Is there a right or wrong answer to the question? Could you use both in the company? To make this decision, you need to understand the pros and cons of SEO and PPC.
This has been an ongoing debate for years. Which is better: Simply buy the way to the top of the search engines via a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign or a search engine marketing tool that further develop your organic search engine marketing strategy?
Deciding where your marketing budget should go is a difficult decision for many business owners and the decision between SEO vs PPC is often plagued by doubt as to which is the better tool.
SEO / Search Engine Optimization
SEO is also known as “organic” lead generation. In general, SEO consists of optimizing your website to improve its position in the naturally occurring search results. Organic SEO means ensuring that search engine spiders can crawl and understand what’s on your website, and ideally that they value your website higher than your competitors.
The definition of what SEO is exactly can often change due to industry trends and changes to Google’s algorithm, but it is important to provide a website that explains exactly what the company is doing and helpful content for both human visitors and Google search engines.
This can mean that the website is in good condition, using clean codes and search engine friendly content that appeal to both human readers and Google search robots. Maintaining incoming links from other websites can determine your “link authority” and improve your ranking. Blogging, social media marketing, and online videos are three of the most effective ways to get high-quality links.
Advantages of organic SEO:
- Organic SEO is very inexpensive. The labor costs to set up and manage a PPC campaign are usually equal to or even higher than the labor costs for SEO, but there are also the continuous click fees that you pay after setting up.
- Organic SEO is long-lasting – a properly optimized website can hold a high position in the search results long after a PPC campaign has been switched off.
- The positioning in search engines is relatively stable, while the PPC ad positions change continuously according to the bidding tactics of your competitors. A well-optimized website with good link authority and excellent content can hold its search engine position if you have to distance yourself from SEO for a month.
Disadvantages of SEO:
- SEO is very slow compared to PPC. It may take months after you optimize your website before you start seeing results as PPC starts delivering leads to you straight away.
- SEO is an ongoing process. Your website will never be 100% “optimized”, it will only get more and more optimized if you invest more work in it. The good news is that in the future your rankings will be better and hopefully you will reap the rewards of investing in SEO.
- SEO is time-consuming, especially if you choose to do it yourself. You have the option to buy SEO tools or hire someone to do SEO for you, but it will end up costing real money, not your free time.
PPC / Pay-Per-Click Advertising
If you buy visitors or “clicks” from Google or other search engines, this is called pay-per-click (PPC) search engine advertising. PPC allows you to quickly use search engine traffic by paying or bidding for keywords that relate to what you sell or a service that you offer.
Advantages of PPC:
As soon as your PPC campaign starts, you will immediately see more traffic, clicks, and conversions. SEO can take months before you start moving your website up in search engine results.
PPC Is Scalable and Controllable
You set your budget and have a good idea of how many leads you get for it. This in turn helps you to estimate an exact budget for your digital marketing. SEO isn’t that cut and dry, and it can take longer or make more money if the industry or location that your business needs to rank for is very competitive.
Helps You Achieve Your Goals
Whatever your goals as a company, PPC can probably help you get there. First, you can increase the number of leads. Second, you can raise the profile of an e-commerce shop. It is also possible to improve your brand awareness. PPC provides an easier option to promote your content marketing and reach your ideal audience at every step of the sales funnel.
Low Entry Barrier
With a little tweak, you can see results in PPC marketing very quickly, it’s quick and easy to set up. Afterward, it enables you to concentrate on your target group to address only your ideal audience. The platform offers step-by-step instructions to start creating your ad, so you can set up the campaign without help. You will also see the results within a few minutes. Unlike SEO, which can take months to pay off.
With PPC, you can choose every aspect of the campaign, including keyword, placement, targeting, and even when you want your ads to appear. In most cases, you can pay as much or as little as you want (as long as it is within a market average). And if your ad doesn’t work the way you want it, you can quickly make changes to try something new.
When you run a PPC campaign through AdWords, the results are recorded accurately so that there is no guesswork. This platform allows you to instantly view impressions, clicks, and conversions, which you can then analyze and use to improve your next campaign. You know exactly who is clicking on the links to your landing pages, how your traffic is increasing, and where your budget is going. Traditional forms of advertising such as newspaper or television advertising simply do not convey a clear picture of how your campaigns work.
