SEA vs SEO: How Do You Manage Your Marketing Money

Most business owners change their digital marketing strategy monthly because they give up too early. It’s not easy to drive potential customers to your site or persuade them to make purchases. It’s a lengthy process that requires patience, careful monitoring and deducing which strategy is best for your business.

In this article, we’ll look at two different digital marketing strategies, search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine advertisement (SEA), when to use them as well as some useful tricks and tips on how to increase visibility and drive more traffic to your website cost-effectively.

Both strategies can be effective, but there are many factors to consider before deciding which one you should choose.

1. Search Engine Advertisement (SEA)

Search engine advertisement in most cases means site owners pay a designated fee to search engines, for example, Google or Bing, to get a higher ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs). Usually, the fee depends on the popularity of a keyword. The higher the volume of a search term, the more it will cost to grab that coveted top spot in SERPs.

2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization is like a competition, where all the rivals are battling each other to grab the highest positions outside the advertisements. Just think about Google as a search engine, when you type something at the search bar. Overall, Google recommends to you some paid advertisements (SEA ones) and then hundred-thousands other results, which somehow connect to the topic. It means that the engine creates a more than 100-page list from the results, and somehow evaluates them. The exact method of the evaluation is private, however, people found out some of the criteria which may affect the point system. That is what SEO is all about. Accomplish the criteria, obey Google’s rules, and somehow go higher and higher on the ladder. Although it is free, it is a tough job, as these requirements are changing quite often. You have to keep on track with the updates and experiment a lot, to find out the best solutions.

3. When Should You Use SEA Methods?

Usually, experts advise you to use it when you want to introduce a push strategy, and you want to reach the outcome in a faster way. Using SEA means you can be 100% sure many visitors will travel to your site, although here it is not enough. In this case, you spend money to get traffic, however, Google can’t ensure that those potential clients will buy something on your site. You have to persuade them, which is quite tricky if, for example, your website is not completely ready. That method will only work if you are prepared for it before you even start to advertise. One thing is sure, it can give you an immediate effect, which may boost your conversion rate, selling-rate numbers and decrease conversion funnel friction, but do not forget: when your advertisement expires, in most cases, your traffic will be as low again, as it was before you introduced the ads. There are other pros of using SEA instead of SEO:

A: You get access to more detailed data, for example, you can check which keyword brought the visitor to your website.

B: Here, Google enables you to set other important factors when your link appears on the search page. Like your phone number, or your physical shop opening hours.

4. When Should You Use SEO Methods?

If I want to express myself in a short way, I should say when your strategy is the opposite, of using SEA. Here, you think in the long term and it is more important to build a community and make a relationship between your company and your customers. In this case, you’re gonna have a lot of time to do that, like, sometimes it takes years to accomplish your goals. I advise you to use it when you don’t want to spend all of your money on advertising, instead, your target point is to maximize your site efficiency. Implement new functions, make it up-to-date, decrease long load times, etcetera. This way, your potential customers will be more likely to trust you, so you can easily drive them through your site conversion funnel.

5. When Should You Use Both?

The truth is, on almost every occasion, this is the perfect pick. You might notice that both have advantages and disadvantages. Also, luckily it is not part of the fulfillment to decide between short and long-term. You can easily make progress with both of them simultaneously. Moreover, most of the time if you use one of them, you can gain precious information, which can be used to improve your other marketing strategy. Let’s see examples of that:

A, As SEA provides you with keyword statistics, you can see the keywords that people tend to use. Later on, you can build your SEO strategy for these trends.

B, If you work with more than one SEA campaign simultaneously, you can compare the number of clicks each one gets. With this information, you can go further in search engine optimization as well.

6. How To Save Money in a Marketing Campaign

There are many ways you can spend less on a marketing campaign than the average number. However, almost all of these tips will only work if you follow these instructions from the start of your campaign. So be aware of how you jump into it, and how you define your strategy first, because that will depend on how successful it will be. There is no time to change in the middle, and it also takes so much money to correct your mistakes. The better you start, the easier it is to make it perfect.

