20 Aug PPC vs SEO Individual or Integrated Strategies for Your Business
PPC vs SEO: Individual or Integrated Strategies for Your Business?
Which is better – PPC or SEO? This is a question often asked by many business owners wanting to take their brand’s strategy to the next level. But honestly, this question is not easy to reply to because there isn’t a general answer for it. Quite the opposite – it is better answered when you look at each particular case.
To decide which one is best for you and your business, we should start by understanding what each of these two marketing strategies means. So, is there a right answer to “which one is better”? What if you needed to implement both? Let’s start by defining each concept and looking at the pros and cons of each.
SEO: search engine optimisation
SEO is commonly associated with the natural or organic way of cultivating leads. The acronym stands for Search Engine Optimisation, which involves optimising your website to rank higher in the search results. So, how does organic SEO work?
When you use SEO for your optimisation strategy, what you’re doing is making sure that the search engine spiders understand what your web’s content is about. You’re also pointing out the relevancy to its audience.
You can achieve this by providing valuable and up-to-date content for your audience, using relevant keywords, cultivating inbound links, and using blogging and other social media tools. However, Google’s algorithm is always changing. So, it’s important to check regularly for updates to keep your SEO’s strategy sharp.
What are the pros of using SEO?
- Credibility – when users type in a search request and your site ranks highest in the organic search results, it gives your site credibility. Users tend to trust organic search results more than ads.
- Cost-Efficient – even though it’s not entirely free, organic SEO is very cheap. The cost is more or less the same as setting up and running a PPC campaign. The main difference here being that you’ll be charged per click when you use a PPC campaign. So, technically, SEO is cheaper.
- Long-Lasting – all the SEO work you do does not end the moment you stop paying, which is one of the differences between this and paid search marketing. So, you can reap the efforts you sow long after your work is done.
- Awareness – by positioning your website in the top-ranked search results, you are maximising its potential of being discovered by new prospects. This is pretty much the same result that you would seek from a paid ad.
what are the cons of SEO?
- Slow – organic search engine optimisation is a slow process. It can take even months to appear first in the search results. PPC offers faster results.
- Work in Progress – there’s no such thing as 100% optimisation, especially when it comes to Google positioning. Google’s algorithm changes all the time. Therefore, staying up to date with these changes requires constant tweaking of your SEO strategy.
- Time-Consuming – SEO takes time and effort if you want to do it yourself. So, it might be advisable to hire an agency to do it for you.
PPC or pay per click
We now know what SEO is and the benefits it offers. But what about PPC? How does it differ from SEO, and is it more advantageous? Let’s investigate it a little deeper!
Pay Per Click (PPC) is a form of paid advertising pushed by Google. With this form of advertising, you only pay when a prospect clicks your ad or when you buy visitors from Google. This form of advertising is a fast way of gaining online traffic by paying or bidding for keywords that are directly related to your products or services.
What are the pros of PPC?
- Fast Results – you will see results in the form of clicks, traffic, and conversions, immediately after paying for your campaign.
- More Control – you can set a fixed budget for your campaign, depending on your goals, and then analyse how many leads you’re getting from that campaign. This makes it easy to control your spend and also easy to scale because you control the results based on how much money you invest.
- More Relevancy – because with PPC you’re bidding to appear first in the search results, whatever changes Google may apply to its algorithm are of no concern to you. Sometimes, money is everything.
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What are the cons of PPC?
- More Expensive – you have to pay right off the bat to get your campaign running effectively, and the more you pay, the better the results. This is especially true if your niche is highly competitive, meaning that the keywords you are going to bid on are going to be even more expensive than normal.
- Time-Consuming – the success of your campaign greatly relies on your keyword research and how spot on you are when selecting them. So, this kind of in-depth research can take time. We have posted earlier a useful blog post talking about Factors to Consider For Successful Keyword Research.
- Results Don’t Last – the moment you stop paying, your campaign is done.
so, which one of the two strategies is better? seo or ppc?
Well, if you read the pros and cons of each, you will know by now that it greatly depends on your business and your needs. If you have the luxury of time, it might be best to go with SEO since it’s mostly free and it offers long-lasting results. If you don’t, you might want to opt for PPC, which will be faster.
PPC will give you results so long as you put in money and you will have to put in some effort too to come up with relevant keywords to bid on. So, none of these alternatives come without effort. One is cheaper and slower; the other is faster but more expensive. It comes down to you and your needs.
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But what if we mixed them – SEO + PPC?
The answer to this question is very easy. When you integrate both organic and paid campaigns, the benefits multiply. But let’s look at all the benefits of combining these two strategies.
1. More visibility
There’s an exponential increase in brand visibility, which therefore leads to more conversions and return on investment. Ranking high in the search results for SEO means you agree with Google’s algorithm in a way that will give you long-lasting results.
When you rank high for PPC, it means you have a finite domain of the dominant keywords of your niche and fast results. When you combine these two strategies, you are maximising brand awareness, visibility, long-lasting results, conversions, and credibility.
Sometimes, it’s easy to rest on your laurels once you have reached the highest rank for search results with just an SEO strategy. However, the advantage of combining this strategy with a paid campaign like PPC lies in something called SERP. This means that your ads will always be at the top of the results.
2. Faster testing
Because PPC campaigns show results almost instantly, it could be a good way to test keywords to use later on in your SEO strategy. By doing this, you’re saving the time and effort of trying individual keywords for your SEO campaign. This will make your organic campaign show results much faster than it normally would.
Doing this gives you more data to analyse and saves time. However, if you want to maximise the potential of this strategy, it could be helpful to hire an agency.
3. Maximised lead generation
The way that SEO and PPC cultivate leads is different. With SEO, you have prospects actively researching your products or services through keywords (typically long-tailed). Alternatively, with PPC campaigns, you are attracting customers at a different stage on their journey. These leads have already done their research and are ready to make a purchase.
So, when you implement both SEO and PPC strategies together, you are maximising your lead generation by attracting your prospects at different stages in the buyer’s journey. Doing this will get you more customers and more conversions.
When should you have an agency do your seo and PPC campaigns?
Ideally, you want to look into hiring an agency to handle your SEO and PPC campaigns when you’re looking for consistency and the best results. Long gone are the days when finding a decent agency to handle this kind of marketing was like finding a needle in a haystack. Nowadays, it’s easier.
So, you should hire an agency if you want the best results in the fastest time possible. When you leave this part of your marketing to an agency, they make sure that your brand’s message is consistent and that you get the most out of your investment.
If you’re stuck between choosing either SEO or PPC, think about your business and what it needs right now. Also, take stock of your resources and the time you have. If you want results fast and you have the money to invest, then go for the PPC campaign. You’ll be able to get the results you need very quickly.
However, keep in mind that you’re appealing to users who are already looking to purchase. So, if your end goal is to increase sales, PPC is the way to go.
If you’re looking to give your brand more visibility and you have the time to spare, go for SEO. Google will always reward you for this, and it never hurts to appear high in the search results organically. And remember that you can combine these two strategies for even bigger gains that will boost both your visibility as well as your ROI.
If you want the very best results in record time, you might want to delegate this task to an agency like edirect – the choice is yours.