Highly Specific Target Group Control
With PPC, you can send your message to extremely specific audiences, including:
- People at every specific level of your sales funnel – especially those who have previously visited your website.
- Those who search with niche longtail keywords.
- Demographic data for small target groups
By using a mix of different PPC strategies, you can increase your chances that your content will reach the right users. You can reach both existing customers and those who have never heard of your company.
Information Base for Your SEO Strategy
SEO vs PPC both target the same types of users – those who use the Internet, and especially Google, to find deals. The performance data that PPC provides can then be used to target keyword strategy and popular traffic drivers for SEO campaigns. Conversely, an SEO strategy can help determine which keywords to target for PPC.
PPC marketing should be the future of your digital strategy. The data you get is truly remarkable and will prepare you not only to continuously improve your campaigns but also to improve the market for your ideal audience.
Using PPC means that you don’t have to worry about a particular search engine’s algorithm and how it affects your position. You are bidding on the top spots, so your organic rank will not matter. With SEO, you need to make sure that you optimize your website according to Google’s best practice standards so that your website no longer loses rank or is punished for black hat tactics.
Disadvantages of PPC:
You have to pay to get good results and ideally, the more you pay, the better the results. Competition for keywords has never been as big as it is today. This may mean that you will have to pay more later for the same results that you received.
Researching and choosing the right keywords to bid on is time-consuming. Managing your keyword spend, measuring returns, adjusting your spending, and playing PPC intelligently is a full-time job. Either you spend time doing it yourself or you need to hire an experienced PPC specialist who can properly run your campaigns for you.
PPC is like a tapas soon as you turn it off, it stops delivering leads. If you suddenly have to redirect your PPC budget to something else, can you survive with the leads you get, of course? SEO is long-lasting, and while it’s never really done, it’s like a rolling snowball: it takes a while to get started and it can sometimes slow down, but once it gets dynamic, there’s no stopping it.
Click fraud is still a problem because some companies use manual clicks or malicious software that simulates human clicks from different IP addresses around the world. Your competitors can quickly increase your clickthrough rates. Google can detect part of this scam, but there are ways to avoid it.
What Is Better for My Company: SEO vs PPC?
So, which is better? Well, it depends on your industry and your budget. Ideally, both natural SEO and a well-structured PPC campaign lead to the best results for a company. You will quickly start seeing more clicks and leads to ensure that your business makes money while your website is optimized in the background so that it gets higher and higher in a few months.
What Is Best for Immediate Impact?
Now, if this question were asked differently, for example, something like: “What is best for my brand at the moment, SEO vs PPC?”, The answer would also be different.
One option is to put your money into AdWords ads, which should produce a recognizable ROI, assuming the ad is successful and effective, and the landing pages used for paid campaigns are easy enough for the user to make the conversion. However, relying solely on paid placement can be costly, especially if the other elements on which your success depends do not function adequately or effectively.
The Two-Headed Monster
Search marketing consists of (mainly) two massive tools for the many phases of the user journey, from discovery and research to sales and conversions, which are paid search marketing (SEM) tools and search marketing organic (SEO).
They work incredibly well together, but all too often, that’s not the reality for smaller brands. For situations like this, it makes sense to experience intense SEO improvements before moving on to a more PPC-focused approach.
There will need to be instances where a return to SEO maintenance is allowed to combat the many and sometimes significant algorithm updates that take place during a given year.
But a well-calculated balance of hours for organic improvements and a paid search budget will always be the best solution for a brand with a limited budget and big goals.
How About Business-Level Websites?
In this situation, the answer could be completely different.
When an enterprise-grade brand stops placing PPC ads, you’re likely to see a drop in performance, just like any other website.
But these big brands also often have in-house teams with marketing specialists to oversee the efforts that generally include: keeping the website in a state of quality performance.
And let’s not forget the fact that many corporate websites have already built a quality web presence through various organic signals, so improving that visibility with paid placement not only makes sense but will catalyze even more improvements.
Which Is the Right One for Your Business?
If your budget is tight and you have to decide between the two marketing practices, you will have to consider several other factors in addition to the large volume gap between the two practices.
No two companies have the same dilemma when it comes to digital marketing. Therefore, contact the SEO and PPC specialists to find the right combination for you. These specialists have the know-how and the knowledge to set up a strategic plan with your company that maximizes your budget and achieves a positive ROI. They concentrate on search engine marketing so that you can concentrate on your daily business.