SEO vs. PPC – Which One Works Better For You
Increasing the visibility of their website in search engine results is a priority goal for most business owners. While Marketers have the ability to invest in both strategies – SEO and PPC, both come with their own advantages and disadvantages. Though their end objective may be the same (gaining immense traffic to your site), but the methods being used are significantly different and you need to determine which strategy is better for you.
In this post we will be comparing SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and PPC (Pay-Per-Click Advertising) so you are able to decide which one is best for you – SEO, PPC, or a combination of both.
Reasons to choose SEO
SEO remains one of the most effective strategies for attracting website traffic for several reasons: it consists of multiple methods, looks at user experience, involves making a website mobile-friendly, and really works when done the right way (dodgy SEO techniques have affected the reputation of SEO experts in the past, but these tricks are no longer effective as the rules of SEO have changed).
Bringing more than 25% of organic searches for a keyword
Organic traffic is the number of visitors that come directly by accessing search engine results. The rest of the traffic comes from directly accessing your website, paid advertisement, or another site linking to yours.
Offering long term results and sustained traffic
Seeing results from your SEO strategy takes a while, but on the other hand the effects of using SEO good practices are durable. It usually takes between three and six months to see real results; you need to keep working until you can rank on Google for various sets of keywords that are relevant to your industry. Results depend on website design, for how long your website’s been up, your competition, and technical aspects like meta descriptions and alt texts.
Giving a competitive advantage
The only competitive advantage is the one which cannot be copied or bought, and SEO falls into this category simply because you can’t copy someone else’s search engine optimisation strategy. Good SEO involves regularly posting quality content on your website, having crawlable pages and links, researching keywords and updating them every once in a while, gathering links from authorities in your industry, and being active on social networks and other major sites. You simply can’t become someone else by stealing their identity and behaviour, and the same happens with SEO.
Improving brand credibility and authority
SEO is extremely beneficial for brand credibility because it requires you to create valuable content that makes your brand to be trusted, increases your brand awareness, and it allows you to achieve a higher position than your competitors when you rank high in Google searches.
SEO is regarded as one of the most cost-effective ways to market your business online. The work that needs to be completed in the beginning can be more costly, but ongoing SEO work is affordable and its volume is reduced compared to the initial input.
Reasons to choose PPC
High ROI (return on investment)
According to statistics, for every $1 spent on Google Adwords, businesses earn average revenue of $2 (Google). PPC has the ability to deliver a high ROI when done well and the excellent results can be explained by the fact that 65% of clicks are performed by users who intend to make a purchase.
PPC campaigns are among the most effective marketing techniques when it comes to generating conversions. An ad can be approved in as little as 24 hours and if it’s persuasive enough, you may get the first sale in a day.
Reaching out to very specific consumer segments
Aside from showing your ad to people meeting certain criteria, more advanced techniques can be used with PPC, such as discovering potential customers who spend over your average order value when searching for competitors brands and targeting these prospects.
PPC can help you increase conversions by targeting commercial keyword with buyer-oriented campaigns.
SEO vs. PPC – Fast Comparison
- SEO brings in 15x as many clicks as those from PPC.
- SEO is cheaper than PPC because PPC also includes the cost of advertising added to content creation costs.
- SEO is more sustainable than PPC without additional effort and money, while PPC requires continuous investment.
- PPC delivers immediate results.
- PPC can take you straight to qualified prospects that quickly convert to paying customers.
How do I know which one I should choose?
SEO is for businesses which….
…simply want to create a powerful online presence and enjoy benefits like enjoying constant website traffic, ensuring an excellent user experience, having a good understanding of the web environment, maintaining an online presence at a low cost, and getting to page 1 of search engine results if you are consistent and perseverant enough. SEO is virtually for any business in this world, because once you are online you can be found by search engines and you have all the reasons to make yourself visible.
PPC is for businesses which….
… want to get a fast visibility boost.
When it comes to PPC, however, there is the question of whether you need it or not. Consider the following factors before using PPC to promote your business:
Being able to handle all the extra visibility
Are you ready for the visibility boost you will be receiving – i.e. being able to handle an influx of potential customers. If your team is not able to handle a large number of prospects or you don’t have the production means to honour all the new orders, avoid attracting too much consumer interest. This can be detrimental to your image because customers have expectations once they become interested in your products – it’s not their fault you have exposed your business before you were ready.
How well do you know your audience?
Another prerequisite of employing PPC for your business is to know the people you are addressing your message to. Targeted PPC advertising actually consists of displaying your ads to certain categories of consumers, using criteria like gender, age, interests, location, and so on – without knowing who your ideal customer is PPC will be money thrown into the wind.
How wide is the profit margin?
If the product you sell costs $10 and you pay $5 for the visit to your website, paying for PPC is not profitable. On the other hand, if the product costs $500, a visit that costs $5 is a much better investment. Also, PPC is suitable for businesses where the customer lifetime value is high, like dentists, doctors, educational programs, and utilities providers, or when the margins of a single purchase are high – like lawyers, repair jobs, computer equipment, home appliances, and cars. Other industries usually benefiting from PPC are businesses selling event-based products (like gift baskets, flowers, and holiday costumes) and products that are weird or hard to find in most online and physical stores.
Many businesses can make money from PPC, but on condition they find the targeted and relevant keywords that drive a large number of sales. You need to ask yourself the question “Is PPC really suitable for my business in terms of returns?” and you will be able to make the right decision regarding this type of online advertising.
Combining SEO and PPC
The two online marketing techniques should not be separated but rather interdependent and used together to increase your website traffic. Both are effective at improving brand awareness and credibility and bringing prospects to your website, so one should not exclude the other. For some businesses, SEO may be their main digital marketing pylon, while others may choose to rely more on PPC. We hope that our post is helpful for you in finding the right answer to the question in the title – “SEO vs. PPC – which one works better for you?”
With over 38 years’ experience in Print Media, Sales and Marketing, Online Services & Marketing plus Financial Service industries. John brings a wealth of knowledge to Visual Marketing Australia. As a Certified Google Partner, his Digital Marketing knowledge includes: Web Design & Development, SEO, Mobile App. Development, Online Marketing, Online Video Marketing and Email Marketing Solutions. With 8 years experience of using Zoho CRM it is a natural progression to become and Authorised Consulting Partner so we can now ad Sales and Marketing Automation to the list.