PPC refers to pay-per-click, and it’s all a part of search engine marketing or SEM.
When it comes to SEM, you have two options: pay-per-click or SEO. Both help drive traffic to your website. And, we know you’re probably thinking that with a 200% ROI, it’s logical to opt for PPC, right?
Not so fast! They’re both great. They’re just different.
So, if you’re wondering whether your company should be using a PPC or SEO strategy, then keep reading. Our complete guide is here to help you make sense of the PPC vs. SEO debate.
The Basics of SEO vs. PPC
It helps to begin by defining the two marketing terms. They’re actually quite different, and one is more organic than the other.
SEO involves optimizing your website’s content to rank higher in organic search results. That’s exactly what SEO stands for search engine optimization.
During the optimization of your website, you’ll be working on things such as target keywords and backlinking. This helps ensure that popular search engines want to put your website first.
PPC (pay-per-click), on the other hand, involves paying for clicks. You’re essentially paying for advertising space for specific keywords.
If someone searches for that keyword and you’re ranked high, then your website will come up first. The best part about this form of marketing is that you don’t have to pay until someone actually clicks.
Traditionally, marketers suggest that focusing on SEO is more important, as it draws more natural, quality traffic to your website.
This isn’t that true in 2019. In fact, two-thirds of people report that they can’t tell the difference between an organic search result and a paid aid.
In theory, it’s actually great to focus on them both! Increasing your page SEO will help it rank higher in pay-per-click searches. So, they go hand in hand.
Long-Term Growth with SEO
When you’re just starting out and trying to figure out how to give SEO meaning and life to your website, it takes a while to build that momentum.
While it varies from business to business, experts tend to suggest that you shouldn’t expect to see big results from SEO until at least a year out.
Three major things factor into the length of time it takes for SEO to take hold. When building your SEO campaigns, think about:
- Competition: Figure out how much competition you’re up against and what they’re doing with SEO. If you’re a small business in a large industry, you might have to get more creative with your keywords and ad campaigns.
- Inbound Links: The quality of links in and out of your website both affect your ranking. Avoid paying for links on other websites too fast, as Google will notice this and dock your ranking. This is something that’s best done with the help of a marketing professional.
- Content: Content is still king, and quality content is more crucial than ever. Publish content on a consistent basis that offers true value to your readers. This will help you see better results faster.
All of this is easy to do once you’ve developed a great SEO strategy. However, in the PPC vs. SEO debate, it’s less about ease and more about effectiveness.
SEO is the one you should go with if you’re looking for long-term growth.
PPC for Immediate Traffic
As a new business, it’s pretty hard to build a website that naturally drives traffic to itself.
Pay-per-click can help solve that problem.
While we still stand by the idea that implementing a strong SEO strategy from the start is a great idea for new businesses, working with paid ads is a great complement to that.
Simply put: if you need immediate traffic, opt for PPC.
The best thing about using PPC is that Google offers pretty comprehensive training guides. They even offer certifications if you want to really ensure you understand the ins and outs of paid ads.
However, working with a marketing company that specializes in PPC is an easier way to handle this area of marketing.
You’ll be able to plan out your keywords effectively and reach people who might not have naturally arrived on your website otherwise.
It makes for a great cost-effective marketing investment for small and new businesses because you don’t pay unless someone actually clicks your link.
The Verdict in the PPC vs. SEO Debate
SEO and PPC are both very different marketing terms and techniques. However, when it comes down to PPC vs. SEO, the verdict is: use both! Can only use one? We always suggest SEO as optimizing your website is less dependent on changes in platforms and search engines that affect paid ad campaigns.
Developing a strong SEO strategy from the beginning will help you understand what your target keywords are and who your target audience is. With this information, you can begin to build your content in a high-quality manner and start to naturally build your on-page SEO.
As you’re doing this, take advantage of the information you’ve got at hand to help PPC give you a little extra push into visibility (it’s a great tool for brand new brands in need of that initial push). You’ll be able to use your keywords and learn how to optimize your campaigns in a way that will have you striving to ensure your website is always optimized.
Combining these two together will help you see results from your marketing efforts a little bit faster.
If you find that you still need a little more help, contact us today to speak with one of our marketing professionals. We’ll help sherpa you through the entire process.