Our clients typically feel torn between two kinds of SEO building methods: paying for sales or leads through PPC (pay per click) campaigns, or building those sales and leads using SEO (search engine optimization). This dilemma requires some serious consideration because it is about deciding between two prevalent and proven effective strategies for digital marketing: organic search and paid search.
SEO Vs. PPC: Which is Which?
It is crucial for any online business owner or entrepreneur to understand what SEO and PPC are and how they are different. This is important for designing an effective digital strategy that will work best for your business. To give you an idea of what option you need to choose, here is a necessary explanation of each policy.
Search engine optimization is a type of digital marketing strategy that focuses on website content optimization. When a website is optimized, it ranks higher in search results using specific keywords when users search popular search engines such as Yahoo, Bing, and Google.
Pay per click or PPC advertising uses paid advertising space that appears on the search result pages of specific keywords. When users type these keywords on Yahoo, Bing, and Google, the paid ads will appear prominently on the search results pages.
So Which is Better?
There is never a solid answer that will declare one strategy as the better choice. First of all, they are both digital marketing strategies that can bring invaluable targeted traffic to your website. With this traffic, you can build your market and meet your goals. Of course, this only happens if the strategy is executed correctly.
However, every business is unique. Some companies will benefit from SEO, while others work better with PPC. To determine which is the better option for you, it is essential to understand what the benefits and limitations are of each strategy.
How to Improve Organic Traffic Using SEO
SEO allows you to optimize your website to naturally boost your position in search engine results. The optimization may include steps such as utilizing clean code and improving link authority using blogging, inbound links, social media marketing, etc. You could also post the kind of content that works well with search engine bots and human readers.
Benefits of Using SEO
Search engine optimization looks at long term efficacy. A site that is appropriately optimized can maintain its high position in search engine results. As time passes, it will keep generating leads, traffic, and sales, even after the PPC campaign is completed.
SEO is organic. It is useful in bringing high quality, targeted traffic with qualified leads to your website over time. This is because most search engine users ignore the results presented on paid searches and instead click immediately on the organic links.
SEO improves your credibility, according to Comet Web Agency Denver. People who use search engines typically ignore the ads and would instead click on organic results. If your website shows up in organic results, users will find it more credible.
Zero cost per click. Developing your site’s organic visibility takes time, money, and effort. You do not pay for each click or impression. As long as it is done well, SEO has proven to be a very cost-effective marketing strategy online.
Limitations of SEO
Building organic traffic is slow. SEO, in fact, is akin to a marathon and not a sprint. Before your online business can see any results, it will take several months.
SEO is the Big Guys’ game. As a newbie, you may already have an idea about the keywords you want to target. You will soon find out that these target keywords are dominated by big companies, including Amazon, eBay, TripAdvisor, and Zillow. If you are looking at an organic progression, you will find that competing can be difficult.
A poorly executed marketing strategy can affect your website. If the SEO strategy is poorly executed, you could hurt the chances of your website to become visible and credible. You need the help of a team who has the knowledge, skills, and experience to help you with the job.
PPC requires payment for search engine results pages. A pay per click strategy means shelling out money for space on the most popular search engines. Each time a user clicks on your website ads, you have to pay.
Benefits of PPC Advertising
PPC is one of the quickest marketing strategies that offer fast results. PPC will immediately affect your leads, traffic, and sales. Although PPC campaigns still require optimization by a professional to maximize results, you will get must faster results compared to SEO.
Ideal positioning. On search engine page results, users will find paid ads on the upper area of the page. The organic results will then follow below these ads. This positioning provides improved visibility to your business. On mobile devices, paid ads appear above the fold, making them highly visible. To view organic listings, users will have to scroll down.
Increased visual appeal of products. Your products will do well with visual shopping ads. Using an image with the advertisement can create more interest in viewers and increase the product’s click-through rate. This is a feature that cannot be accessed through organic search.
Limitations of PPC Advertising
PPC is costly. As an advertiser, you will pay for the cost per click of your ad campaign. The cost will depend on your industry, targeted region, and competition. The price you pay will also affect how well your campaign will work. For example, if you are working on a small budget, your PPC campaign may not provide the results you want. In most industries, a budget lower than $25 to $50 a day per click can still mean that you may not receive sufficient return on your initial investment.
You have to pay to play. Should you decide to stop paying for the campaign, expect traffic to stop as well. Any traffic and leads that came as a result of your PPC campaign will be lost, and you will have to rely on what you can generate naturally.
Any mistake can cost you. If you have very little understanding of what you do, you may end up paying for traffic that is irrelevant and impossible to convert.
So Which Should I Choose for My Business? SEO or PPC?
Looking at the benefits and limitations of both SEO and PPC should give you an idea about which strategy will work best for your business. Keep in mind that your business is unique, and you may have different needs and goals. To zero in on the best option, here are questions you should ask yourself.
What are my marketing goals?
If you are working with a marketing agency, they will want to know what your goals are. Do you need leads and sales immediately? Then an aggressive campaign focusing on paid search is your best bet. Do you want to enter a new market in the next five years? Search engine optimization maybe your best option.
Understanding what your business goals are as crucial to a marketing consultant because these will be used as the basis for designing the type of campaign that will give you the results you want. However, you do need to be able to answer specific questions to understand the bigger picture.
Where am I in search engine rankings currently?
On which page do you find your website? First page? Second page? Nowhere? What types of keywords give you ranking? Knowing your current standing can help you make the right decisions on what to do next.
For example, if you are failing at ranking, consider using an SEO program to help with your leads, traffic, and sales. However, if you are enjoying a top spot and want to significantly increase your site’s traffic, SEO may not be too helpful for you.
Let’s say you are enjoying good ranking due to wrong keywords. Or maybe you have an excellent ranking for many years but are gradually slipping. You can use this information to find the right opportunities to improve your results organically.
Who are my competitors?
You have to perform an analysis of the competition for both SEO and PPC. If you have a small business, for example, and are going against the big guys such as Amazon, Zillow, and eBay, your strategy will be different from what you would use if you were competing with smaller businesses.
So let’s say Amazon is the dominant player for organic results for a specific keyword you want to use. Your best option is a paid search campaign. However, if there is plenty of competition in PPC, you may want to focus on building organic rankings instead.
How much am I willing to spend?
The kind of budget you have is a strong determining factor of the type of strategy you will choose. If your budget is limited, you may have to choose SEO over a PPC campaign. If the budget gives you more room to move, and you have reliable organic rankings, PPC is the way to go.