SEO vs. PPC: Which One Is The Best For Your Business?
If you are a business owner, answer this very straightforward question: ‘Why on earth do you think the customers should buy your products and services?”
Are your products and services cheaper than others? Do they possess the desired quality? Are they, in any way, superior to what your competitors deliver?
After much of ponder, you may come up with quite a few reasons, which may be satisfactory enough for the customers to believe you.
But again, a very big question that arises is, do your customers even know you?
You started the business- check, you took everything that pleases a customer- check, you also got a good business website—double check. But did you ever consider promoting this website online?
Mind you! If you haven’t added an effective digital marketing strategy to your checklist, you are going nowhere with even the best of products, superlative services,and an exceptional business website etc.
Marketing (nowadays,digital marketing) is one of the necessary factors in success or failure of a business and if you have a good business website, which you think would please the customers, you can perform it in two different ways:
- SEO or Search Engine Optimization
- PPC or Pay Per Click
Here, let us discuss these very popular digital marketing techniques and what should you choose among these to market your business website.
Search Engine Optimization
What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
Search Engine Optimization is one of the most popular methods of digital marketing, which helps to improve the visibility of a website on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).
This marketing method earns organic, natural or unpaid traffic for a website, when it ranks above its competitors for a type of query (in the form of a keyword) made by a searcher on a particular search engine.
SEO is, in fact, a collective term which involves lots of activities to bring ranking results for a website, and understanding the depth of each of these activities could be a difficult aspect, especially for a layman.
Due to this, most of the business offer this task to the dedicated digital marketing agencies, who keep track of each and every detail to help a website rank on a particular search engine.
What Are Different Types Of SEO?
SEO can be classified on the basis of hat colors. Two very popular types of SEO techniques and their effectiveness are as tabulated below:
|White Hat SEO||Black Hat SEO|
|Definition||This method improves the website rankings by following all the important guidelines of the search engines||This method does not obey any guidelines of search engines and looks to exploit their weaknesses for the rankings|
|Appropriateness||High Enough||Very Low|
|Activities||Various on-page and off-page activities for a website such as content development, HTML optimization, link acquisition and outreach etc.||Link spamming, keyword stuffing, hidden links and hidden text etc.|
|What To Anticipate||Gradual and steady growth, but long-lasting in nature||Steady and unexpected growth which does not last long|
As clearly seen from the table, Black Hat SEO is not at all a healthy technique to gain website rankings and especially if you want your business to move on endlessly.
What Are The Benefits Of SEO?
Search engine optimization has hoards of benefits for the business websites and some of the best ones among these are as follows:
- SEO helps you compete even the mighty business giants in terms of marketing and even get ahead in terms of rankings
- It is a cost-effective way to market your business and offers returns many times the investments
- It helps you build and sustain your online reputation
- With SEO, you can target to reach new markets
- SEO helps to increase your website’s usability when the experts advise you how to turn it more accessible
- SEO helps to build the trust amongst your probable customers. When you appear on the first page of search engine results, it automatically attracts the customers to click your link.
- Most importantly, SEO helps you increase the traffic to your website. This is the element which governs a business and is capable of turning it into a brand.
- Proper SEO can always prevent your competitors from catching or beating your place
- SEO results, though appear a bit slow, are really very effective and long-lasting in nature. Even if you stop the activities for a bit, you would not lose your rankings all of a sudden.
PPC (Pay Per Click)/Google Ads
Pay-Per-Click type advertising is an internet advertising method where an advertiser has to pay a certain sum of money every time their ad is clicked. This is a method of buying visits to your website and is also known as paid or inorganic method of attracting web traffic.
When a user makes a query with a certain keyword, the ad of the advertiser appears among the top (or bottom) few results and the visitors click on these to get solutions to their queries.
What Are The Types Of PPC/AdWords Advertising?
PPC advertising can be of the following major types:
- Paid Search Marketing: In this, the user needs to set up a campaign by developing an ad copy, choosing relevant keywords and selecting a landing page on the website. The PPC providers would then display your ad to the users who make queries using the keywords.
- Display Advertising: These are in the form of images, banners or texts and appear on different websites to some targeted audience. Though they may not generate adequate results, they are always helpful to build brand awareness.
- Social Media Ads: Various social media platforms such as Facebook and microblogging sites such as twitter etc. could also be used to post paid ads and these are helpful to generate a good number of clicks &spread brand awareness.
- Retargeting PPC Ads: These are the online ads that get generated based on the cookies present in the user’s system. For instance, if a user queried about clothes, the ads could show him ads relating online cloth stores etc.
Working Of A PPC Auction:
To post a PPC ad, you need to participate in an open auction and bid on the keywords. Choosing the keywords is one of the complicated tasks and an important one too in relation to your ad.
The PPC provider, such as Google or Bing, would determine the quality of the ad by accessing it according to the keywords, the relevance of landing page and the click-through rate of the ad.
