SEO VS PPC – What should you invest in?
If you’ve thought about investing more time and money into your business, you’re on the right track. If you’re not going to invest in your own brand, why should someone else?
Whether you have a fully structured website or a landing page, you’re already one step in the right direction for creating the necessary online presence for your brand. Now that you have a stellar website that is fully-optimized, SEO-friendly and has the appropriate amount of Call-To-Actions, it’s time to put your website to use.
You can have the most beautiful website in the world, but if no one is visiting it – what’s the point? Having a strong presence on popular search engines is necessary in your marketing endeavors to boost traffic to your website. By neglecting search engine advertising, you’ll likely be stuck on the 10th page of Google or Bing. And trust us when we say no one will find you there.
So how exactly do you go about gaining a strong presence on frequently used search engines? Simple (sort of) – Search Engine Optimization and Paid-Per-Click Advertising.
When done correctly, both paid advertisements and organic SEO can get you on the front page of search engines for your targeted keywords. SEO and PPC are highly complementary so when working in tandem with each other, it provides an increase in traffic and potential for new customers.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves optimizing your website to gain visibility in organic search engine results. Utilizing SEO best practices allow for content to rank higher in organic search results when users are searching targeted keywords on the most impactful search engines. i.e.: Google & Bing. SEO involves both on-site and off-site SEO – think of the keywords on your website, backlinks (other websites linking back to your website) and much, much more.
Your website will not be on the first page of every search engine overnight. SEO is a long-term strategy with constantly changing search landscapes. An advantage of SEO over PPC is the consistent traffic directed to your website which maintains its course long after PPC advertising has peaked. Organic results are typically trusted higher over Paid-Per-Click advertising, hence why organic listings are 8.5x more likely to be clicked by a user than a PPC listing.
What is PPC?
Pay Per Click, also known as Cost-Per-Click, is another form of search engine marketing where the website owner pays everytime users click on an ad. These ads are displayed as sponsored results and is an ideal way to spend your marketing dollars if you’re looking to increase traffic to your website immediately.
Like SEO, there are many variables that contribute to an effective PPC Campaign, but when structured correctly, can direct targeted traffic to your brand. Managing a PPC budget is a lot easier than SEO and allows you to evaluate your return on investment with greater ease. For example, half of users who end up on a retailers website are as a result of sponsored links as opposed to organic results.
So which one should you choose?
The answer varies.
There are multiple factors to consider:
- Your website marketing budget
- The amount of marketing dollars you have set aside for your search engine advertising efforts can make a difference in how well each campaign performs. Depending on your industry, the Cost Per Click of your PPC campaign may be higher, which may mean more money spent on your end. In comparison, the amount of time and money you dedicate to your SEO efforts will be evident through your analytics.
- The competitiveness of your industry
- Certain industries are highly competitive and saturated, thus have a higher cost-per-click and are much more expensive every time someone clicks on your PPC ad. The same can be said for SEO – if your industry is highly competitive, it will be harder to rank your website on the first page of Google or Bing. This isn’t to say that neither of them will work – just have to work a little bit more effectively at your campaign.
- Do I have an immediate need for search engine results?
- If you have a certain promotion or sale going on in your store that lasts for a limited time, PPC would be a wiser choice. 23% of searchers click on paid ads and PPC allows for split testing which provides enough traffic and sufficient data to provide effective test results. However if the need isn’t as immediate, SEO would help your brand over time by sustaining consistent traffic to your website.
- Would Organic SEO be a better choice than PPC?
- The answer still varies. As mentioned previously, SEO is a long-term strategy which is a great option if you’re seeking to build a strong, valuable web presence. Users visit businesses and products through organic SEO search results because of the trustworthiness and credibility they appear to provide. However, this doesn’t mean PPC should be ruled out. PPC provides advantages to advertise on other websites that aren’t yours to gain visibility in front of users in-line with your target audience. If you have a discount, promotion or sale going on, PPC’s advantages outweigh SEO.
Unsure of where to start? Our SEO & PPC experts have the tools and expertise to make sure you’re not wasting any of your marketing dollars.