Contextual Advertising vs. Search Engine Optimization [A Russian Reviews]
Today, it is pointless to argue about the need to develop business both offline and on the Internet. Suffice it to recall the quote of the great businessman Bill Gates "If your business is not on the Internet, then your business will be out of business!"
But often the issue is not the reluctance to bring the business online,
but the elementary lack of knowledge of the development features therein. This is one of the main reasons why the IT market has been leading the job market for more than 20 years, and a good specialist will never be out of a job.
There is a wide range of specialties directly related to the Internet. These are web developers of different levels and specializations who can create a website of any complexity, but what is the benefit of the website if it is just hosted on the network without bringing profit and new customers?
That's why the Internet marketer profession began to gain popularity in
the early 2000s. Initially, these were only SEO specialists, then, with the
development of advertising platforms such as Yandex.Direct, and further, with the development of CPA networks, a variety of Internet marketing specialties expanded significantly.
In this article, we will discuss the contextual advertising and SEO promotion market, compare their pros and cons for different types of business and review each in more detail.
The search engine optimization market is probably the oldest in Russia
and the world. Even with the beginning of search engines such as Yandex,
Google, Rambler and others, website owners began to realize that the higher their website in search, the more visits, and, accordingly, potential customers it will bring.
At that period, even the developers of these systems could not explain how do the search engine algorithms work and what methods do they use to rank websites, because a search engine system is based on the principle of self-learning, using the original principles and algorithms only partly.
This may sound a little ridiculous, but at the moment it is also difficult to explain the exact principle of their work with 100% certainty, but all SEO specialists and webmasters agree that a substandard website will never
be on top of search results. Only regular work on improving a number of
indicators can provide a website with high positions and stable regular
The work of a SEO specialist is inconceivable without a good programmer,
because if we even briefly list a number of website SEO procedures, it will
- Analyzing competitive websites, identifying their pros and cons in order to determine what factors provide them with high performance.
- A competent semantic core compilation – that is, a list of keywords and phrases to bring a website to the top of search results.
Beginner SEO specialists rarely use professional software, using application
services from the same search engines. An example of such a service is the very popular Yandex.Wordstat which allows determining the competition of requests by region, their demand, and frequency. Multiple beginners (often clients themselves) use automatic promotion systems, for example such as Rookee and Seopult.
The following free and paid services will help both SEO beginners and
- SeoWork.ru – a convenient monitoring and analytics service for a wide range of performance indicators.
- SeoNews.ru – rather an informational resource than a service, but very, very many specialists of different levels regularly get new knowledge and share their own there.
- Naturally, no specialist will do without the canonical Yandex.Webmasters and Yandex.Metrics. No stronger free and reliable analytics systems have yet been invented.
- Pr-cy.ru – an instant website analysis service involving a range of key SEO performance indicators, immediately providing advice on how to eliminate errors.
- SerpStat.ru – for many years, no better tool can be found if you need to analyze competitors.
More advanced specialists use KeyCollector-level programs capable of absolutely incredible things, ranging from frequency analysis and excluding "empty" requests up to a full heuristic text analysis for spam keywords, quality and search engine optimization which facilitates the work.
Creating a quality website or tuning (rebuilding) a current one in terms of a very large list of technical features.
The website should be of exactly high quality. It should be convenient for the user, so that he/she does not close the page right after opening it. The website should load quickly, every extra second of loading directly affects behavioral factors. The website should have a clear, neat and competent code in terms of architecture, search engines appreciate it very much.
In the not-so-long past, the link mass played a very important role, and the more quality websites linked to the promoted website, the higher was its rating in search engines. At the moment, the link factor has faded into the background and does not play such a significant role, but this does not negate the importance of all factors in the aggregate, and none should
be neglected in SEO.
Based on all of the above, we can make a definite clear conclusion. SEO
is a huge complex of work, sometimes taking months, but yielding the desired result in the end – the costs of the website and its development decrease every month, and due to the growing search engine positions, it automatically brings customers and profit.
