Choosing between the two is an important decision. Especially for smaller businesses with limited resources and time.
In this article, we’ll be exploring the advantages and disadvantages of both SEO and PPC. To help you make an informed decision on which approach is best for your business.
Let’s get started!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a marketing strategy of optimizing your web pages for the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) such as Google or Bing. SEO is an ongoing process where you’ll have to optimize many different factors (keywords, content, backlinks, etc) to help search engines understand why your content is relevant to be on the first page of the search results.
“Top organic results for drain cleaning services”
Search engines such as Google have billions of active users every day. If you can reach the top of the SERP for your keyword, you will gain lots of exposure for your business, as well as generating tons of traffic to your site. Additionally, by targeting specific keywords. Your visitors will already have some interest in what you’re offering, which leads to a higher chance of conversions.
SEO best practices are always changing as Google’s algorithm looks for new ways to deliver the best content to its users. Even with the changes, the fundamentals of SEO usually remain the same.
To maintain a high-ranking position. You should be consistently providing valuable content to both users and search engines if you want to reach the top of the SERP.
Let’s first take a look at some ways how SEO can benefit your business.
SEO is cost-effective
The only cost associated with SEO is the labour cost of implementing the best practices if you decide to have someone else do it for you. This is much more affordable when compared to PPC campaigns where you have to pay a fee every time your listing is clicked on. With SEO, you won’t be charged regardless of how many times your organic listings are clicked on.
Generates consistent traffic
Your organic listings will continue to bring you traffic as long as you can maintain a prominent position on the SERP. This is huge, as PPC campaigns will stop bringing you traffic when you stop paying for your listings to appear in the SERP. This is why most marketers prefer SEO for long-term sustainable traffic.
Takes time to see results
To get to the top of the search results it could take weeks or even months before you see changes in your organic visibility. So if you are looking for a quick way to enhance the online visibility of your business, SEO may not be for you.
SEO is an ongoing process
If you want your organic listings to stay at the top of the SERP, you need to keep up-to-date with the SEO best practices. If you stop your SEO efforts, then you’ll run the risk of being overtaken by competitors who are consistently optimizing for SEO.
When should you use SEO?
SEO is a great choice if you are looking to generate a consistent stream of organic traffic to your site. However, reaching the first page of the search engines will take time. So be patient if you don’t see results overnight. Once you do reach the top of the SERP, you will see sustained traffic to your site and you can maintain its position by updating it once in a while.
Pay-per-click (PPC) is a form of paid advertising where you pay each time someone clicks on your advertisement. This form of advertising allows businesses to quickly enhance their online presence in the SERP by bidding for keywords that you want your ads to appear on the top of the SERP.
“Examples of paid ad listings on Google search results”
Advertising on search engines is one the most popular methods of PPC. As it allows businesses to put their ads right in front of users who are searching for topics related to the business offerings. For example, if you want to bid on the keywords “drain cleaning services,” your ad will then be shown at the top of the SERP once it has been approved.
Every time your ad is clicked, you will be charged a small fee. The user will then be redirected to a designated landing page that you’ve set. With an effective landing page, you’ll be able to offset the small fee by driving conversions that’ll lead to greater profits.
The main difference when comparing PPC and SEO is that you’re paying for results. With that being said, a PPC campaign is a process that requires trial and error before finding the one that drives the most conversion for your site.
Once your PPC campaign is approved, your listing will be immediately displayed at the top of the SERP. This means you can quickly drive traffic to your site, whereas SEO may take months.
With PPC campaigns, you’ll have full control over how much you want to spend on your campaign. You simply set the budget for the day, week, or month. And Google can estimate how much traffic and conversions your campaign will bring you.
Don’t need to worry about the algorithm
With PPC, you don’t have to worry about the constant changes in Google’s algorithm affecting your ad position. Since you are bidding for a spot at the top. You don’t have to constantly update your campaign to maintain a top position.
Pay to play
PPC campaigns will cost you money every time someone clicks on your listings. Even if they’re not interested. This can be abused by competitors who might try to waste your ad dollars by manually clicking your ad listings. Also, depending on your industry, you can pay significantly more for more competitive keywords.
To get the best bang for your bucks. You need to test different ad copies and landing pages, to ensure you’re profiting from your ads.
Optimizing a PPC campaign is a full-time job in itself. There are many factors to manage for an effective PPC campaign such as finding keywords, tracking ad performance, creating ad copies, developing landing pages, and adjusting bid price. If you want to save time, consider hiring a PPC specialist if you don’t want to spend the time doing it yourself.
Traffic stops when you stop
Your PPC campaign will stop bringing you traffic when you stop paying for it. Unlike SEO where it can continue to bring you organic traffic even if you stopped working on it.
When should you use PPC?
If you are looking for quick results, PPC is the way to go.
Once your PPC ads are approved. It will then be displayed to millions of users who are searching for topics related to your keywords. This is useful if you’re launching new products or promoting a special offer.
Best of all, with PPC marketing you can narrow down your target audience based on their demographic (age, income, gender, education level, etc.). This can help save costs by better targeting audiences who are more likely to lead to a conversion.
PPC or SEO: Which one is right for your business?
The answer to “which one is the best” is different for every business, as each business has its unique challenges.
Both SEO and PPC campaigns can both help to drive traffic to your site. But there are a few factors to consider when choosing between the two which are your industry and budget.
If you are looking for quick results and have the budget to do so. PPC is the better choice. Once approved, your PPC ads will immediately be discoverable by your target audience. This will lead to more clicks and conversions for your site.
On the other hand, if you are looking to drive long-term consistent traffic to your site. Then SEO is the better option. With SEO, you will be able to gain a steady stream of organic traffic without the need to pay to appear on the SERP. This is why SEO usually yields a better return on investment over time if you can maintain a prominent position on the SERP.
There is no ‘one’ perfect solution.
Ideally, a marketing strategy that incorporates both SEO and PPC will yield the best results. SEO and PPC synergize well to offset the disadvantages of one another.
Any questions? Contact us and we will be there to help!