SEO Or PPC which is best?
When it comes to boosting traffic to your website, you have two basic options: pay-per-click (PPC) advertising or search engine optimization (SEO).
You can pay for traffic using the PPC advertising programs provided by Google Adwords, Yahoo Search Marketing,Bing and others. They enable you to display ads in the sponsored results section of each search engine’s results page. Then, you pay a fee — based on how competitive your chosen keyword is — whenever a viewer clicks through from your ad to your website.
Alternatively, you can build traffic for free by achieving high rankings in the natural search results — the listings displayed next to the sponsored results. You will need to follow SEO best practices to try to get your site displayed on these pages more prominently and more often. It may take time to reach the top of the natural results, but the free, targeted traffic will probably prove to be well worth the investment.
Which process is better?
It’s all about your strategy now when I say that what I really mean is do you need results fast and or have a product to launch or do you want to be know more locally for what you do and how you do it?
PPC is paid for marketing and that means yes you have to pay for it and be mindful of your budget and CPC and other metrics, however SEO is more like your building a house and laying the foundations that you will build over time to create a great website that didn’t cost you the earth to advertise and drive leads but it did cost you some time on learning on how it all works.
So what do you need? lets find out!
SEO: Improve your organic traffic
What are the pros and cons of organic traffic from search engines? Let’s begin with the pros:
Awareness. Visibility in search engines for your targeted keywords puts your business in front of potential customers in much the same way as if you were to advertise, and it drives brand awareness.
Branding. Visibility around commercial search terms and informational queries related to your business area can have a positive branding benefit. Your brand can become associated with and trusted by searchers who are asking questions as they conduct the research that will lead to a purchase. You can become an authoritative voice around a given topic.
Credibility and trust. Having your site return in the organic results can influence your perceived credibility with an audience looking for your services. Many users skip ads and trust organic results more highly. Being visible gives your business that all-important stamp of approval. Also having strong review and reputation signals in place will deliver further benefit.
Website traffic. Increasing website traffic provides you with more opportunities to drive awareness of your business and educate a prospect as to why they would buy from you.
Cost per click. Traffic from organic search is free… sort of. Developing that visibility will take time and effort (money), but there is not a direct charge for each impression or click.
Return on investment (ROI). Organic search engine traffic can provide an improved ROI over traditional forms of paid media and certainly improve upon PPC.
Cost. While SEO is neither cheap nor easy, it will generally be more cost-effective than all other marketing tactics for delivering brand awareness and relevant traffic to your website.
Sustainability. Unlike paid search marketing, organic traffic does not dry up the moment you stop paying. As such, efforts to develop organic traffic can sustain a business when marketing spend is cut back.
Improved click-through rate (CTR). A higher percentage of users click on the organic results. While there are exceptions to this rule, you will generate more clicks from a highly placed organic listing than from a highly placed paid ad.
More clicks overall. To maximize visibility and clicks, you will want to have listings in the paid and organic results. Keyword-level experimentation is needed here to see if you are paying for clicks you would get for free or increasing overall clicks and CTR in both paid and organic — but to truly maximize results, strong visibility in paid and organic is needed.
Strategic advantage. Visibility in organic search is not quick or easy — which is a good and a bad thing. Once you have established yourself in the organic results, your competitors can’t simply buy their way in (assuming you have done things the right way). This can provide a strategic advantage over the competition if they are relying on paid search.
Content Assets. To drive real traffic to your website organic results have to be interesting and provide real value to the reader when they click on your listing. Content assets can range from free e-books to infographics and or gated content that can provide you with key insights of the type of visitors that are looking at your website the key takeaway here is if it does not have value do not create it.
PPC: Laser-targeted visibility
How does paid search differ from organic search? With click-through rates and trust heavily stacked in favor of organic search, why would a business look at paid search? Here are some of the benefits PPC offers:
Position on the page. Paid search dominates above-the-fold content. With typically four ads on desktop and three on mobile, a user will always see the paid search ads, even if they choose to scroll past them.
Improved ads. PPC ads are just that: advertisements. As such, you have far more granular control and more space for delivering your marketing messages. Calls, locations, sitelinks, pricing and bullet points (callouts) are just some of the options for creating ads that dominate the page.
