What is Right for your Business – SEO or PPC?

seo or ppc

Quite often, you might get confused thinking about, “Which is the better option, SEO or PPC?” However, this question doesn’t have a general answer as it depends entirely on your current business objectives, situation, and marketplace. It is, therefore, imperative to focus on your Digital Marketing Strategy. By understanding your potential customers and how they use the internet, you can determine what out of PPC, SEO, or the combination of both shall be the best approach for your business.

Let’s consider the pros and cons of SEO and PPC, along with some tips for choosing the right channel for your business. While both SEO and PPC can have fruitful outcomes, we will see how the integration of SEO and PPC can improve your marketing results to a great extent.

SEO vs. PPC – Differences

While considering SEO and PPC, there are two key differences, which need to be understood well. Firstly, PPC ads (Pay-per-Click) or paid ads appear on the top of the search engine results page and above the organic listings influenced by SEO. Secondly, the traffic generated from SEO is free, whereas the traffic generated from PPC has a cost associated with it for each click, just like its name suggests. In most cases, SEO and PPC work in the best possible way while being strategically aligned and highly integrated.

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)

In today’s digitally driven world, Search Engine Optimization or SEO is one of the many digital marketing strategies available that will help you ace the competition. It refers to the ability of a website to acquire both qualitative and quantitative website visits via search engine results.

PROS – Improves the Organic Traffic

  1. Brand Awareness: Online visibility of your brand, along with the target keywords, can make your business outshine, and stand in front of your potential customers, which further significantly drives brand awareness.
  2. Trust and Credibility: Having your website return organic results can largely influence your perceived trust and credibility among your audience, who will then always look forward to your services. Additionally, the reputation and positive reviews of your website or business will be in place for delivering further benefits.
  3. Website Traffic and Return on Investment (ROI): Increased website traffic offers you more opportunities and leads you towards the path of success. The traffic generated also holds immense power to provide an improved ROI over traditional forms and strategies of Digital Marketing.
  4. Cost and Sustainability: Without any doubt, SEO is one of the most cost-effective marketing tactics as the organic traffic generated has no cost associated with it. Although developing that online visibility requires a lot of effort (money); however, such efforts can sustain a business when marketing spend is cut back.
  5. Improved CTR (Click-through-Rate): A very high percentage of potential customers and end-users usually click on the organic results. Undoubtedly, there are exceptions to this rule; however, the clicks generated from highly placed organic listings are surely more than the clicks generated from highly placed paid ads.

CONS

SEO is not all sunshine and rainbows, as there are certainly a few cons associated with it as well. In quite many cases, organic traffic can be slow to come by, leaving you outgunned wildly. Various E-commerce websites, including Amazon, eBay, Flipkart, amongst others, often dominate search results, making it hard for new businesses in the market to achieve their respective goals. You may also need to create and publish valuable and relevant content for increasing online visibility. Also, tactics like sustainable link building can sometimes prove to be arduous to master and might often require expert support.

PPC (Pay-per-Click)

In the current highly competitive business environment, PPC has proved its worth by being the most profitable marketing channel when it comes to generating more and improved ROI. It has indeed become an efficient method of driving traffic, and even the experts recommend using it for promoting businesses online.

PROS

  1. Brand Visibility and Position on the Page: PPC ads appear on the top of the search engine results page, which makes them getting seen by the right people. With usually four ads on the desktop and three on a smartphone (at a time), the users or customers will always see the paid ads first.
  2. Improved versions of ads: PPC ads have far more space and granular control for efficiently delivering your marketing information and message. Additionally, elements like site links, calls, pricing and bullet points, further add to the creativity and dominance level of such ads.
  3. Visual Ads: Many search engines like Google also offer the option of visual shopping ads, for selling a product that will help the customers in viewing the image of the product they wish to buy. Such ads can significantly improve the CTR (Click-through-rate), as this feature is not available in organic search.
  4. Budget and Speed: PPC ads exclusively provide the facility of tight budget control. People can efficaciously determine how much they are willing to spend per day and set it as their fixed limit. Moreover, creating a PPC ad takes less time and is a comparatively faster way of getting in front of potential buyers and customers.
  5. Targeting: By offering a laser-targeted way to get in front of the purchasers, users, and potential customers, a person can target PPC ads by location, time of the day, day of the week, device, language, audience, and search keywords.

CONS

Like SEO, PPC also has some pitfalls for the advertisers, which they must take seriously. PPC ads require constant investment, just like their name suggests. Once you stop paying, your ads won’t be displayed, which will further reduce the number of your generated leads. Moreover, getting involved in bidding wars with other advertisers isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Doing the same can also result in a massive increase in costs as well. It is a matter of fact that yes; PPC ads are strategically and relatively easy to copy. Fellow competitors can imitate the messages conveyed in your PPC and extract undue advantage from the same.

Which is the Right Choice – SEO or PPC?

Without considering the unique situation of a given business, it is just not possible to find a suitable answer to this question. A local business, with less competition and aiming for few leads per week, can potentially develop online visibility in organic search results by not spending much. On the other hand, a new startup, having an objective of competing with famous websites like Amazon and other online retailers, will most probably struggle in organic search. Although, one can never come to any conclusion in this case; however, a well-defined digital marketing strategy and precise long and short-term goals play a crucial role in making a PPC or SEO strategy work.

Running SEO and PPC Together

In the ideal world, one needs to look at both SEO and PPC. As they both have a different set of pros and cons, they work well and probably in the best possible way if they support each other synergistically. Making SEO and PPC work together can help you in driving results that shall prove to be more beneficial than their component parts. Conversion data and keywords from PPC can be fed into organic search (SEO). Moreover, utilizing both PPC and SEO, results in increased traffic, online visibility, and brand awareness. Therefore, it will be right to say that an integrated search strategy incorporating both SEO and PCC is the most optimal approach for every business in the market.

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