Category Archives: Digital Marketing Services


SEO vs PPC, or should you do both?

It’s amazing how many businesses really aren’t sure which of these two digital marketing strategies to apply for the best return on their investment.

So, in our latest blog we’re going to tackle the pros and cons for SEO vs PPC, and see which campaigns offer the best value for money.

An example of SEO vs PPC

As we know many companies budgets can be tight, especially to start with and many business owners and marketing departments are concerned where their money is best spent.

So, I thought I would start with my own experience dating back to 2003. At the time, I had to make very clear decisions on whether to go with PPC, or SEO.  The company I started up was The business model is based on attracting as many people as possible to search for car and van parts, whilst building up a database of parts sellers at the same time, to send out the part quotes.

We especially needed more people searching for parts to start the company off (and lots of them!) in order to attract and retain the sellers. This is where SEO and PPC came into play, with decisions and strategies needing to be deployed.

We desperately needed the parts enquiries to grab the seller’s attention in order to grow the monthly subscriptions. The Breakeryard service became a win-win! as customers managed to save loads of money, whilst at the same time seller’s offloaded parts resulting in a boost in profits.

Fortunately, I had a friend called Ed who loved SEO and had experienced tremendous success through his own online dating agency he had launched in 2001.

In fact, he had achieved 3 million hits a month globally! So, I had seen the benefits of SEO first hand, and loved it that his clicks were free.

I knew it had taken Ed some time to build, so for Breakeryard to reach the top of Google with keywords such as ‘used car parts’, or ‘secondhand car parts’, I knew it would become very labour intensive and time consuming.

To start with I simply didn’t have the time initially and it was ‘all hands on deck’ to cold call and get the seller’s onboard.

I therefore decided to go down the PPC road in the interim and used platforms such as the Autotrader, and Google to target our specific markets (as there was no social media around back then).

The challenge was soon identified with the fast growing PPC budget running at £3000+ per month. The main way we could get this back was only through selling monthly subscriptions, as we made no money on the part sales.

I learned quickly that the business model played a significant part of whether to go with PPC, or SEO.

We needed to move to SEO as quick as possible, to save on the PPC.

It finally took 8 months of hardwork on SEO to produce more enquiries than PPC, in order for us to drop the budget.

Eventually, due to time restraints and needing more help, we started employing SEO agencies, (some good, and some bad). I gained a lot of experience in this area, and understood what a client needs when it comes to SEO.

At Breakeryard, we finally launched the marketplace (you could call it a labour of challenging love, with many obstacles to overcome) which in turn provided an e-commerce system enabling the sellers to list parts themselves directly online.

Breakeryard now earns a percentage of each part sale for the listing. So, it’s possible to say it would be worth reviewing the benefits of PPC again, as the pay-per-click could be calculated directly into the part sale.

In general, you need to have the right business model in place to decide on whether to go down the PPC, and SEO routes. Knowing your CPA (cost-per-acquisition) is key, and conducting a cost-to-serve analysis also plays a major part in your decision making.


Pros and Cons of SEO and PPC

Let’s start with looking at SEO

Firstly, let’s understand what SEO is. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of ensuring your website, and web pages rank organically well in Google, or even Yahoo and Bing’s. More info on SEO can be found here

When you place a search into Google, the 1st page to appear in the results will be divided into 3 main categories, in descending order.

At the top you will see the PPC (pay-per-click) adverts, underneath you will see the local businesses near you (Google Places), and then you will see the natural organic results. You may find more PPC results under the organic as well.

The organic results are mainly driven by your websites trust, confidence and reputation with the search engines.

There are no short cuts in this day and age to reaching the top. You always need to aim for quality onsite, and quality offsite content.

SEO is one of our major passions here at 1st Choice Marketing, we firmly believe gaining free-clicks should form a part of every companies marketing strategy.

The organic ranking positions are also based on search engine algorithms, which are always changing, and being updated. In fact, Google alone makes over 3000 changes every year to their algorithms. The algorithim’s calculate the quality and relevancy of your website, and then rank you accordingly based on the search criteria!

Part of SEO is constantly reviewing the algorithmic updates to review what Google sees as important, and then optimising your website based on the findings.

At 1st Choice Marketing, we have an ear to the ground and will conduct a comprehensive SEO health check for all our clients to determine their website is on track.

