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
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
- 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
…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
… 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?”