How to save money in a marketing campaign

7. How Can You Guarantee Yourself a Better Start?

First of many: define some goals directly before starting a campaign. Goals are equal to small tasks, which you must achieve to reach your main goal. For example, your main goal is to sell one hundred products. Here, your side goals can be the followings:

A. Launch your website
B. Fill it with your products
C. Find potential clients with a well-driven marketing strategy
D. Improve your conversion funnel

E. Lead your customers through your funnel
F. Main goal – reaching 100 sold product

Of course, you can define side goals in the middle of a marketing campaign, when all of your tasks are connected directly to your campaign accomplishment. Let’s see an example of that. Here, your main goal is to increase the sales revenue by 20% before the next quarter.

Here are your possible side tasks in this case:

A. Implement some SEO strategy, to find more customers
B. Create a social media campaign to expand the number of potential buyers
C. Optimize your website design, and simplify the checkout process, to increase your conversion rate and decrease conversion funnel friction
D. Make giveaways and answer your customers’ questions and inquiries to build brand loyalty.
E. Implement a loyalty program, as it encourages your customers to repeat purchases.
F. Main goal – increased sales revenue by 20%.

Improve your conversion funnel

8. Understanding Your Customers

I think it is also important to be clear about who you are selling for. Here, you aren’t curious about actual names, just personalization. That’s what customer personas are all about! This is a very well-known analyzing system amongst marketers, with the help of that, they can define their target groups. As target groups determine many things: what platform you should use for advertising, how you should advertise, etc. You can save a lot of money just by knowing your potential buyers a little. Do not think about big things: you only try to predict simple characteristics, its wage, age group, or, for example, its education. Marketers usually advise you to make at least three different personas, which are always a little different from each other. With the help of that, it is less likely that you will suffer from huge conversion funnel friction.

9. Where Should You Advertise Your Product?

The next step you have to determine as soon as possible are your marketing channels. You can choose plenty of different marketing channels at once, but prioritizing is essential, especially if you have a tight budget. The type of marketing channels you use are always determined by your customer personas. If a customer persona is relatively younger, you must advertise on platforms that they are using on a regular basis. These can be Instagram or TikTok, but definitely not Facebook. Also, if you target older ones, it all changes in the opposite way. Education also matters when you want to pick channels. For example, people who are only done with elementary education are easier to influence, so in this case, direct marketing methods are working at a better rate.

10. Do Not Spend Without Knowing Your Limitations

Another money-saving method can be if you determine your exact budget before the start of the campaign. Yes, it is not a big deal, you can say, but much research has shown that it is actually. People are willing to spend more money if there are no limitations. Just think about it: when you go to a shopping center with exactly 20 euros to buy a pair of jeans, you won’t buy anything else, because after you buy it, you run out of money. Unless, if you bring more money with you, in this case when you look around and find a nice shirt, you will put it in your shopping car too. That’s why brick-and-mortar shops have many products near the cashier, to let the customers buy more and more unnecessary things.

Another good piece of advice can be in connection with this, to make a financial plan, before you start to spend your money. In some cases, you can’t even predict your future spending without it, and it is very cringe when you run out of money in the middle of your campaign.

11. Measuring Your Result at the End 

One another key part of a successful, relatively cheap campaign is to measure your results. Have you ever heard of ROI? It stands for the profitability of a marketing campaign. ROI is basically an equation; his is the way you can calculate it: Net profit/cost of the campaign * 100. Let’s see it through an example: Your marketing campaign brought you a net revenue of 10000 Euros, although you only spent 9000 Euros on your campaign. In this example, your ROI equals: 10000/9000*100 = 111,11%. This time, you have a positive ROI, so your campaign generated more revenue than it cost. Although there are many limitations to the return on investment calculations, using it as a simplified measuring system is always useful.

key performance indicator

12.  Conclusion

Managing marketing campaigns is not always easy. Most of the time, it is quite hard! But these are mandatory requirements, to save as much money as you can. As you could have learned by now, you can reach the same result both with SEA and SEO. Moreover, you will mostly use them simultaneously because the situations may require them. The key is the word “necessity”. Always think about mandatory purchases and mandatory steps you must follow. This is the only way you can ensure to avoid a catastrophic event, like losing customers through your conversion funnel. Hopefully, there are many sites that can help you avoid reaching that stage.

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