Should your business go with PPC or SEO? The answer is it depends. But what is essential to obtaining traffic is knowing and understanding your target audience. Knowing where site visitors come from and how they use the web can determine whether PPC or SEO is best, or maybe even if a combination of the two is the best option.
What’s the Difference Between PPC & SEO?
If you’re not sure of what the difference is between SEO and PPC, let’s take a look at a short comparison.
SEO stands for search engine optimization. This a method used to gain organic traffic from the web to your website. SEO is free and has some advantages and disadvantages:
Like free advertising makes a site visible to search engines through the use of targeted keywords, bringing targeted traffic to a site, which can convert to paying customers.
- Branding: using search terms related to the business draws site visitors who are looking for a solution you can offer. Using a combination of keywords and content helps to brand your business, while allowing your business to appear as an expert in the industry.
- Credibility & trust: when keywords line up with site visitors’ needs, the business gains credibility. Organic search results are more trustworthy and bring more credibility to the company, rather than through the use of paid ads.
- Traffic: when your site draws more traffic, there’s a greater potential to reach out to potential customers.
- Cheaper method: while SEO isn’t cheap, it costs less than PPC in the long run.
- A sustainable method: with SEO, traffic is organic and will have longer lasting results, even if the company needs to cut back on its budget.
- Higher CTR (click-through rate): organic results have a higher CTR, usually better than with paid ads.
- Takes time: it takes much time and effort to bring in targeted traffic. This is done through analyzing website analytics, then improving and implementing SEO strategy over time.
- Continuous creation of content: SEO requires the continuous creation of content. This can be time-consuming and possibly expensive.
Now, let’s take a look at how paid search differs from organic search; PPC also comes with advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look:
- Higher on the page: with PPC, the ads are placed above the fold. In addition, these ads are always on top, even when a site visitor scrolls past the ads.
- Better ads: PPC advertisements provide more control over detailed data. In addition, with PPC you can include more information such as CTAs, use links, include prices, and more.
- More visual: for those companies that sell products, it’s possible to create ads that include an image, which allows the user to view products and information on each product. This type of ad works to improve CTR over SEO.
- Branding & visibility: paid ads put a business directly in front of users searching for their services.
- More control of the budget: with PPC, there’s more control over the advertising budget. For instance, it’s possible to determine how much is spent each day, creating a fixed cost. This makes it much easier to manage the advertising budget.
- Targeted results: PPC makes it easier to get in front of users who are searching for their services and products. PPC ads can be highly focused through the use of keywords, time of day/week, location, language and more. This is much more focused than organic traffic through the use of SEO.
- Speed: PPC development can take time; however, it’s still faster to get the campaign set up and running. It’s also faster when at brining in potential customers. And with PPC, it’s easier to run A/B tests and analyze the results, then fine tune the ads as needed. This is faster than SEO and organic traffic.
- PPC can be expensive: PPC can be expense, especially with a business in a highly competitive market. As a result, it’s necessary to pour more and more money into advertising just to keep people’s interest.
- Bidding wars: another issue with PPC is the possibility of getting into bidding wars with other advertisers in your industry. This can also drive up costs pretty quickly.
- PPC can loss effectiveness: the longer a PPC campaign runs, it becomes less effective. The reason is because people see the ads too often, and the message becomes old and worn.
- Easy for competitors to copy: PPC is easy for competitors to copy a company’s ads. Everything can be copied including the message.
Which is Best—SEO or PPC?
It’s difficult to give a precise answer, because each business is unique. For instance, if you’re a local business without too much competition, then SEO may be the better option. It’s cheaper and easier than using PPC and you can still gain targeted site visitors.
However, if you have a new online shop, then you’ll have plenty of competition to deal with. So, SEO would probably not give you the visibility needed to compete with the big online stores, as well as other e-commerce sites.
What’s really needed is an analysis of your goals and competition, current needs, and more. This way, you can determine if you need laser focused PPC ads, or if you can manage with the organic traffic brought by SEO.
What About Using SEO & PPC Together?
Are there any benefits to use SEO and PPC together? The answer is yes, because these efforts can be used to support one another, thus increasing reach and getting better results.
What are the Benefits of Using PPC & SEO Together?
- Traffic volume: can be increased with the use of high-performing keywords for SEO and PPC ads.
- PPC data can be used in SEO: take the data you can from PPC and use it to improve SEO efforts.
- Used PPC keywords can be recycled: those expensive, high-volume, or even low-converting keywords from your PPC campaign can be recycled into your organic search campaign. This way you get double use out of the keywords you paid for PPC ads—reuse these when they’re worn out with your SEO method.
- Testing: test keywords in your PPC ads before using them long-term for gaining organic search traffic.
- Highly focused: the use of both SEO and PPC gives you even greater focus on gaining traffic that has a greater likelihood of converting.
So, there are many benefits to using a combination of PPC and SEO. This gives you a more integrated strategy when it comes to search, and you receive more for your efforts. The integrated approach is also more cost-effective.
In the end, you need to find what works best for your business. The integrated method is usually best for those companies who are experiencing rapid growth in a competitive market.