You can also check the overall rank of your ad. For this, find out the quality score of your ad and multiply it with your bid amount. For instance, if your bid is $2 and the quality score is 5, that your ad rank is 10.
However, the amount you bid is not the amount you need to pay. In fact, what you pay is a bit lower than your biddings.
And due to all such complicacies, it’s easier to hire a pro for doing such jobs. People trust the various online digital marketing agencies for PPC.
What Are The Benefits of PPC Advertising?
PPC can serve to be one of the best tools to advertise for a business online and it offers the following benefits:
- PPC offers rapid results for a website. You can get lots and lots of web traffic easily and within a very limited period.
- It delivers you results which are measurable in nature. You can get to know anything in your ad, right from clicks to views, visits, costs,and profit etc.
- With PPC, you never need to mind the Google’s restrictions and SEO algorithms
- PPC ensures that your ad and business reaches only the targeted audience. The ad would only be shown to a visitor who types certain keyword.
- PPC helps you take instant advantage of any drawbacks or failures in your competitor’s business. Thus, you can build a greater and better audience for your business.
- It offers your business the desired recognition and this, in turn, turns your business a brand.
- PPC lets you open for the local customers which could influence your business a great deal
- It is highly flexible in terms of budget and there are no budget restrictions. You can yourself choose the amount you need to pay for a click and the amount you need to spend on the ad campaign.
- This could be one of the most effective tools to test your marketing strategies such as suitable headlines etc. for a particular ad. By running a number of copies of a single ad and looking at the Click Through Rate (CTR), you will get to know about the ad which attracts the users the most.
- Most of the PPC platforms offer hoards of effective tools which are quite helpful in running the campaigns and analyzing the data &results etc.
So after all of these benefits, PPC might not sound too expensive an option in terms of advertising your business digitally.
So SEO or PPC: Which One To Choose?
After all the description, attributes and advantages, we are still down the same question: Which one to choose among the two processes?
And for the answers, here are some factors you can assess:
- Your Website Advertising Budget:
Though this is not the most important factor, but is a significant one.
If you have a limited or short amount of budget for your website, it is advised to focus on PPC. It would offer you instant results and is worth the investment for a short budget.
However, if you can afford to wait with some extra budget, SEO will always serve a better and long-lasting alternative
But whatever you choose to perform, it is advised to contact those who have expert knowledge and deep understanding of the processes. Doing it yourself without any knowledge or experience will only worsen the conditions.
- The Average CPC Of The Industry:
Apart from your budget, you can also look at the prices which the people pay for the ads.
Most of the PPC platforms allow the users to bid the amount that they are willing to offer for a single click (known as cost-per-click). For instance, if you choose keywords that are less competitive, the price per click would be lesser and you can opt the PPC option for this.
However, if your keywords have a higher average CPC, getting returns on your investments in PPC could be difficult. In such cases, SEO would always be a better alternative.
- The Competitiveness Of The SERPs:
Before you choose an option, find out how competitive the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) tend to be for the targeted keywords.
For this, make use of the Google External Keyword Research Tool and this would offer you all the information about the average cost-per-clicks, the number of advertisers who are currently bidding and the estimated level of competition.
If the result pages are controlled by authority websites for your targeted keywords, these could be extremely difficult to replace through SEO. In such cases, PPCs are the best alternatives.
But is it necessary to choose one between SEO and PPC? What if you choose both these to benefit your website? Read along to know more:
Performing SEO and PPC Together:
The world does not merely run by competition, but sometimes with associations too.
If you have an adequate budget and sufficient time, the best you can do is perform both SEO and PPC together to lessen the disadvantages of both these techniques and get a better edge to your business.
Besides, here are some key benefits of performing PPC and SEO simultaneously:
- You can obtain the keywords and conversion data from Pay-Per-Click campaigns and these could be fed to SEO
- The amount of website traffic can be increased when you target clicks in paid ads and organic searches for the keywords which perform well
- If you have some keywords which are high in cost, high in volume and/or low in conversion, but which still hold their importance- they could be moved from PPC campaigns to SEO
- After you perform PPC for your site, SEO helps you maintain your presence in front of the visitors and your customers. Fading away soon after your ad gets over may offer a chance to your competitors, who are ready to take advantage of your absence.
- You can test the keyword strategy you prepare in PPC before opting for long-term SEO approaches
- You can target the users at every stage of their journey- right from the research to comparison and finally the purchase
- You can increase your cognizance and self-confidence when you opt for both the paid results and organic results
Thus, it is not such a bad idea to perform SEO and PPC both together, if you wish to obtain better web traffic, quicker results and increased returns on investments.
SEO or PPC; it surely depends on your wishes, resources and time etc. factors.
However, SEO and PPC is certainly a better call which would help you obtain an overall grab of the favorable conditions, such that you stay ahead of the competition and never lose customers to your competitors. And most importantly, it’s the experience and expertise which plays a greater role at the digital level. So hire some proficient digital marketing agency and you can always expect the best results and returns on your hard-earned bucks.