The contextual advertising market is much younger than SEO, but for more
than 10 years it has maintained its strong positions. The reason for this is
quite simple – not all entrepreneurs are ready to wait six months or a year,
and invest significant financial resources in the website development, waiting for SEO to begin bringing the expected profit.
The main advantage of contextual advertising is its instant effect. You just have to correctly set up an advertising campaign and run it so that the website is already posted in the special ad field.
But, as in everything, contextual advertising has many nuances and pitfalls.
You can set up an advertising campaign yourself, because Yandex’s constructor is quite simple, you just have to select the keywords to show your website in the advertising results, determine the region where the ads will be displayed, and Yandex will independently calculate and offer placement options with a certain budget .
Also, by analogy with specialized services for SEO specialists, there
are manu convenient tools for marketers. The best of them are:
- Aori – with it, you can support both Yandex.Direct and Google Adsense advertising campaigns in your account, and automatic advertising campaign management strategies can optimize and facilitate the process.
- eLama – in addition to assigning an advertising campaign to a personal manager, the system allows you to optimize many processes
- Adobe Media Optimizer – one of the strongest tools for true professionals offering a convenient feature for forecasting campaign parameters and a built-in performance counter.
But here we face one of the main mistakes of beginners. If you do the
above method, then the advertising budget (it can be up to 50 and sometimes 100 rubles per just one click on an ad), will simply be spent.
That's why the profession of a contextual advertising specialist, or, as they call it, a targetologist, is in great demand. A competent specialist will develop and set up a campaign taking into account a number of nuances:
- determine the most optimal requests and keywords for ads, as well as write their headers.
- choose and eliminate “stop words” which sometimes eat up to 70-80% of
the budget After all, why should a client who sells buckets for excavators show his ad if a person is looking for just a ladle in the kitchen. We can name infinite number of such examples.
- track statistics and maintain your advertising campaign determining which ads spend too much with no effect, and which, on the contrary, should be expanded in terms of the budget.
When choosing a specialist whom you are ready to entrust your website
for an advertising campaign to, it is important to pay attention to his/her
experience, review previous cases and their results.
Each experienced specialist always has a lot of certificates testifying
to his or her professional growth as a result of training. Certification
documents of Yandex and Google are considered to be one of the most popular.
Pros and Cons of Both Promotion Methods
Naturally, with a competent approach and the work of specialists, each
of the above Internet promotion methods is good, but naturally, they have pros and cons.
- Contextual advertising requires financial investments right away, and they are more likely to be daily. To be higher than competitors in the advertising results, it is important to have a well-designed campaign, and at the same time a relatively higher rate relative to other ads.
- At the same time, contextual advertising does not guarantee that even with a high click rate and costs, it will pay off. After all, your trading proposal and its optimality and profitability for the client are important.
- With a quality setting, and a competent approach, contextual advertising triggers immediately bringing you customers and purchase orders from the first day.
- SEO is longer in terms of time, and at the first stages it is no less expensive, but with a competent approach and regular work on the website, over time it will bring a stable flow of purchase orders, and their costs, even taking into account previous expenses, will be several times lower than that of purchase orders upon contextual advertising.
Which is Better and What is Worth Choosing?
A question that many ask when starting a business. It’s difficult, or
rather, impossible to give the right answer, because each type of advertising is suitable for a certain business topic.
Contextual advertising is primarily suitable for the quick sale of a
certain product, especially for landing pages of a seasonal product nature and lifetime.
Contextual advertising is also very convenient for selling certain types
of services, for example, for brigades of repairmen or builders.
At the same time, if the company is engaged in the sale of special equipment, foundation construction operations and similar activities, it will
be rather reckless not to pay attention to SEO.
In fact, the conclusion is the most obvious – when choosing a promotion
method, first evaluate both your financial capabilities and experience, as well as benefits/drawbacks of each method. Secondly, engaging an experienced specialist will bring you a much faster and higher result. In the vast majority of cases, it pays for itself in terms of investments, and saves you valuable time and resources.
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