Benefits of SEO

Let’s have a look at how SEO can really benefit your business.

– When you apply the right techniques, SEO offers the power to stay for long periods of time in top ranking high traffic positions.
– SEO can work out cheaper for you in the long term, rather than PPC.
– Each click is free! So, unlike PPC you don’t pay when someone keeps clicking your website.
– SEO attracts more clicks than PPC ads, as people trust the organic results more.
– Rapid growth opportunity! You can get more web traffic quicker, and grow faster than other companies who have been trading for years longer.

Downsides of SEO

– SEO is very time consuming, results may not appear overnight and can take months, even years in some highly competitive markets.
– You will need to become an expert in your field, so writing unique and authoritative content is very important.
– You need to keep within search engine guidelines, both onsite and offsite with your content.
– You cannot always control the results for relevant websites to link back to you.
– If you suddenly find the influx of enquiries too big, you can’t easily switch off the enquiries (although there are ways round this).

So, why PPC?

PPC (pay-per-click) is where you simply pay each time someone clicks on your website, or landing page from a paid advert. You can find out more on PPC here.

Advantages of PPC

– PPC is very fast to get results, a campaign can be set up in literally 1 hour, or less.
– You can easily manage the budget. You can switch off a campaign instantly if it doesn’t work, or is too successful.
– You can easily manage, and analyse the success of a campaign.
– Relevancy now plays a part for positioning, so creating the right ads can result in beating competition and paying less.
– PPC can give instant brand recognition.
– You can experiment fast with different products and services.

Dis-advantages of PPC

– It can be very expensive, especially if you don’t know how to manage a campaign properly – it can backfire!
– You must make sales and retain new customers, or you’ve lost money.
– Some industries require massive budgets! Like mortgages, insurance and other financial sectors.
– There is a risk the ads can become stale, as visitors who keep seeing you may scan over the ads and they become less effective.
– PPC doesn’t carry the same trust factors with searchers as the organic results. Basically, PPC could be a business simply working out of their bedroom, as anyone can set up a campaign.

In Summary

When deciding on whether to go down the SEO or PPC road, you will need to review your business model, and prioritise your budgets. If you decide on PPC then make sure the customers who does business with is looked after as once that click is pressed you risk eroding your budget, and fast.

Having a life time value (LTV) strategy for winning clients is key for repeat business, and can be calculated into the cost-per-click.

We hope you have found this article helpful, and please feel free to comment below.

If you’re still not sure what’s right for you, then please contact one of our specialists at 1st Choice Marketing and we’d love to help point you in the right direction.

Blog post by Matt Bott, Founder of, and 1st Choice Marketing.

Voice searches increase to 33%

33% of adults use voice search technology in 2019

33% of people use voice assisted devices when making internet searches.

Voice searches increase to 33%

Use of voice search technology

Although, some people may not fully get this, and may not be fully accustomed to voice search technology, but in fact there’s actually 2 in 4 young adults using voice searches every month through their devices. And, as mentioned 33% of all adults overall.

This could be put down to younger people simply copying their friends, or used to giving voice commands through online gaming, anyway the trend is growing more each year and it’s coming through the younger adult generations.

‘How well is your website set up for high search engine rankings when people speak your target search words/phrases?’

Voice Search Statistics

In 2019, voice searches have climbed another 9.5% on 2018, and still increasing at a growing steady rate. Even, in the automotive sector, where for obvious reasons the driver is encouraged to speak search commands rather than type, voice search technology is gaining more traction with everyday devices, becoming much more user-friendly.

111.8 million People in the US will use a voice assistant at monthly during 2019. This figure indicates 39.4% of US internet users and 33.8% of the overall population are using voice assistants whether static, or on the go. SOURCE: E-Marketer

So, where does that leaves the search engine results market? And more importantly how does this change the landscape for digital marketing.

Well, it has been proven that voice search queries can be longer in the keywords and phrases used. What we mean by this is that typing can be quick and to the point versus speaking, which naturally means you would say more when making your search.

Here’s an example:

Someone typing their search may say something like ‘good Thai restaurant near me’, whereas someone who is speaking into their search device might say ‘Hi google, I’m looking for a good Thai restaurant near to where I live’.

