PPC Vs. SEO – Epic Battle or Misunderstood Partnership?

PPC and SEO Defined

Pay per click advertising (PPC) is a method of displaying ads based upon keywords, in which the advertiser is charged a fee each time the ad is clicked. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a form of marketing that improves on page factors and builds back links to websites in order to improve their rankings in the organic search results. Both methods of advertising have their pros and cons, but contrary to popular belief, these two forms of advertising can work together very well to create conversions for the end user. In order to help you decide which is best for your company, here is a little more about both of these marketing methods.

Benefits of Using PPC Advertising

Do you need traffic to your website fast? If you are in a hurry to get traffic to your website, then PPC advertising  just may be for you. As you may know pay per click marketing is based upon creating short text ads and triggering them to display when select keywords are searched. Unlike SEO, you can select any keyword and display ads for it instantly. SEO on the other hand requires you to select keywords that you can rank for and them you have to spend months waiting to rank for them. Another benefit of PPC is that is actually allows you to test keywords before you waste time ranking for them via SEO. This will allow you to see how well potential keywords will convert instantly. Lastly, PPC allows you to set a daily budget for your ads. This gives PPC a lot more flexibility that SEO campaigns which may require a higher set budget cost.

Drawbacks of PPC Advertising

While pay per click advertising can drive immediate traffic to your website you will be paying for each click. When the average cost per click is only a couple of dollars, it is a lot nicer than paying $60 per click. If you fail to create a well-converting website, you could be in debt quickly from Adwords.  The other problem with PPC is that some people are skeptical of paid ads and favor clicking on the organic search results. You will also find that if you have a high traffic keyword and a limited budget, you ads may stop displaying early each day, missing thousands of potential consumers. Aside from the aforementioned, there are certain companies who convert better from SEO rankings than PPC. SEO companies are a great example  of that; would you hire an SEO company that wasn’t rank for any keywords? Possibly, but the company that ranks is likely to get the majority of jobs.

Benefits of SEO Marketing

Unlike pay per click advertising, SEO does not require that you pay for each visitor to your website. Once you gain organic rankings, you can enjoy the continual traffic that will be brought to your website at no additional cost to you. Organic results (top 3) actually receive more clicks on average than the paid counterparts as well. In addition, people often place greater trust on the organic search results. If you have a very limited budget but plenty of free time, you may find that SEO can become your go to marketing method, just be careful not to overdo it and get penalized. SEO is a sound strategy and has been helping websites owners for nearly 20 years now. Since SEO is slightly older than PPC, SEO companies have a longer history to pull data from and center practices around. That being said, SEO updates much more frequently that PPC, which could allow you to get ranked faster if your strategy was better than your competitors.

Drawbacks of SEO Marketing

Pay per click marketing is great for instant traffic; SEO on the other hand generally takes much longer to work. There are some low competition keywords that you can rank for quickly, but the competitive search terms are going to takes up to 12 months or longer to gain rankings for. As of late, there have also been a lot of updates to Google’s search engine algorithm and while the last few were smaller in comparison, on any given day a huge update could destroy even the highest ranking sites. This is where paid advertising helps to ensure consistent traffic to your website. The last problem with SEO and most unfortunate is that many people claim to be experts in the field even when they are not. This could leave you out of thousands of dollars without anything to show, so do your homework when selecting an SEO company. If the pricing sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Cheap SEO will cost you far more than hiring a skilled SEO provider.

Deciding Whether to USE SEO, PPC, or Both

As promised, we laid out the pros and cons of PPC vs. SEO and hopefully have given you a better understanding of how each method could benefit your marketing strategy. As any marketer can relate to, there is a need for diversity in advertising. SEO and PPC offer a solid 1-2 punch for your online marketing strategy.  In order to get you started on the right foot, we offer a 15 day free trial of our PPC services. In addition we also have the SEO experts on staff to help you develop and implement a solid SEO strategy as well. If you need help of just have questions, contact us today to learn more.

My final thought on SEO Vs. PPC is this, they are both solid methods of advertising online. Depending upon your exact circumstance, you may or may not be able to benefit from SEO, but any website can use PPC as there is a much lower cost to produce a return on your investment. So, it would appear that PPC vs. SEO battle is not going to be solved here today.

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