For years, people have been debating whether SEO or PPC is better. Which is better: buying your way to the top of search engines via a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign or cultivating your organic (or natural) search engine marketing strategy via search engine optimization (SEO)?
Deciding where to spend your digital marketing dollars is difficult for many business owners, and it frequently leaves people wondering which strategy is better.
Is there a correct or incorrect answer? Is it possible to have both? To make this decision, you must first understand the benefits and drawbacks of both SEO and PPC.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization
- Organic SEO is extremely cost-effective. The labor costs of setting up and managing a PPC campaign are typically the same as, if not higher than, the labor costs of SEO. The distinction is that with PPC campaigns, there are ongoing click charges.
- Organic SEO is long-lasting — a properly optimized site can maintain a high ranking in search results long after a PPC campaign has been discontinued.
- Search engine positioning is relatively stable, whereas PPC ad positions fluctuate based on your competitors’ bidding strategies. A well-optimized site with good link authority and excellent content can maintain its search engine position even if you have to take a month off from it.
- SEO is much slower than PPC. It can take months after optimizing your site to see results, whereas PPC will get you leads right away.
- SEO is a never-ending process. Your site will never be completely “optimized,” but it will become more so as you put more effort into it. The good news is that your rankings will improve in the future, and you will hopefully reap the benefits of your SEO investment.
- SEO takes time, especially if you decide to do it yourself. You have the option of purchasing SEO tools or hiring someone to do SEO for you, but this will cost you money rather than your time.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is when you buy visitors or “clicks” from Google or other search engines. PPC allows you to quickly leverage search engine traffic by paying or bidding for keywords related to your product or service.
Benefits of PPC:
- There is no waiting: once your PPC campaign begins, you will immediately begin to see increased traffic, clicks, and conversions. SEO can take months before your site begins to move up in the search engine results.
- PPC is scalable and controllable; you set your budget and have a good idea of how many leads you will receive in return.
- This assists you in developing an accurate budget for your digital marketing. SEO is not so simple, and it may take longer or cost more money if the industry or location for which you want to rank is highly competitive.
- When you use PPC, you don’t have to worry about a search engine’s algorithm affecting your ranking. Because you’re bidding for the top spots, your organic ranking won’t matter. When it comes to SEO, you must ensure that you are optimizing your site in accordance with Google’s best practices, or you risk losing rank or being penalized for using black hat tactics.
The disadvantages of PPC are as follows:
- You must pay to get good results, and ideally, the more you play, the better the results. Keyword competition has never been fiercer. This may imply that you’ll have to pay more later for the same results.
- It takes a long time to research and select effective keywords to bid on. Managing your keyword spending, measuring returns, adjusting your spending, and playing the PPC game intelligently is a full-time job. You’ll either have to spend time doing it yourself or hire an experienced PPC specialist to run your campaigns properly for you.
- PPC is similar to a faucet: if you turn it off, it stops supplying you with leads. Can you survive with the leads you’re getting naturally if you suddenly have to divert your PPC budget to something else?
- “Click Fraud” is still a problem, as some businesses use manual clicks or malicious software that simulates human clicks from various IP addresses around the world. Your competitors can quickly eat up your click fees. Some of this fraud can be detected by Google, but there are ways to avoid detection.
A well-thought-out marketing strategy that combines the two efforts, on the other hand. It tends to result in the best overall outcome.