Before we start comparing one to the other, let us start from the beginning – you have to have a strategy in place to let the world know about your product. To let the world know about your product, service or company, you have to have an online presence. You have to build necessary online channels like a website and social media channels to start building your online presence. Then, you should weigh down your options, while taking into account long term marketing goals. To increase sales, you need to build website traffic to your website. The best way to do this is to rely on traffic building tactics, like SEO and PPC. Both are valuable, but the old question emerges – which one is better?
Should you invest in SEO or PPC or maybe another digital marketing tactic first? Well, you should learn what each one of these has to offer and include them in your digital marketing strategy.
The basics come first
Before you even start considering the pros and cons of SEO and PPC, we have to be sure you know what each one of these means. So, what exactly is SEO? What do you mean by PPC?
SEO in a nutshell
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, which is considered as a marketing tactic to increase website visibility, increase its ranking and traffic. All of this is done by implementing tactics that bring organic results. In other words, SEO tactics will improve your website to help it appear among organic search results in search engines. So, if someone googles an optometrist near me and your website is optimised for that keyword, your website might appear among search results.
Pro: Helps build trust
SEO will help you build brand awareness and trust among your customers and possible customers. People are already tired of all the ads jumping all over the online space. Due to ad fatigue, people trust organic results more than paid ads. Also, when you appear regularly among organic search results, Google will value you as the expert in the field.
Con: You have to stay up to date with the ever-changing Google algorithm
It has been reported that Google changes its algorithm up to six hundred times per year. Each one of these changes can affect your ranking so you have to pay close attention to your analytics and rankings and update your strategy accordingly.
Pro: SEO improvements make your website user-friendly
All that people want is to get results fast. A user-friendly website that has the right content and that answers a question provides a much-needed service or a product is valued more than anything else. When you invest in SEO, you’ll know which areas of your site need improvement and you’ll end up with an optimised and user-friendly website.
Con: It has to be monitored regularly
SEO efforts have to be regularly monitored and strategy has to be updated regularly If you want your site to preserve its rankings, surpass them and achieve better SERP results, you have to update your keyword research, content, link building tactics and other relevant search engine ranking factors.
Pro: SEO efforts drive relevant traffic
SEO will help your website rank for the keywords that are relevant to your business. Relevant keywords drive relevant traffic and the flow of traffic will be stable if you continue with your optimisation efforts. You can also utilize different content marketing efforts to target people at different stages of a sales funnel. This way, every type of traffic is relevant traffic, whether someone is reading your blog posts or completing the checkout process.
Con: Your SEO efforts will take time
When compared to PPC efforts which can be observed quickly, SEO is a long-term strategy. It will take some time until you see the first boost in traffic. But, this shouldn’t discourage you, because when you team up with an SEO agency from Sydney or other parts of the world, you’ll team up with a professional that knows how to achieve these results for you. An SEO professional has the experience needed to deliver tangible results, even though SEO efforts will take some time.
PPC in a nutshell
PPC stands for Pay Per Click and it falls into the category of search engine marketing. It is a paid marketing tactic you can use to deliver ads on search engines to people searching for the keyword you’re bidding on in your paid marketing strategy. Whenever someone clicks on your ad, whether it appears at the top of the Google Search Results Page or on social media channels, you will pay for that click to the publisher. That’s why it’s called pay-per-click because you will pay for each click with your budget. Hence, whenever someone clicks on the ad, there’s a chance that the click might lead to a purchase or any other goal you have set for your PPC campaign.
Pro: Results are quick
If you want quick results especially in comparison to SEO, invest in a PPC campaign. A PPC campaign can provide tangible results in a few hours. You can take advantage of this if you want people to hear about your product or service fast and get some boost in online visibility while you wait for SEO efforts to kick in.
Con: No money, no campaign
If you don’t have money, you can’t run ads, simple as that. Your ads will appear as long as you have money to pay for the clicks. The same goes for traffic brought by these clicks. Thus, when you stop the campaign, you won’t get the traffic gathered by a paid campaign.
Pro: Choose your target audience
You can get the best value for your money by choosing the right target audience. You can set out every detail regarding your target audience and get only the most valuable clicks and campaign results. Your ads won’t appear to someone beyond your target audience.
Con: You have to invest constantly
PPC campaigns require constant investments and the budget needed can increase over time because of competition. The higher the competition, the higher the cost per click, thus it can require you to spend more and more over time.
Pro: Your ad appears before other search results
If a search term someone googles trigger one of your keywords, your ad will appear above other search results. If your bidding strategy is appropriate, you will appear in the first position and people usually click the first result they get.
Con: People are wary of ads
When people see an ad, they know that somebody paid for that ad to appear. That’s why they trust the ad less than other results. But, you can avoid this by altering your ad copy to avoid ad fatigue and drive clicks.
SEO vs. PPC – How to get the best of both?
If you’ve been wondering how you can reap the benefits of both and combine the results to improve marketing strategy further, here’s how.
Explore retargeting ads – If you want to target people who already visited your well-optimised website, spent some time browsing, but decided against pressing that purchase button, there’s a way to do that. By creating retargeting ads you can target people who’ve been to your website and remind them to return to your website and make that purchase. They will see your ad again and be reminded of their intention to buy something from your website.
Explore social media ads – If you want to give your well-performing website content some additional traffic, you can boost it with social media ads. You can easily boost content that ranks well organically and promote it via social media. This way your content will reach more people and help you attain backlinks that further boost your SEO efforts. On top of all this, if you’ve spent hours researching, crafting and writing your piece, it would be great to get as much traffic as possible to it and provide people with quality content.
Ads can help you improve your SEO blueprint – If you want to level up your SEO strategy, your ads can help you with that. You will collect different types of data with your PPC campaigns, from keyword search volume to ad copy that really converts people into buyers. You can use all available data to better outline your SEO strategy and reach your goals.
Conclusion – Should you choose one or the other? SEO or PPC? Or maybe even both?
Now that we’ve outlined the benefits of both advertising concepts, it’s up to you to align your business goals with one or both acquisition tactics. You can even choose both SEO and PPC and measure the results of both tactics to see which one works best. You might even observe that the integration of both tactics brought the best results and surpassed your expectations. If you want quick results, choose PPC. In case you want to build trust over time, choose SEO.
But, until you try them all and even both at the same time, you’ll never know how SEO and PPC can benefit your type of business. One thing is for sure, if you want to stay one step ahead of your competition, you should invest in the most common digital marketing tactics. Both SEO and PPC can work for you if you team up with the right digital marketing professionals and get the most of organic search results and paid advertising.
Thank you for sharing such a informational article. I am a SEO Expert and I am totally agree with your all points and looking forward for your other posts.