SEO vs PPC: Which is the Best Option for Your Business?
When it comes to online marketing, businesses are often torn between concentrating on PPC or SEO. In reality, most businesses would benefit from using both. However, there are some cases where one of these options would simply not be viable. You have to first understand the main differences between both methods and understand their limitations. Only then will you be able to tell which one should be a priority for your business. Let’s take a closer look at both SEO and PPC and see which one would work better in your case.
What is SEO Best For?
SEO is really something all businesses should practice and shouldn’t even be viewed as marketing. It should be a prerequisite to having a website. If you have a website, and you don’t at least have your on-page SEO down, it might never get indexed and be invisible to most people.
The biggest benefit of SEO is that it allows you to attract high-value, highly targeted organic traffic. Organic traffic from search engines is the most precious traffic that you can get. This is because people who visit websites after sifting through listings are much more motivated than those who click an ad that has been shoved in their face.
Another benefit of SEO is that you don’t constantly have to work on your SEO efforts and constantly pump money into them. Most of the hard work will be at the beginning. You’ll often only need to do some housekeeping work and release new content from time to time to maintain or improve your results. This means that you could essentially get free traffic after a while.
What Are the Drawbacks of SEO?
SEO does have a few drawbacks, and you need to know them before you invest yourself totally into that method. The first issue with SEO is that it can take time, and nothing is guaranteed. You could spend days, weeks, or even months on your SEO strategy with no result. As a matter of fact, things could actually worsen if you’re not doing things right.
Another thing that can be extremely frustrating with SEO is updates. As you may know, Google is not a big fan of SEOs. They don’t like the idea of their search results being manipulated and will constantly try to work to fix their algorithms so that SEOs cannot exploit their rules.
Google rolls out updates pretty much every year, sometimes even twice per year. And every time they happen, some people see their results plummet, while others see their results improve or stay the same. This is the proverbial “Google slap” you’ll often hear about and is the fear of every SEO out there.
It’s possible to prevent getting hit with a Google slap, but, even when you’re seemingly doing everything right, you might still be affected by algorithm changes. This is the type of unpredictability that makes SEO unattractive to certain people.
Another issue with SEO is that your success will largely depend on your niche and competition. All big companies do SEO, and their brand recognition is a huge advantage in that area. You might be able to compete with some of the big names out there, but it’s an uphill battle. If you have a lot of big companies in your niche, then you should probably forget about getting on the first page for the top keywords and you will need to be more creative in your strategy.
Who Does PPC Work For?
PPC is truly a revolutionary marketing method and one of the only ones where you’ll pay for results only. Another benefit of PPC is how fast you could get traffic from it. You could literally start getting targeted traffic to your site within minutes after launching a campaign.
This makes PPC one of the best marketing methods for people who sell products and/or services. As long as you can get more in profits than what you pay on your ads, you’re in the clear. From then on, you can try different keywords and ads so you can improve your click-through rates or lower your bids to increase your profits.
What Are the Limitations of PPC?
PPC doesn’t work for everyone, however. If you have an informational resource, for instance, and you make money on the back end through email marketing, it will be very difficult to gauge the cost efficiency of a PPC campaign. Also, like with SEO, you need to look at how competitive your niche is first.
The difference here is that there are many more outlets for PPC marketing and they’re not all a waste of time like with SEO. Even if the competition is fierce on places like Google, you can still get some decent bids and results by using lesser-known search engines.
BingAds will showcase your ads both on Yahoo and Bing and you could get a chance to compete in a hot niche by using them. Facebook ads are another great option, and their targeting features could allow you to set your ads apart and lower the number of competing ads you’ll have to go against.
What About Using Both?
Companies that get the best results are the ones that use both strategies at the same time. If you’re offering a service, then you should consider using PPC and SEO. PPC could be used to bring direct traffic to your site while SEO could allow you to answer some of the questions your potential customers would have and show that you’re an authority in a niche.
SEO is a tool everyone should use if they want to build brand awareness as well. Having your site appear near the top of search results every time someone searches for keywords related to your niche will work wonders for your brand. This is why eCommerce businesses should not focus only on direct marketing and SEO so they can build their brand and instil trust in the public.
As you can see, choosing between SEO and PPC for your business is not as simple as it may seem. Our advice would be to give them both a try until you find the method that works the best for your objectives, business, and budget.