Before getting any further, let’s just say that not every job requires a hammer – it’s difficult to determine whether PPC is better than SEO or vice versa. Each technique has its uniqueness in the online marketing sector. More often than not, in order to drive traffic to the website, these two channels work in a holistic manner. Like investments, a company shouldn’t put all their eggs in a single basket.
The idea is to have a comprehensive and thoughtful approach which is far more fitting than having a laser beam focus on a single channel.
If you are one who is in the position of having to choose between PPC and SEO, this is the reality right here.
Let’s get down to the basics – what is SEO?
SEO (search engine optimisation) is a method wherein you can increase the number of visitors to a particular website by making certain that the site appears high on the results list which is displayed by a search engine. This is often termed as organic results because it is natural and unpaid for.
What are the pros of SEO?
- The constant flow of free and targeted traffic – Free in terms of not paying directly for traffic and generation of traffic and targeted traffic because of the set keywords you have which your target audience will search for.
Did you know – More than 2.2 trillion searches are handled by Google. That is approximately 5,922,000,000 searches made on a daily basis. Why not take the chance and dive into this source!
- Visibility across multiple search engines – SEO content of high quality will provide visibility across multiple search engines like Yahoo, Google, Bing etc. – definitely rewarding!
- Credibility and exposure – Not only do unpaid search results provide exposure but are often regarded by individuals as being more credible due to the fact that it is not paid for.
- ROI potential – More than paid ads, unpaid search results draw more clicks. More visibility attracts more clicks and in turn, more conversions which lead to revenue generation and ultimately ROI.
- Constant – Activities like on-page optimisation etc. remain on your website until and unless you change them.
What are the cons of SEO?
- At risk to updates – A search engines update in an algorithm or the release of a new algorithm can disrupt search results which will drop rankings. This can affect months of effort, money and work put in, to go down the drain.
- Competition – There are companies which have umpteen resources and deep pockets – here, you will be fighting an uphill battle. An SEO agency is not hired with the aim of securing the 20th Everyone is focussing on securing that coveted 1st position.
- Results are not instant – Yes, results from SEO can take several weeks to months to produce results but when done properly the results will be high-quality traffic and solid ROI.
- No Control – You will not have control on the number people visiting your site, etc. Only Google knows and has full control. This is somewhat the opposite of PPC.
What is PPC?
PPC (pay-per-click) marketing is a model wherein a company places an advertisement on a host website and every time the ad is clicked on, the company pays a sum of money to the host website. This form of marketing is termed as paid search marketing.
What are the pros of PPC?
- Complete control – You have complete control over the keywords, ad copy, the website which the user will go to when they click on the advert etc.
- Instant traffic – Almost immediately after setting up the campaign, your ad can be on the top of the search results.
- Brand domination – You can occupy more space in the search results by using and showing up in both unpaid and paid advertising.
- No Updates – You don’t need to worry about updates as paid search ads are not affected by updates.
- Targeting options – Ideal customers can be targeted by selecting the gender, age, location etc. Ideal customers equal targeted results.
- Short-term conversions are possible
- The traffic PPC brings can be endless
What are the cons of PPC?
- Expertise – In order for PPC to run effectively, you need to have knowledge and expertise in the field. Hence, experts or agencies are often hired.
- Expensive – If not set up and run properly, PPC can be expensive and there will be little or nothing to show for it. PPC is constrained by the campaign budget, date, etc.
- Constant optimising – You cannot set up the campaign and let it run on its own. You need to constantly optimise the campaign in order for it to perform well.
- No long term value – Although you have instant traffic and your ad will show up on the first page almost instantly, as soon as your budget is over, your ad will be removed.
In drawing a conclusion of what is better for you
In summation, both PPC and SEO are different and have dissimilar customer acquisition channels.
A well-executed SEO campaign acts as a long-term, relatively low-cost (technically free – depends on overhead too though) traffic source. Although it is low-cost, SEO is time consuming and slower than PPC.
PPC is great for short-term, immediate traffic growth but constant influx of money is required to keep it running.
In order for you to decide which works better for you and to make a more informed decision about your digital marketing campaign, you will need to weigh the pros and cons of both.
Utilizing both tactics is wise as they both can significantly lift traffic and bring about awareness, if used in tandem. PPC can be used to get the ball rolling and SEO can be used for the long haul.