SEO Vs PPC: Which is a Better Approach?

August 11, 2017 Crystal Mateo

When it comes to boosting traffic to your website, you have two basic options to choose from. One is pay per click advertising, and the other is search engine optimization. There is a lot of arguments out there. SEO companies are telling us that SEO is a better choice and PPC agencies declaring that PPC is the winner. However, the question is, when is it time to use one over the other and how can you utilize the value of each for the best results? Well, it all depends on your needs and budget. If you want to get more traffic fast and have the budget for it, then PPC might be an excellent choice. But if you’re running on a tight budget, it may make more sense to invest more time in getting that high search rankings through SEO.

However, each has its respective costs and benefits. If done precisely, both can get you on the first page of the search engines and in front of your desired audience. In this post, we will examine the main differences between SEO and PPC and how it will help your online business grow.

What is SEO?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the ongoing site optimization of your website to increase your search engine search results in popular search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo!

Key Benefits

  • Brand Awareness. Having visibility in search engines for your targeted keywords puts your business right in front of potential customers the same way as if you were to advertise it online. It drives brand awareness and becomes a way to lead your customers to browse through your website, and that will possibly lead to a purchase.
  • Website Traffic. It’s a great way to increase your website traffic, which provides you with more opportunities to create an online presence for your business. This way, you can inform a customer as to why they would buy a product or service from you.
  • Credibility and Trust. When your website is seen on the first page of the search engine results, it can create a sense of credibility for the audience. A lot of users potentially skip ads and trust search results even more. Being visible gives your business that significant mark of approval and strong reputation.
  • Sustainability. Unlike the use of paid search marketing, SEO does not dry up that easily the moment you stop paying. With great amounts of time and effort put into developing organic traffic, it can sustain your business ranking for an extended period even if you cut back from paying.
  • Cost. While SEO is neither cheap nor an easy task to do, PPC will usually be a more cost-effective solution compared to other marketing tactics for delivering a successful brand awareness and relevant traffic to your website.
  • Improved click-through rate (CTR). There is a higher percentage of users who click on the organic results. You will generate more clicks from a highly placed organic listing than from any highly placed paid ad. However, developing that visibility will take time, effort and money.

What is PPC?

PPC (Pay-Per-Click) is a method of advertising your website with the goal of driving more traffic into it. The most commonly used platforms are Facebook and Google AdWords.

Key Benefits

  • Brand Visibility. Having paid search advertisements get you seen in different places. A user will always see your paid search ads, even if they decide to scroll past them. If they return and do a brand search before clicking to your website, that visibility will be a great benefit for your marketing.
  • Cost. PPC allows you to control your budget. If you are a local business, generally you will target a small geographic area, and you may find that you can generate enough leads without actually breaking the bank. Determine how much you are going to spend per day and set that fixed limit throughout your campaign.
  • Visual Product Ads. When you want to sell a particular product, Google provides you with the option of visual shopping advertisements that can help a user see directly what they will be clicking on. This type of feature is not available in organic search and can actually improve your click-through rate.
  • Speed. While developing a high organic visibility can take a lot of time, having a PPC campaign can be done in days, and you can see great results in just a week. There is no faster way to get in front of your customers at the very moment than with a paid search engine advertising.
  • Targeting. PPC provides you with an excellent way to get in front of your potential customers immediately. Ads can be targeted by categories like time of day, geography, device, previous visits and much more.

The Bottom Line

In the real world, you need both SEO and PPC to be successful. The success of your business relies on traffic, and the point is, that together, SEO and PPC are the most powerful traffic driving tools that you will ever have. They each have pros and cons. However, they work best when supporting each other. While SEO requires more money to build, it doesn’t need an ad budget. And while PPC provides immediate results, it can be very costly if it’s not optimized well.

If you can get both SEO and PPC working side by side, you will be able to drive results that are far greater than using one alone. PPC allows you to run quick tests where you can see immediate results, then provides you information on which keywords to invest using SEO.

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