Here we have additional words being used in the search, such as ‘I’m looking for’, and ‘Near to where I live’, either way, the result positions in the search engine can alternate based on what additional information is being added.

This is why it’s important when writing your content and laying out your page structure that these variations of search phrases are included.

Future growth of Voice Search

In the coming years, more and more devices will be launched into the market with voice assistant software. We’ve now witnessed the launch of smart speakers with voice assistants built in. These sort of technologies will fuel growth into the market and see the ever increasing trend of voice searches increase even more.

As well as car technologies, we will see voice assistants integrated into more TV’s and other smart home technologies, as well as household appliances, watches and more.

Based on the survey, the most common usages of voice search is for selecting music, finding shops and restaurants nearby, gaining directions and selecting who to make a phone call.

We would love to hear your comments on this article, please feel free to leave them below.

Digital Marketing Services

What is Digital Marketing?

There are many people who are still a little bit unsure of what Digital Marketing actually is, so we thought we’d write this blog to help give you a better understanding.

Digital Marketing is when you promote your business using all marketing promotions through the internet, or an electronic device.

Even though our planet has over 7 billion people living on it, only 4 billion are actively online, so digital users are always increasing every day. I heard a figure of 10,000 people every week are still registering online across the globe.

So, if you take into account the world population of over 7.1 billion and that it’s increasing, by simple maths and a vision you can see that there is an ever growing online market for your products and services, to help keep you in business for decades to come.

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There are various digital channels you can use such as social media, email, internet searches that will link your company directly to your online audience.

If you reflect on our high street shop closures we’ve witnessed in recent year’s, this is because more and more consumers now choose to buy online. Therefore, how important is it that you focus even more on your digital marketing campaigns. (We won’t dip into the topic of greedy landlords hehe, so I’ll try and stay focused). Anyway, this is why we have also seen a reduction in the more traditional means of marketing.

Do you remember how thick your yellow pages used to be? And how thin it is now?

This is an example of why all businesses must move towards digital marketing to capture and protect their future custom.

What is Digital MarketingThat’s not to say that traditional methods such as newspaper adverts, posters, bus adverts etc. don’t work as they can, but as the consumers buying experience is ever evolving, and their attention is drawn online, then so must our marketing strategies.

This is where digital marketing comes into the arena as a major factor to future proof your business. You can be sure if you’re not on top of digital marketing, then your competitors will be, so having this base covered is a must.

Here’s a nice simple answer to what is digital marketing?

It’s any form of marketing that happens online.

At 1st Choice Marketing our goal is to attract your customers to you, engage and show you ways to keep them happy, so they tell others about you. There are many techniques to helping you make this happen.

What are the benefits of digital marketing?

Well, one of the greatest benefits to digital marketing, is being able to track data and the behaviour of your customers. This can be done using various tools and systems, but one of the greatest is Google Analytics. As we know Google is the top search engine and by exploring what they have to offer is a very good place to start and habit to get into.

Google data can be tracked through Google Data Studio, Google Analytics, Google Search Console and even more ways are still being developed onto the market by Google. You can also measure your ROI (return on investment) for all your online promotions.

Other benefits would be how easy it is to write eBooks, online brochures, banner adverts, Adroll campaigns, email newsletters, blog articles, mobile apps – all these are ways you can promote your company brand, as well as of course through your own website.

How can I run a promotion through digital marketing?

Firstly, let’s look at a simple example of how a digital marketing promotion works.

1. Start with writing an eBook
2. Then, write blogs to promote your eBook
3. Send a newsletter promoting your eBook
4. Engage Social Media by targeting your fans to click on your eBook
5. Write a webpage on your site about your eBook
6. Publish a video on YouTube about your eBook
7. When people click on your eBook explain more about your company and what you have to offer.

This is just a simple tactic and example of how to promote yourself through digital marketing.

Ultimately, the end goal is for consumers to buy your ebook and visit your website to learn more about you. However, there are other benefits you’ll get along the way.

Additional Promotional Benefits

1. Increase your social media fan base
2. Build your brand identity as an authority on your topic in the market.
3. Increase your site visitors
4. Improve your SEO by generating more traffic to your site and social media platforms.

This is an example of an ebook promotion, but you could do the same thing for;

1. eBrochures
2. Infographics
3. Video Content
4. White Papers
5. Paid search – PPC
6. Your website
7. Landing Pages

This list goes on…. There’s so much more out there when it comes to digital marketing and the fun thing is that the market landscape is always changing and evolving, so keeping yourself up to date is key.

