In-Stream is basically video ads you can find on any online video player.

The formats for these ads can range from un-skippable pre-roll videos to unlimited length ads embedded within videos that have a longer duration.

In-stream ads can be supplemented with optional companion banners placed either on the top right or lower part of the video.

But companies must beware on what kind of accounts or videos their ads may appear in; therefore, YouTube has a monetization system for content creators on the platform.

Bumper Ads

You might have come across this type of format when watching a video, these ads are also like in-stream or YouTube ads in videos, only this time, you can’t skip them.

These types of ads are only six seconds long and the view rates are always high. This format is an efficient way to get your message across without having to invest a ton of money in a long-form commercial.

All you need to do is to think of a short but to the point video to let users know of your product or service.

Advantages & Disadvantages of SEO

Advantages

1. SEO Leads to Better User Experience

In the seeking of getting better SEO, your website would have gone through some major aesthetic changes and changes in functionality, these changes include providing your audience with relevant information, related photos or videos to support text. Along with providing them an easy to navigate web page or a mobile-friendly website configuration.

This will of course result in better user experience on your site and will also lead to more clicks, more leads, better brand profile and higher conversion rates. This cycle goes on as this is what search engine sites are looking for, in the end you are improving your search ranking.

2. SEO pulls-in organic traffic 
This is because people are searching for the problem you solve. You can bring in traffic to your business rather than push out out advertisements to convince users to buy. Organic search traffic has already taken interest in your products and services and with that, it’s only a matter of time till the results start to show.

3. SEO traffic is more likely to convert

SEO traffic is more likely to convert than other sources of traffic as search traffic provides the best conversion rates for most company websites., Therefore positioning yourself on the top of a search engine, you are putting your business on track to collect more conversions.

4. SEO increases sales and leads

It’s a no-brainer, if you got SEO right, you can potentially increase your sales and exposure to the public as more and more people online will find you.

5. SEO can decrease your cost per acquisition

If you do SEO by yourself, then of course it would be far less costly than traditional advertising. Sure, if you were to hire a good SEO company than of course you will have to pay them, but if you yourself has experience in website coding and understands Google’s algorithms, then you should be alright!

6. SEO does not involve any paid advertising

You could still increase your websites traffic without having to implement pay-per-click methods. It all comes down to whether you have an effective SEO strategy can help you scale back your advertising dollars and invest it in more efficient areas.

7. Top SEO rankings provides 24/7 promotion

Once you have a high enough ranking, and your site has adequate SEO, your company will be listed on the first page all day and all night. As your rankings will stay up for quite a while. This gives your company more promotion to users online at any time!

8. SEO builds trust and credibility

For the most part, there is quite a degree of trust from the public to Google. People use it every day to find what they are looking for. So, by having a higher-ranking site on search engines through organic means, your business will build a foundation trust and be encased in a sphere of credibility with your intended market.

9. SEO is a long-term strategy

SEO is a long-term strategy. So, some patience is needed as it can take 6-12 months till you can start seeing any optimal rankings. However, although it takes time to rank up, it also takes time to get the rankings decreased as well. So, once you have reached the top positions on the SERP, you rarely move down. The only factors that may change this is the competition or a change in Google’s algorithm.

10. SEO receives 90% more clicks than PPC

The reason why SEO surpasses paid advertising is because organic SEO listings receive 90% of the clicks from users. This is since many users online, using search engines tend to skip paid advertisements. This occurrence is most likely caused by the trust they have in Google’s algorithm. Therefore, by investing in SEO, you will likely gain more traffic than the advertisers on the same keywords.

Disadvantages

1.  Getting noticed by more than your target audience

The more visible you are online and on SERPs, the more of a target your site will be for competitors who will try to out do your SEO efforts, so an ongoing battle ensues in the bid for the top spot.

In all, an increase in competition is normal when you have a high SEO ranking on Google. The moment your competitors see your marketing is working, and especially if their leads and sales are dropping, they will stop at nothing to take your listing down. Think of your high-ranking site as a high value target.

Another party in which you can expect to be targeted by are those who try to sell you their services. They will come in by the dozens. These groups may consist of other SEO agencies or other advertising firms. This is because the greater your exposure you have online, the more others will start to see you as a desirable chance to work with.

Spam too can increase for the same reasons, but the implantation of filters should quell that issue.

So, when you’re on top, be prepared for the horde…

2. Over Success

Like the DJ Khaled album, “Suffering from Success,” companies may fall victim to overloading from their exposure to the users of the web. If your company can’t handle the volume of leads and sales, then sales opportunities may falter, and customers will be unsatisfied.

Image result for suffering from success
Source: Know Your Meme

The positive outcome of some successful SEO campaigns may be too much to handle for some companies, especially smaller start ups which might have trouble with the logistics that can come with this.

Unlike PPC, which can easily be switched on and off, turning down your SEO ranking doesn’t happen with a click of a button. Even if you stop your altering your site for SEO, the outcome of the successful campaign is already down, and will be there for a while.

