A lot of marketing professionals find it difficult to make this decision – PPC or SEO. There is not one straight answer to this. Many times, a mix of both strategies help get the expected results. However, you must measure your current situation, goals as well as marketplace to conclude.
PPC and SEO are techniques used for driving traffic to websites. However, these both are completely different from one another. While the prior is a paid service, the latter is free. And they do offer varying results.
To understand which one will fit your business objectives, you must know how these techniques work and align them with your needs and capacity accordingly.
What is SEO?
With consistent SEO (Search Engine Optimization), users can bring their website ranking higher in search engines.
That said, when someone will look for your targeted keywords, your website will have more chances to appear on the first page. In short, you can become more accessible and visible online when compared to your competitors.
The good news is that SEO is free. However, it isn’t an overnight job but takes time, sometimes more than expected depending on your efforts.
Some basic Elements Concerning SEO
Search engine optimization works through your content. The better you optimize your website content and align it with SEO elements, the higher is your visibility across different search engines.
To improve ranking with SEO, you must perfect the on-page as well as off-page SEO.
Some of the things to consider when optimizing the on-page SEO are:
- You must include the target keyword in your H1 tags
- Do not overstuff the keywords. It must seem natural
- Your other titles such as H2 and H3 should include the target keyword.
- Make sure to use the related keyword in your meta descriptions at the beginning
- Add Alt text for images with descriptions including the target keyword
When you get this right, the search engines understand what your website is all about and crawls whenever people search for your target keyword.
This helps in moving the ranking of your website higher on search engines.
On the other hand, off-page optimization is something you do beyond your website content. Such as guest posts, backlinks, social media marketing and more.
- Enhances your company’s brand awareness
- Helps you attract relevant audiences
- Makes your brand look trustworthy and reliable. Some users prefer skipping ads results and going straight to the organic ones.
- Free traffic to your website
- Talking about the return on investment, SEO definitely is a profitable choice with no incurred cost in its implementation
- SEO gets simpler with time, requiring fewer efforts
- You will require consistent efforts to stay on the first page of the search results. It’s not like once you got on the top, the job is over.
- It takes time to find the results
- You must concentrate a lot on creating authoritative and valuable content.
What is PPC?
PPC also known as Pay-per-Click, are google ads that show above the organic content on search engines.
In other words, when you pay for the ads, its priority increases over your competitors’ as well as your organic content.
Fun fact: PPC offer faster results when compared to SEO. However, they are not free and costs money. Plus, you get the results as long as you pay for the ads.
Just note, paid ads aren’t the only form of PPC. There are other formats as well which Include display advertising such as remarketing and banner ads (explained later in the article).
Different Types of PPC Forms
As I did mention before, there are not just the text ads you see on search pages, labelled as ‘Ad’. There are other PPC formats too.
Social Media Ads
If you already have your company page on Facebook or other social networks, you must have already tried this format. These platforms give you an opportunity to reach more audiences and define your ad goals to boost your popularity.
Display Network Ads
Often when we visit URLs, there are several ads placed on the pages like banners. These spaces are sold to advertisers who want to target audiences who visited their website in the past.
Hence, it helps in retargeting potential clients who may need a little nudge to make the final decision for purchase.
- The website ranks above organic results, making your brand more visible
- You can set a budget for your ads, for each day. This way, you know how much you will be spending by the end of the month on PPC
- Page ranking is high
- It is easy to reach the target audience, and retarget potential clients through target ads
- Provides faster results
- You need to keep investing to achieve PPC perks
- Now that users are becoming more aware of organic searches, they often neglect clicking paid ads
- Have you heard about Ad blindness? Well, if you come across the same ad over and over again, you will ignore it after some time
Which is Better, PPC or SEO?
It all boils down to what your marketing objective is. You might want to check with these goals before choosing one over the other.
- Do you want instant traffic to your workshop or event?
- Can you be patient and wait for the visible results
- How much can you invest?
- Do you own a high authority domain?
- How well do the competitors rank on Google?
If You Are a Startup
Usually, small businesses often have a limited budget for marketing in the beginning. That said, it might be difficult to keep some bucks aside for paid advertising.
On the other hand, with free SEO strategies, all you need to do is invest some time and stay consistent to achieve high online visibility. Plus, once you start ranking on search engines, you can expect consistent traffic.
Depending on Your target Keyword having Low or High Competition
If your business is from a niche market, it would be easier to find a low competition target with a decent monthly search volume.
Just start fast and plan your SEO strategy to be able to improve your search engine ranking.
On the contrary, if you have competition with giants like Amazon and Flipkart, you might have to struggle a lot longer to show up in searches. This is when PPC paid ads come in handy, offering a faster pick up.
If your Budget is Fine
When starting as a small business, you might well have the budget to suffice the expenses on PPC ads. If that is the case, why wait.
However, do not forget to keep working on your SEO strategies alongside. This way, you can enjoy the perks from each tactic. And, when you plan to cut down the expenses on PPC ads later, SEO will keep you afloat.
It is often difficult to choose between PPC or SEO. However, with a little understanding and clarification of your marketing goals, you can find out the one suited the most. And if you plan to take the middle path, taking advantage of both, the decision will certainly pay off big.