Which is a better marketing strategy for your business, SEO or PPC? It’s a question that’s still relevant today, and more so due to evolving trends in digital marketing. Right off the bat, one thing is for sure. Both SEO and PPC can be potentially big money-makers for businesses especially in industries like design, fashion, finance, real estate, and retail. The success of one strategy over the other would always depend on a combination of factors and not just a single ingredient.
Immediate traffic vs. long-term results
From the get go, SEO requires a lot of effort. There are many details that have to be accomplished like website content, linking structure, code, meta, etc. If all these details combined are not optimized, it’s bad news for your organic rankings. However, when done right, you can enjoy long-term results. Unfortunately, predicting success from SEO investment has become harder to calculate recently because search engine results pages (SERPs) are more competitive than ever, and also because of the changes to Google’s algorithms. Despite this, companies that specialize in services like digital marketing and web design still benefit from excellent SEO techniques and quality content.
PPC on the other hand, is like a faucet: you turn it on, and traffic flows. You turn it off, and traffic is gone. In just a few minutes, you can have your first ad running in Google Adwords and it doesn’t require much fussing over. You only need to sign up, create an ad, set a budget, and that’s it. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad. However, the downside is that once you run out of PPC funds, your ad automatically stops, and it’s bye-bye to traffic. If your business requires immediate traffic, PPC is without a doubt, your number one choice. Retail businesses especially those in fashion and food need constant traffic to survive.
Overall budget and ROI (return on investment)
You need to know how much your overall marketing budget is. Knowing your financial limits can help you choose which strategy will get you far with the budget on-hand.
SEO has a higher short term cost but makes up for it in long term value and ROI. SEO’s ROI will continue to climb long after PPC has peaked. Think of it like starting on the right combination of diet and exercise for you. It can be a pain in the beginning especially since you can’t see immediate results yet, but if you follow through it religiously, you’ll eventually see results.
PPC on the other hand, has a lower short term cost since it doesn’t require much to set up and you don’t have to spend a lot of time tweaking it. 50% of people who end up at a retailer’s site from clicking paid ads are more likely to buy than those who arrived at the same page from an organic link. PPC can also yield long term ROI, although not as satisfying as SEO. For one, it costs you more money in the long term since you have to continue paying PPC rates to keep it up and running, and a visit to your website doesn’t always lead to a sale.
Traffic quality and quantity
86% of web users trust organic search listings more than paid PPC or sponsored links. 90% of all clicks on a search goes to the first page of an organic result. This proves that SEO still matters, despite what some businesses and experts think.
Final thoughts on SEO vs. PPC
Use SEO for your business if you want lots of long term traffic, higher trust from consumers, biggest ROI, and have the patience to wait for great results. On the other hand, use PPC if you want instant traffic, traffic from consumers who are more likely to buy, can afford to pay, and specialize in retail.
SEO vs PPC Infographic