We all know that an online presence is essential for business growth in the modern marketing world. Search engines help you to make sure you’re seen by the right people, at the right time. Making sure you’re at the top of the results when someone searches for your products or services is extremely important if you want to see more leads and sales coming in.
Both channels have their pros and cons and the age-old question of which is best has always remained unanswered. In reality, whether you use SEO or PPC depend on your goals, budget, target audience and your business. Most businesses use a combination of both rather than one or the other. Both can be beneficial for your business in different ways and have pros and cons of their own.
SEO is all about optimising your website and content in order to rank highly in organic searches. When people search for answers to their problems, you want to be there to offer your solution.
One of the biggest advantages of SEO is that it tends to bring in much better quality leads than PPC. Many users ignore the paid results when searching on Google. Data suggests that visitors who find your website through natural search are more likely to trust you, your business and your products or services. Ranking on page one of Google shows your credibility and how influential you are in your industry.
Visibility on search engines is great for brand awareness. If you conduct research and find out which keywords, phrases or solutions your target audience is looking for you, you can carefully craft your content to match and boost your rankings in order to get your business in front of the people who are looking for it.
In contrast to PPC, SEO can be more sustainable in the sense that the traffic will not stop as soon as you stop paying. If you make efforts within your website to develop your rankings, these efforts will not be wasted if the budget should dry up. As long as you continue to put work in to maintain and improve your rankings, your website should still appear in similar positions. Not only is this sustainable but it also helps to give you a strategic advantage over your competitors. It’s not easy to improve organic rankings so if you put the work in and establish yourself, your competitors are not going to be able to simply buy their way back in. So, if your competitors are relying on paid search, you’ll have a great advantage.
SEO is a great way to get your business seen online however, it can be a slow process and, depending on what you do, your competition could be high. If your keywords are dominated by large brands, you might need to rethink your strategy. Never fall into the trap of favouring SEO because you think it will cost you nothing. SEO takes time and whether it’s your own or you hire someone to take on the strategy for you, SEO is definitely going to cost you something.
SEO sounds great, right? However, don’t give up on PPC completely just yet! There are a few advantages over organic traffic. If you set campaigns and ads up properly, PPC actually has one of the best ROI rates of any other marketing channel.
In contrast to SEO, PPC is about paying for advertising space based on targeted keywords for your brand. However, always remember that you will never get to the number one spot through PPC simply by being the highest bidder. The main priority of a search engine is to provide the best and most relevant results for the user. Imagine if Google simply showed the ads with the highest bidder rather than those that the searcher is actually looking for! Everyone would have switched to a different search engine a long time ago. So, before you take on any PPC strategy, remember to research your keywords carefully and structure your account to allow you to optimise ads and improve relevancy.
One of the main advantages of PPC, if you can gain one of the top positions, is that paid search dominates above the fold content. That means that when someone searches, they will see the ads first before they scroll to get to the organic pages. This also improves your brand visibility because it’s going to get you seen when customers search for you. Even if they go on to conduct their own brand research before they buy, the visibility for your brand is extremely valuable.
PPC allows you to target your customers more closely. Rather than improving your site rankings and hoping that potential customers are going to see and click on your website, you can target your ads using relevant keywords, time of day, day of the week, geography, language, devices and audiences all based on data you have about potential customers and previous visits to your website. In addition, you have much tighter budget control. You determine how much you’re willing to pay per day and fix the budget so you never run over. The budget can be easily adjusted depending on your results. A PPC account that’s well managed, monitored and set-up can be a low-cost way to generate new leads for your business.
As you can see, there are many pros and cons to both strategies. In reality, SEO and PPC shouldn’t be competing against each other, they should be used together for maximum results. If you’re still confused about how you should be utilising SEO and PPC for your business, contact RDM for more guidance.