So, before you start optimising your site for SEO, consider and review your business to see if it can handle the results of an overly successful one.

3) Black Hats and White Hats

The SEO world can compare itself to a crime movie. While most agencies offer a good and fair service, with in the bounds of the rules and law, there are some that go rogue in their hunger for better SEO rankings. It’s like how people see money and how they obtain it, do they get a job or rob a bank?

The Black Hats will break the rules with pleasure in order to get you to that top position. But this will only last in the short term until your site will get a Google Penalty that gets you kicked out of search results due to their  greedy and deceiving methods.

White Hats are the good on the good side of the rules as they work hard to stay within the rules and give you great SEO results through good, honest, quality work.

It is usually hard for a company to decipher who they choose to trust with their SEO. So, you can refer to the tips on how to find a good SEO firm in the sections above.

5. Long wait to get ROI (Return of investment)

It does take some time and patience to produce the desired result from your SEO efforts. This may disadvantage smaller companies which may need their ROI back in a short time period.

6. A lot of investment is needed

To even stay with in the competitive in the market you will have to invest some time and effort as a company. Launching new products and services into the market to be competitive and get the desired return on your investment is constantly a must and there is no assurance whether it will work at all.

7. You cannot stop working

If you are using SEO to increase your business performances, you will continuously have to do a lot of work on your website. If you will stop working for some time, then search engines may neglect your website from publishing on the priorities because search engines change their policies from time to time.

Advantages & Disadvantages of PPC

Advantages

1.PPC advertising drives immediate results

One of the benefits of PPC advertising marketers and business owners like most is that it’s fast and provides instant results. You can get to the top page on the SERP immediately and people will see it. This is the key difference between PPC advertising and efforts through SEO. Like a cup of Maggi noodles, PPC is instant.

2. PPC advertising gives you the first look

Like going to a store and immediately finding the thing you want, PPC advertising allows this to happen for users online. When you bid for a keyword or search query for PPC, your PPC advertisement will the first thing on top of the results page in which users will see after typing in their search query. You are more likely to have higher traffic conversions because you are among the first options.

3. PPC advertising pulls in quality traffic

Like SEO, PPC can bring in the right kind of traffic as the users consisting the traffic are actively seeking the product or service your company is offering, so you are getting the right people to consider your company for their needs.

4. PPC advertising will dramatically boost website traffic

Being among the first search results, traffic to your site is surely to increase, after all, people tend to not go past the second page of Google in the first place.

5. PPC advertising formats are better than organic listings

Unlike organic listings, which only contain a title and a brief description of the site, PPC formats allow you to place user reviews or contact details in your list and this may attract potential customers.

6. PPC has independence from Google algorithms

Unlike organic listings, PPC does not have a risk factor as your success is not largely dependent on changes in the Google algorithm, or the sites optimization. You know you will get the top spot with PPC, it’s just a matter of how much of your funds you are willing to spend in order to do so.

7. PPC has extreme targeting

PPC advertising is very targeted. Like organic search, you can choose target by various keywords. However, with PPC, you will have more sophisticated forms when it comes to the targeting options. You can target your ads to certain locations or target several keywords at the same time. You can also target users based on their behaviours, interests. And information shared by them. Therefore, PPC advertising provides a much greater level of precision than organic search.

8. PPC advertising is real-time

All changes and results happen in real time in the realm of PPC, there is no need to wait for any changes in position of where your site stands in the SERP.

9. PPC advertising can help you attract talent

PPC can help draw attention to jobseekers online, as they will see your company listed on top. This saves so much when it comes to spending on recruitment.

10. PPC advertising increases your customer attribution

Attribution is referred to the amount of times users have seen your brand. The more times they interact with your company, the more likely conversions will happen.

Disadvantages

1.PPC Can Be Quite Complicated

PPC and other digital marketing methods are not an easy thing to grasp, this is the same case with SEO. In PPC, more variables come into play and you have the potential to have a significant financial loss if you are not cautious with how you handle it. Calling in a firm that can assist you in PPC is an option but if you want to avoid this, then taking some time to understand and capture the elements of what PPC is much recommended before any action is taken.

2. PPC Shares Advertising’s Woes

Some may speculate that advertising is dead, and that PR or Public Relations is a more suitable way to get people into your brand. Although it is factually sound to say that advertising is dead, but we can agree that it is not as effective as it is used to be. But this may differ on a country or region bases, but at least here in Malaysia, PPC is still functional and a good way to get clicks, but organic SEO results tend to garner more attention.

3. PPC is Not Free

The key reason why many are still not using PPC as a tool to market themselves online, is because it is not free. If you own a small business, you will do whatever you can to save money in your early stages. Therefore, organic SEO techniques are preferred as there in no cost. If a small company does implement PPC, they need to be extra cautious as they would want to avoid an unnecessary increase on costs.

