SEO vs. PPC: What’s Better for Your Business?
A robust online marketing strategy has lots of moving parts. There are social media for keeping in touch with your audience, email marketing to send them timely updates, and blogging to build your brand’s authority in your industry. There are also Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC) to help you reach a broad audience.
Today, startups and SMEs have a hard time deciding whether to focus on SEO or PPC, especially since they overlap in the same channel (for paid search ads). While veteran marketers and thought leaders can debate all they want on which is better, this article will help you apprehend an objective look at both strategies. First and foremost, you need to understand how each works:
What is PPC?
Online marketers may tell you that SEO is a bit older than PPC. However, being an outbound marketing strategy, the idea behind PPC is similar to traditional marketing methods. PPC means you have to shell out money for instant visibility to a targeted audience—not unlike advertising through posters, newspaper ads, and TV commercials.
PPC is, however, different since it occurs through online display ads, sponsored links, and paid search ads. Furthermore, the PPC model means the company only has to pay whenever a user clicks. That said, PPC is a lot more cost-effective than traditional marketing strategies in several ways. Just remember that ad serving networks like Google Adwords also consider other factors such as quality score when determining when and where to show your ads.
What is SEO?
Unlike PPC, SEO is an inbound marketing strategy. It allows businesses to leverage the enormous amount of traffic from search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! to gain constant visibility. However, aside from tapping into the massive amount of traffic from search engines, SEO is also about establishing your brand as the authority in your niche.
SEO involves several practices that optimize a website’s rankings in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).These practices may focus on off-page factors (backlink profile, domain name, hosting quality) or on-page factors (keyword strategy, content, meta descriptions, site performance). The ultimate goal is simple—to reach the number one spot and stay there for as long as you can through constant optimization.
The Key Differences
The first thing that businesses may consider is the cost differences between the two strategies. However, asking which one is cheaper is probably the wrong question. Remember that SEO is expensive initially, because it encompasses several areas of your online presence. On the other hand, PPC can also get very expensive quickly, especially if you are participating in high competition keyword markets.
However, PPC brings you faster results since it gives you instant visibility in organic listings. A PPC campaign is also scalable and can be optimized to fit your budget well. Just don’t expect stellar results without spending much money on competitive keywords and copy development.
On the other hand, SEO may take weeks or even months before you can receive the returns of your investment. Remember that it takes time for a website’s authority as well as crucial SEO metrics (Domain Authority, Trust Flow) to increase. The critical processes for SEO such as link building, content development, and site optimization also takes a lot of time and effort.
However, SEO is your ticket to unlocking the maximum revenue potential of your business. Once you reach the first page of search engines like Google, your brand can be exposed to the millions of search users looking for online solutions. According to research, SEO accounts for more than half of web traffic from online marketing methods—amassing 64% of unique web visits as compared to paid search’s 6%.
Overall, PPC is fit as a short-term strategy to help your business gain traction and get sales along the way. With the right approach, PPC will help you attain better conversion rates and close more sales. However, organic traffic from SERPs will trust not only your products but your entire brand as a whole. It may not be immediately useful in earning your company money, but it will eventually expose your digital storefront to a larger audience. In short, SEO is a great long-term strategy that will grow your business and cement the authority of your brand.
In the end, it is not a question of which strategy to use—it is when to use them both. Every growing business needs specific strategies in certain stages. Let us help you develop your blueprint for online success and call us today for a free quote.