SEO vs PPC – which is best for your business?

When you have a limited marketing budget, you may be wondering what to spend your money on so that you receive the best return on investment.

Two options available include SEO, or to spend your budget on PPC advertising.

But which is the best choice?

In this article we will look at the difference between the two, and which is the right option for your business.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is when you optimise your website content to increase the chances of it ranking highly in search engines like Google and Bing.

SEO encompasses a wide range of different techniques including link building, technical SEO and content generation.

You can find out more about the different types of SEO and how you can use it to grow your business on our blog!

What is PPC?

Pay per click advertising (also known as PPC or search engine marketing) is when you display advertisements on other marketing platforms and pay a fee when someone clicks on these ads.

PPC is most commonly used within search engines like Google (Google Ads) and Bing (Microsoft Advertising). However, you can see PPC in use on social media platforms and websites like Reddit and Quora too.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of SEO and PPC?

Now that we have looked at the differences between SEO and PPC, how can they be used, and what are the pros and cons?

SEO is better if you want a long-term strategy

If you have time to invest in your website and marketing strategy, SEO is the best option.

With SEO you are working towards long-term gains in the search engines. With PPC, once you stop paying, you may potentially fall out of the rankings.

SEO is better if you have a lower budget

SEO is often low-cost and no-cost compared to PPC. This means that you can generally get a much better return on investment.

With PPC, the price you pay depends on your industry and how much you are willing to bid, but some keywords can cost upwards of £40. Keywords can be especially costly if you want to be on the first page or are bidding on a competitor’s keywords.

Dropbox was one of the early adopters of PPC back in 2009. The SaaS company was using Google Ads to encourage people to buy their premium plan and found that they were getting a cost per acquisition of between $233 and $388. This would have been okay if their product didn’t sell for $99!

Needless to say, PPC was not a good investment for them.

SEO benefits your whole website

While PPC focuses on specific campaigns and pages, the changes you make to your site in the name of SEO will benefit the whole of your website.

For example, reviewing internal links on one of your pages will help pass authority to other pages on your website, contributing to their rankings in the search engines too.

PPC is better if you want quick wins

A good SEO strategy takes time. It can take up to six months to see returns on a campaign, sometimes even longer. Ahrefs carried out a study and found that only 6% of pages rank on the first page of Google within a year.

With PPC, you can rank on the first page of your chosen search engine, or even at the top of the first page as long as you are willing to pay.

PPC is better if you want targeted traffic

One of the benefits of PPC is that you can target your campaign to a particular audience. You can decide whether you want to target men or women, people with children or search engine users that live in a specific town. You can even target people by their hobbies and interests!

Unlike SEO where everyone who uses a specific keyword is a potential lead, PPC will let you create more precise marketing campaigns. This could lead to better results for your business.

PPC is better if your website isn’t built for SEO

Let’s say that you have a website that is designed solely for lead generation. You may have a lot of ‘thin’ content that isn’t regularly updated. These sites tend not to fare well in the search engine results.

With PPC you can set up campaigns to encourage people to come to your website, all without worrying about how your site is doing in the SERPs.

Which is best – SEO or PPC?

The honest answer is… it depends on your business needs, budget and what your competitors are doing.

SEO is great if you want long-term results, while PPC can give you a boost if you are looking for a quick fix to get eyes on your content.

Our opinion? We’re fans of SEO as it provides more consistent results over time, but a high-quality PPC campaign can be extremely beneficial too!

Did you know that you can use both marketing disciplines together to your advantage? For example:

  • You can test your keywords in PPC to see if there is any traction before you commit to adding them to your long-term SEO strategy
  • You can use PPC to target a specific keyword while you work on the long-term SEO in the background
  • You can use a PPC remarketing campaign to encourage organic visitors to come back to your website and complete a conversion

Do you prefer SEO or PPC? Which is the best for generating conversions on your website?

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