SEO vs. PPC: Which is Best For You?

SEO vs. PPC: Which is Best For You?

Let’s be honest: If you’re not ranking on the front page of Google’s search results, there’s a good chance you’re not getting the website traffic you want.

In fact, 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine – almost all of which is from Google.

How Do You Rank on the Front Page of Google’s Search Results?

Either through organic search engine optimization (SEO) or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on Google.  

Difference Between SEO and PPC

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process of getting more traffic to your website without spending money on advertising. PPC, on the other hand, is the process of getting more traffic to your website through paid advertising. Right off the bat, it may sound as though SEO is the way to go and PPC is a waste of time. After all, why would you pay for traffic when you can get it for free? If only it were that simple.

Both SEO and PPC are great tools that have pros and cons and each can be used at different times to maximize effectiveness. Plus, not all companies are the same. While focusing on SEO could be a great approach for some businesses, others may want to strictly utilize the power of PPC advertising. So let’s deconstruct the pros and cons of both SEO and PPC and you can start to determine which is right for your business.

What Does SEO Offer You?

Organic Visibility

Organic visibility means you appear in search results organically, without the use of paid ads. The more your website and webpages are optimized for the search engines, the more likely it is you’ll organically appear in search results. This is critical because often it takes customers being exposed to your business multiple times before they decide to make a purchase. So even if you’re not getting click-throughs every time, you’re still building up trust and credibility with potential customers.

Trust and Credibility

Ever search for something, scroll past the paid ads and then click the first or second search result? That’s because organic results are trusted more than ads. Any business can create an ad but organically appearing on the front page holds a lot more weight and credibility. Instead of just paying for clicks, if you organically rank, you seem to be an expert on the topic of what the user is searching for. When you build this trust with users, you’re guaranteed to see an increase in your conversions. 

Increased Website Traffic

Obviously, the more you appear in search results, the more website traffic you’re going to get. But the power of SEO takes your clicks even further.

Because these potential customers already trust you, they’re more likely to click on your links. Plus, the more you appear in search results and get clicks, the more authority Google gives to your site, which also boosts your SEO.

Free Advertising 

When you organically appear in search results, the cost per click is zero. Getting your site to rank takes time, effort, and money, but once you’re ranking, each click is free. Plus, even if people don’t click your links, they’ll still see your business name appearing in the search results. This is like a huge banner on the digital highway catching the attention of passersby. Even if they don’t click through to purchase, they’ve heard of your business and your brand awareness is through the roof. 

Return On Investment (ROI) 

Organically increasing website traffic is one of the best long-term strategies for developing a sustainable business. Plus, when it comes to other forms of marketing, SEO is one of the best returns on investment. In other words, investing in SEO is a smart and sustainable choice for your business.

Strategic Advantage

Once your business starts appearing near the top of organic search results, you’ll begin to outrank your competitors. This provides you with a strategic advantage since website users are more likely to click on companies that rank at the top of the search results. And once you earn this position and you continue to build your SEO, it can be difficult for your competition to catch up to you.

What Can PPC offer You?

Higher Ranking Position and Priority

When someone is searching for a product or service, advertisements often show up as the first three or four results. No matter how well a website is performing with SEO, paid ads will take priority at the top. In other words, you can have the top spot regardless but you’re going to have to pay for it.

More Space and Control

PPC ads provide you with more space on the front page to market your business. They also provide you with more control. 

Of course, the more space your ad takes up, the more visible your business becomes. Plus, you have more control. By being able to add extensions and snippets in ads, you can better control what users see. Instead of using the same meta description each time, you can test different terms and ideas and see what works best.

A Better Targeted Audience

What is great about PPC ads is that they can be highly targeted to a very specific audience. That means you’re able to hone in on your ideal customer and only have your ads show to him or her. You can even set up negative keyword lists to exclude your ad from appearing when people search for certain terms. This allows you to become even more targeted with your marketing and reduce your ad spend since unqualified leads won’t be clicking on your ad.

Faster Results

Where SEO can take several months to be effective, you can get an ad up and running in a matter of minutes. That same day you can have your ad appearing in search results driving people to your website. Therefore, this approach is an excellent option for businesses that can’t afford to wait and want immediate results.

Improved Intelligence

With PPC ads, you get access to a lot of data that can be useful in creating a stronger campaign, as well as learning more about your customers. Through A/B testing with split-test ads, trying different calls-to-actions, or using a variety of landing pages, you can track user behavior and begin to hone in on what it is your ideal customer wants. When this data is used correctly, it can be a powerful tool to help you grow your business.

Higher-Quality Leads

When you have more control, you can have more qualified leads – it’s that simple. 

What Are Qualified and Unqualified Leads?

  • A qualified lead is someone who has indicated an interest in your brand, product, or service (like searching for your product) and then taken action showing interest (clicking your ad).
  • An unqualified lead is someone who hasn’t expressed a need or interest in your product and still takes action showing potential interest (clicking your ad).

As you can imagine, qualified leads are more likely to convert into actual sales than unqualified leads. And, since each click costs you money, you want to ensure as many of those clicks as possible come from qualified leads.

Which Search Option is Right For You?

As a small business, you need to decide what matters most so you meet your professional needs and goals. If you are short on time, PPC is the answer for you and we recommend hiring a digital marketing agency specializing in PPC. If you have a limited budget and a couple of months to spare, then SEO will give you organic and long-lasting benefits.

Regardless of which you choose at first, SEO is a great long-term strategy that can make your business more sustainable over time.

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