Should I Spend Money On SEO Or PPC?
One question we are often asked is: “Which is better: SEO or Paid Advertisement?” This is not a question with a general answer, since it really depends on your current situation, your objectives and your market.
Certainly, search engine optimization (SEO) is a wide topic. My experience in this industry for almost 10 years shows me that when done well, organic search offers more volume at a better cost per potential customer than the search Ads pays.
However, this is not the marketing of the Wild West that it once was. New companies may have difficulty starting with SEO, and paid search can offer a quick way to search for marketing when done correctly.
For me, all this goes back to your digital marketing strategy. Understanding your potential customers and how they use the web is key to determining whether paid search, organic search or a combination of both is the best approach to your unique and ever changing situation.
In this piece of writing, I will analyze the advantages and disadvantages of SEO and pay per click (PPC) as a marketing strategy. When both the organic and the paid are adequate, we will analyze how to integrate SEO and PPC to obtain better results from your search marketing efforts.
SEO vs. PPC
There are two significant dissimilarities when considering SEO or Paid Ads. The first is that paid advertisements appear at the top of the page, above the organic listings influenced by SEO. The second is that organic traffic through SEO is free, while PPC traffic has a cost per click. In many cases, SEO and PPC work best when integrated and aligned strategically.
SEO: Improves your organic traffic.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of organic search engine traffic? Let’s start with the pros:
Awareness – The visibility in search engines for your targeted keywords puts your business in front of potential customers in the same way you would with advertising, which drives brand recognition.
Brand – The visibility of the commercial search terms and the informative queries related to your business area can have a positive brand benefit. Your brand can be associated and trusted by search engines who ask questions while conducting the research that will lead to a purchase. It can become an authoritative voice around a certain topic.
Credibility and Trust – Making your site return to organic results can influence your perceived credibility in an audience that seeks your services. Many users skip ads and rely more on organic results. Being visible gives your business that important seal of approval. In addition, having strong signs of review and reputation will provide an additional benefit.
Website Traffic – The increased traffic on the website gives you more opportunities to raise awareness of your business and educate a potential customer about why they would buy from you.
Return on Investment (ROI) – Organic search engine traffic can provide an improved return on investment over traditional forms of paid media and will certainly improve the PPC.
Cost – Cost per click Organic search traffic is free … more or less. Developing that visibility will take time and effort (money), but there is no direct charge for each impression or click.
Sustainability – Unlike paid search marketing, organic traffic does not end when you stop paying. As such, efforts to develop organic traffic can sustain a business when marketing expenses are cut.
Improved click-through rate (CTR) – A higher proportion of users usually click on organic results. While there are exceptions to this rule, it will generate more clicks from a highly placed organic listing than from a highly placed paid ad.
More clicks in general – To maximize visibility and clicks, you’ll want to have listings in the paid and organic results. Here you need experimentation at the keyword level to see if you are paying for the clicks you would get for free or if you would increase clicks and CTR in both payment and organic, but to maximize the results, you need a high visibility of payment and organic.
Scope – There are so many new queries every day that to maximize reach, you will need strong organic visibility. You also will not want to pay for all types of clicks or advertise each piece of content on your website.
Strategic Advantage – It can become an authoritative voice around a certain topic.
The visibility in organic search is neither quick nor easy, which is good and bad. Once you have established yourself on the organic results, your competitors can not simply buy your way (assuming you have done things the right way). This can provide a strategic advantage over the competition if they rely on paid search.
However, not everything is sun and rainbows, and there are certainly disadvantages for SEO. In many cases, organic traffic may take time to arrive, and it is possible that you are totally unbanked. If you’re just getting started, and the keywords you’re targeting show results dominated by titans like Amazon and eBay, then you may have to rethink your strategy.
You may also need to develop content assets to achieve strong organic visibility. Not all companies have the internal resources to address content development, and this can pose a problem. Tactics such as building secure and sustainable links can be difficult to master and, often, a strategy is needed, along with expert support.
Organic traffic can also arrive in large part through informative or pre-purchase research inquiries. This is valuable traffic, but a more stepped approach may be required to nurture those users with a purchase. This is a fundamental activity in digital marketing; however, it is not always easy, and it is not a good option for all companies.
How is the paid search different from the organic search?
With click rates and great confidence in favor of organic search, why would a business consider paid search? Here are some of the benefits that PPC offers:
Position on the page – Paid search dominates the content of the top half of the page. Typically, with four ads on the desktop and three on the mobile, a user will always see paid search ads, even if they choose to move beyond them.
Improved Ad – PPC ads are just that: ads. As such, you have much more granular control and more space to deliver your marketing messages. Calls, placements, sitelinks, prices and bullets are just some of the options for creating ads that dominate the page.
Advertisements of visual products – When you sell a product, Google offers the option of visual purchase ads (product listing ads or PLA) that can help a user see what they will click on. This type of ad can actually improve the click rate by offering a feature that is not available in organic search.
Visibility of the brand – Running paid search ads makes you see the right people. Even if they go back and perform a brand search before clicking on your site, that visibility will pay dividends to your marketing.
Budget – PPC allows strict control of the budget. Determine how much you are willing to spend per day (ideally with some initial ideas and performance ideals) and set that fixed limit.
The PPC orientation provides a laser-directed way to get in front of potential customers. Ads can be targeted by search keywords, time of day, and day of the week, geography, language, device and audiences based on previous visits. Organic traffic, by comparison, is much more dispersed.
Speed – While the development of good organic visibility can take time, you can create a PPC campaign in days and increase in weeks. There is no quicker way to be in front of customers at the time they are prepared to buy than paid search engine advertising.
Agile – Speed provides agility. Do you want to try a new product? A new marketing message? You can get quick feedback on the launch of a new product (or a viable minimum product) by running a short PPC ad campaign.
Market Intelligence – Where organic largely hides the data of keywords in the name of privacy, there is no such restriction with paid search. With conversion tracking and strong integration with analytics software (such as Google Analytics), we can determine which keywords are converted and at what percentage and cost. This intelligence can be incorporated directly into organic search marketing (SEO) and can inform all other ads to improve results in all areas.
A / B Tests – Easily perform ad split tests, landing pages and even call-to-action buttons to determine where the best results are. Once again, this information can be fed back into all other digital (and traditional) marketing efforts.
Stability – AdWords does not suffer the same turbulence that organic results can suffer. There are changes, but they tend to have a much smaller impact and are handled more easily. Careful use of match types and analysis of search terms reports allow the elimination of spam search and an increase in ROI over time.
Cost – Despite what many advertisers believe, a PPC account that is well configured and managed can be an inexpensive way to generate leads for your company. If you are a local business that targets a small geographic area and a small set of keywords, you may find that you can generate more than enough leads without breaking the bank. In addition, over time, accounts can be further optimized to reduce costs and increase performance.
Strategically, PPC is relatively easy to copy. If a competitor realizes that you are running ads, they can run ads. Your message can be imitated. All your funnel can be easily evaluated by competitors. This is the digital marketing landscape, and you have to accept it to a certain extent.
The successful PPC requires a qualified administration and optimization, from the tracking of the offers, the quality levels, the positions and the percentages of clicks. Some of this can be done with scripts, but if you are too busy to do it correctly, make sure you have an expert on hand to keep your account in top shape.