What is the role of a Digital Marketer?

This is where we come in. A Digital Marketer is in charge of all digital marketing campaigns with the sole purpose of driving traffic to you campaigns, or website.

To generate leads and engage customers with your social, or online reviews. These methods maybe paid or free, but in order to protect your business, keep growing and building your brand then more and more digital marketer roles will be popping up in companies as time goes on.

You could also look at outsourcing your sales and marketing to us.

Some other roles that you could see getting established as a company grows would be SEO Analyst, Content Marketing Manager, Social Media Consultant, Marketing Automation Executive. These are all roles that support the need for digital marketing services within a company.

Does my business need digital marketing services?

A simple answer is YES! Whether you’re a butcher, a baker or a candle stick maker.

You will need to embark on the digital marketing journey to protect the future of your business. Suppose someone just moves into your area and searches for a good local butcher.

You can be sure that the shop who has a clean business listing and positive reviews will be attracting in that new customer. Every company should have a digital marketing strategy in place from now on.

5 Good Reasons to Outsource Your Sales and Marketing

Outsource Sales and MarketingFor many years Businesses and Charities looked inwardly when it came to their Sales and Marketing initiatives. This has proven quite costly as not only does this take up lots of time and energy from the management, but it can be quite costly to the organisation itself. Tax and national insurance needs to be paid for all employees followed by holiday pay and sick pay etc. The end results can also prove inconsistent which can only add to the internal politics as well. This is where our services make good business sense.

A New Alternative

Over recent years many companies have been outsourcing departments such as accounting, customer service, human resources and their general administration requirements of the business. Many virtual personal assistants now work from home to assist various companies across the UK, and even worldwide to help them get organised. It is only now more and more are exploring the benefits of outsourcing their Sales and Marketing department, so let’s have a look at some of the benefits of doing this.

Outsource Your Sales and Marketing

Combining Sales and Marketing together is vital when implementing a strategy plan to make it succeed. Depending on the size of the business, these two departments may differ and not always see eye to eye. Marketing may complain that the sales are not meeting their expectations and the sales team may become dis-satisfied that the marketing isn’t quite right to help them close the deal. The cost can run into £1000’s to sort out all the issues and in some cases £million’s. This is why outsourcing both Sales and Marketing together to one company can only be a positive.

Employing a company who specialises in this area allows the business to access a high level of professionals who are working harmoniously for the good of the company. This then allows the company to focus on the everyday running tasks whilst enjoying the rewards of new business. It can be a game changing plan if executed properly and can lead to outstanding results such as increased online traffic, reduction in overheads and ultimately new and retained clients. Let’s have a look at 5 good tips together as to why.

Outsource Sales and Marketing, Strategic Planning1. Cost effective and reduced risk

Training and retaining quality staff can really hit the bottom line of any business. Operational inefficiencies and their risks are mitigated by outsourcing. Also, the internal cost of sales and marketing platforms are removed by allowing the outsourced company to foot the bill and ensure a constant professional approach is always maintained towards reporting, developing and optimizing all routes to market.

2. Hiring Talent

A designated Sales and Marketing Consultancy has done it all before learning from the ‘school of knocks’ along the way. Most importantly, the business can have peace of mind that the latest cutting edge technology and methodology will be utilized to health check the processes to win business. By managing these departments internally mean should someone who is successfully trained and experienced then leave, it can really hit the bottom line hard.

3. Time and Effort

By employing a professional consultancy (like us) then the right sales and marketing platform will be established and can stand the business in a solid foundation for the future. This then allows the business, or organisation to focus on the everyday running.

4. Guaranteed Support

With many head hunting companies out there, this can put additional strain on any internal sales and marketing department meaning a constant eye has to be on making sure key people are not lost. This is not the case when these departments are outsourced as it takes this hassle away.

5. The Growth Factor

A rapid growth pattern can be established for by allowing a specialised consultancy to focus and drive for new business. This means that all goals become completely results driven by very professional, experienced and proven individuals.

Outsourcing your Sales and Marketing is definitely well worth looking into for the reasons mentioned above. If you are interested in a free consultation or simply want to read our services, then please contact us here.

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