Is SEO Or PPC Better For Your Business?
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One of the most common questions I get from business owners is a variation of the following: “Should I spend money on SEO or PPC?” “
This is a complex question, and there is no one right answer. But I can help you understand the factors you’ll need to consider when making your decision.
The basics: SEO vs PPC
We’ll start with a basic explanation for anyone unfamiliar with these strategies.
SEO stands for search engine optimization. We all regularly use search engines to find what we’re looking for, whether it’s an answer to a question about the story or a link to a store that sells a specific type of boot. SEO is all about optimizing your site to rank higher in search engines so that your target audience is more likely to discover it when searching for terms relevant to your industry. Typically, this means using a combination of on-site engineering modifications (ie.
Related: 3 tips to become a pay per click expert
PPC stands for Pay Per Click Advertising. The idea here is to use a platform like Google, Facebook, or Bing to place ads that your target audience will see. You will pay a fixed amount for each person who clicks on this link (hence the name of the strategy). On the backend, you will have full control over how these ads appear, how they are written, who they target and more.
Both of these strategies are common in the digital marketing world and both are relevant to search engines, although they require fundamentally different approaches. This leads a lot of people to assume that they are somehow opposed, or that you have to choose one over the other; in fact, SEO and PPC are at their best when working together.
Still, there are pros and cons to each.
Where SEO shines
SEO has several advantages over PPC, such as:
Long-term profitability and return on investment. For the most part, SEO is more profitable than PPC ads, especially in the long run. It takes a while for an SEO strategy to start gaining momentum because it takes time to create content, build links, and increase your domain authority in the eyes of search engines. But once that momentum is there, you will start to generate impressive returns.
Credibility and organic appeal. You have seen advertisements on Google before. What do you think of them? If you’re like most people, in most cases you will immediately ignore ads and go to organic search results. This is because organic search results have higher perceived credibility and more immediate consumer trust; This makes SEO a great way to make sure your business is seen as a true authority.
Competitive dominance (possibly). In the PPC world, anyone can advertise their ad for a given term if they spend enough money. But in SEO, you can’t buy your entry (at least, not that easily). Once you establish yourself as the ultimate authority for a given niche, it will be easy for you to maintain that competitive dominance. Of course, getting there can be difficult.
Peripheral advantages. SEO requires you to link, write good content, and make your site more user-friendly; this gives SEO a host of peripheral advantages and the potential to support many other marketing strategies.
Related: 7 Reasons SEO Is Important For Every Startup
Where PPC shines
There are also some important advantages for PPC over SEO:
Immediate effectiveness. You don’t have to wait months (or weeks, for that matter) for your PPC strategy to kick in. You will start to see your ads placed in the search engines as soon as you start paying for them, making PPC a faster overall strategy.
Guaranteed results. With SEO, there is a little bit of luck and hope. But in the PPC world, there is no such guesswork. You only pay for the clicks you actually receive, so in a way, you are guaranteed results.
Refined controls. PPC offers much more precise controls over your strategy. You can target exactly the audience you want to reach and test your ads to see how effective they really are.
Possible entry points. Established SEO competitors are hard to beat. But with sufficient budget and the right targeting, PPC ads can replace virtually any competitor.
Related: 9 mistakes that kill the success of your pay-per-click advertising
The bottom line
If you want to grow your business as quickly and efficiently as possible, you need to use a combination of SEO and PPC ads. Each strategy has strengths and weaknesses that complement each other – and by using both, you can maximize your search engine coverage. That said, there are aspects of your business that should make you prioritize one strategy a little more than another; For example, if you have a limited budget and a long time horizon, SEO is the best option, while if you have immediate needs for increased traffic, PPC ads are superior.