4. Problems by Competitors

In relation to costs, there is also a danger of other businesses deliberately clicking on your ads for the purpose of increasing your advertising cost. So, if you are a struggling entrepreneur, you would really want to avoid this danger for the benefit of your company. People can be vicious, especially in the world of online marketing, so beware…

5. PPC Ads Disappear When Your Campaign Ends

The duration A PPC advertisement Is completely dependent on how long you have set the campaign to run for and dependant on the money allocated to the campaign. So, once the money has run out or have reached the end of your campaign duration the ads will no longer be there. Unlike SEO where the right techniques can keep your page on top for a while, and for free!

6. PPC Is Not A Sure-Fire Way to Get Sales

There is a common misconception among marketers and businesspeople in which they assume that PPC is a sure way to get results, but the opposite can also be true. The assumption that spending significant amount of money for a campaign will get them conversions is not full proof. The reality is, conversions are dependent on many different factors, such as: the quality of your ad, your keywords, your product or service, etc.  In the end, paying for PPC is like gambling, you either win loads or loose loads, so if you are unsure, then do not risk it.

7. People Tend to Ignore Sponsored Ads

According to a Google survey revealed that 85-percent of people claim to ignore sponsored listings when searching via Google. You must agree though, you may feel a bit sceptical if you see an advertisement in the first few results on a search engine results page and you might avoid clicking it. Although some people do click it, it would make sense for other users to lean towards something that is not an ad, especially if they trust Google’s algorithms to suggest organic results to them.

Conclusions

So, as you could see, there are quite of few upsides between PPC and SEO as techniques to market your site onto the first page or first line of results on a SERP.

So, the main questions is, which one is the best one to choose?

Well, it all really comes down to different businesses and what they want, along with how much time, effort and money they are willing to use up to get good page rankings and get clicks.

Different Companies, Different Needs

For smaller companies with a limited budget for marketing, SEO would be the logical choice as it is free and can get their pages on the top list for a while. So long as they keep updating content and flow as the Google algorithm changes. Some insight into SEO and its functions, however, is a must have if they plan on SEO, along with what to go with (White Hat) and what to avoid (Black Hat) when it comes to its techniques. Ignorance to what is the in the rules and what should be avoided could get your site penalised and removed from the listings in its entirety. So knowledge and understanding of SEO, prior to action, is a must.

But if companies do have the money, then PPC is always a good option with its own reasons. Such as instant results, real-time modifications, more fleshed out listing formats and so on. There is nearly not as much effort put into obtaining PPC for marketing online, as compared to SEO and you are sure that the results will be to your liking. However, it’s not free and might end up being a factor that can contribute to significant loss if you are not careful. And we can’t ignore the fact that some people tend to avoid clicking on something that is obviously and ad, they would rather opt to go with the organic variant of the search result.

But regardless of their differences, both can still garner attention from competitors making your company’s site a high value target that they want to take down and replace with their own sites. So, having a good SEO and bidding for a key phrase to appear on top of the SERP will only lead you into having a constant battle between your company and competitors. From competitors clicking your PPC ads so you must pay more, to employing their own SEO strategies to take your site off the top, it all comes down to who has the will power to remain on the top list.

So, which do you choose?

Well, for me personally, I would opt for SEO for online marketing Malaysia. This is because I’d rather obtain organic results and not resort to ads due to the costs. I feel like working your way up to something and working hard for it is rewarding, and in SEO it is, because if you get your page ranked with the right techniques, your page can remain up there for a long time so long as you maintain your site. This brings in another factor that makes SEO more appealing to me, because in the quest to make sure that you remain on top, you will need to update your site constantly and this in return would provide great customer satisfaction, in which I believe is the best form of marketing.  But this is just my opinion.

If you don’t wish to spend too much on advertising, then SEO is the right way to go. But if money is not an obstacle, then you can go ahead and launch a PPC campaign. And hey, if you’re feeling extra ambitious and love to take risks, then why not go for both?

The Bottom Line

But in all, you will succeed nowhere no matter which format you choose if your service or product is not up to quality standards. You can spend all the time or all the money on PPC or on SEO, but you will still not receive ant conversions or sales if you give your customers a dis-satisfactory experience with what you offer to them. Word of mouth is a force to be reckoned with, you may have your page on the first line of the SERP, but if people know that your company offers less than satisfactory products and services, you can expect to not get any clicks at all.

So, before you go ahead and learn about SEO or save up some funds for a PPC campaign, take a few step back and consider whether your product is worth it, and whether your time and money should first be spent on improving the product and service you offer. After all, the goal for almost all company is not only to make money, but to keep customers satisfied and happy for them to them to use your service once more and tell their friends. And with that, more customers and more funds and sales.

Hopefully this article should give some insight and knowledge about SEO and PPC, and hopefully an idea of which you would opt for to promote your company online!

Thanks for sticking around if you have managed to reach the end of this article, so that being said, be sure to check out blog where we have more business articles lined up for you to gaze your eyes on.

Sterrific Agency is a creative digital agency with a range of services we provide that are web designbrandingSEOcopywriting and more!

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