Brand visibility. Running paid search advertisements gets you seen by the right people. Even if they back off and conduct a brand search before clicking to your site, that visibility will pay dividends to your marketing.
Budget. PPC allows for a tight control of budget. Determine how much you are willing to spend per day (ideally with some initial and ideal ideas of returns), and set that fixed limit.
Targeting. PPC provides a laser-targeted way to get in front of potential customers. Ads can be targeted by search keywords, time of day, day of the week, geography, language, device and audiences based on previous visits.
Speed. While developing good organic visibility can take time, a PPC campaign can be created in days and ramped up in weeks. There is no faster way to get in front of customers at the very moment they are primed to buy than paid search engine advertising.
Agile. Speed provides agility. Want to test a new product? A new marketing message? You can get rapid feedback on a new product launch (or minimum viable product) by running a short PPC ad campaign.
Marketing intelligence. Where organic largely hides keyword data in the name of privacy, there is no such restriction with paid search. With conversion tracking and a solid integration with analytics software (like Google Analytics), we can determine what keywords convert and at what percentage and cost. This intelligence can be fed directly into organic search (SEO) marketing and can inform all other advertising to improve results across the board.
A/B testing. Easily split-test ads, landing pages, and even call-to-action buttons to determine where the very best results lie. Again, this information can be fed back into all other digital (and traditional) marketing endeavors.
Stability. AdWords does not suffer the same turbulence that the organic results can suffer from. There are changes, but they tend to have a far lower impact and are more easily managed. Careful use of match types and analysis of the search term reports allow for the removal of junk search and an increase in ROI over time.
Cost. Despite what many advertisers believe, a PPC account that’s well set up and managed can be a low-cost way to generate leads for your business. If you are a local business targeting a small geographic area and a small set of keywords, you may find that you can generate more than enough leads without breaking the bank. Please be aware that PPC is not a set and forget process, you will find that this will have to be managed with a degree of skill and by looking at various software platforms available you can increase your results and save time on your PPC campaigns.
Successful PPC needs skilled management and optimization — from monitoring bids, Quality Scores, positions and click-through rates. Some of this can be done with scripts, but if you are too busy to do this properly, ensure you have an expert on hand to take care of keeping your account in tip-top shape.
SEO or PPC?
It’s just not possible to answer this question without taking the unique situation of a given business into consideration.
A hyper-local business with little competition and a requirement for just a few leads per week could likely develop good visibility in the local and organic search results with a little spend or some DIY SEO.
A new e-commerce store that is competing with a page of results from Amazon, eBay and other major department stores and online retailers is likely going to struggle in organic search (in the short term, at least).
Do you need leads now? Are you looking at the long game? Do you have much in the way of website authority? What is the competition like in organic search? What is the cost per click in paid search?
A clear digital marketing strategy and clear short- and long-term goals are essential in making an SEO or PPC decision here.
SEO and PPC
In an ideal world, we would look at both SEO and PPC. They both have pros and cons and work best when supporting each other synergistically. Where you can get SEO and PPC working together, you will often be able to drive results that are greater than their component parts.
The benefits of running SEO and PPC together include:
* Keyword and conversion data from PPC can be fed into organic search (SEO).
* The total volume of traffic can be increased by targeting clicks in paid and organic for high-performing keywords.
* High-cost keywords, high-volume or low-converting (yet still important) keywords can be moved from PPC to organic search.
* A/B testing of ad copy and landing pages can be fed into your organic listing and landing pages.
* Remarketing allows you to stay in front of visitors after an initial touch via organic search and customize messaging around their engagement with your site.
* Test your keyword strategy in PPC before committing to long-term SEO strategies.
* Target users at all stages of the customer journey from research to comparison to purchase with commercial keywords.
* Increase confidence and awareness by having both strong organic and paid visibility.
Your business is unqiue and what may work for you may not work for someone else, in our experience with both PPC and SEO we find that taking each channel and building it into a marketing strategy through the term of 6 to 12 months can have significant results, however the main question is what do you expect to happen when you embark on an PPC or SEO campaign and what is your budget?
By reviewing the above and answering the question (budget and expectation) only then can you commit to a digital marketing plan that you can see results and tweak as required.
Not sure about your strategy talk to us today!
SEO Or PPC which is best?