One of the most argued about topics when it comes to SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is which one’s better: SEO or PPC? Should a business invest its time and money in implementing SEO strategies? Or would it be better off focusing on PPC to enhance its visibility and reach?
This is a tricky debate as several factors come into consideration in deciding whether a business will get better results with SEO or PPC. While developing an SEM campaign the following factors should be kept in mind:
- Is it a start-up or an established business/company?
- What is the goal of the SEM campaign—brand awareness and credibility or higher sales?
- What is the budget allocated for the campaign?
All these above-mentioned factors come into play in deciding whether a business will profit from employing SEO services or PPC ads.
What is SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)?
Search Engine Optimisation is the process of enabling a website to achieve high rankings on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS). It involves using keywords effectively to ensure that your website procures a high ranking on searches. SEO has changed dramatically over the years. With search engines like Google constantly changing their algorithm, SEO has gone from simple keyword-oriented optimisation to a much more complex area of providing user-friendly experience.
What is a PPC (Pay Per Click) ad?
As the name suggests, PPC ads are paid advertisements. When a Google search is done, a list of sponsored links appear at the top of the results. These are all PPC advertisements. Every time a user clicks on a PPC ad, the search engine will be paid a small fee for driving traffic to the website.
Here’s a look at the difference between SEO and PPC and their effect on an SEM campaign:
Organic and Useful Content Is The Need of The Hour
PPCs are great for increasing your business’ visibility quickly. If you want to boost your brand, and do it fast, then PPC advertisements are a great option. But the catch is that, organic, informative content is what users are looking for and what Google encourages.
Did you know that almost 70% of the users scroll past sponsored links when doing a Google search? Think about it. When was the last time you clicked on a sponsored link? Most users these days would much rather do a little research and find relevant content than click on the first link that appears.
So, going by user behaviour and Googles statistics, organic content is what visitors to your website and potential buyers are looking for. Employing professional SEO services could actually be a better investment for your business in the long run.
SEO Helps to Keep Your Marketing Costs Low
If you are working with a tight marketing budget and need to stretch each dollar for all its worth, then SEO is the key to the success of your SEM campaign. In order to feature on Google’s AdWords, you will have to engage in a bidding war on keywords with other brands/companies. This can quickly get out of hand and end up with you funnelling a lot of money into your PPC ads.
Also, PPC advertisements are not a one-time investment. Every time a click is made, you will have to pay. This is not an issue as long as those visitors to your website end up being customers. But if there is little to no conversions happening, you will be losing money for an ad that does not work.
SEO, on the other hand, can be used to build credibility for your business while keeping your marketing costs low. Unlike PPC ads, SEO does not require a continuous influx of cash in order to be effective. Once you have your SEO strategies in place, they will continue to yield results for months to come.
And The Winner Is…
The truth of the matter is that there is no clear winner. The best case scenario is using SEO and PPC ads to complement each other. If your PPC ads are not backed by good content, your conversion rates will be very low. And similarly, sometimes, having good content alone cannot help you reach a higher ranking. In such instances, you can use PPC advertising to boost your ranking and land more clicks for your site.
To make your mark in the digital world, you need to master the art of balancing your SEO with PPC advertising to optimise your visibility. Gaining a strong foothold in the online world requires a lot of planning. Hiring professional SEO services is a great way to help you cut through competition and get a higher ranking on SERPS.