Choosing between SEO and PPC is a crucial branding strategy decision for enterprises. They’re both digital marketing strategies that are seen all over the internet. Whether its social media platform, search engines, or e-commerce websites. SEO and PPC hold a major portion of online marketing.
Marketers use the two strategies as a combo, to target different sectors of digital marketing, which also means one isn’t necessarily better than the other. However, if you need to decide between the two, then it all comes down to your budget, business needs, and long-term goals.
Google is a go-to search engine for over 1 billion people, and since January 2020, Google recorded an astounding search engine market share of 81%.
Understanding Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is a digital marketing strategy that is used for optimizing websites, mobile apps, and web apps to improve their organic ranking on search engines. ‘Organic ranking’ is the term used for traffic that is acquired without using paid ads or direct traffic.
The rank of your website is determined and influenced by the quality of content published on your website. Organic results are usually right under the ads on search engine result pages (SERPs).
Important SEO Stats
Here is a list of a few stats that make SEO and organic marketing a great digital marketing strategy for big and small businesses.
- Organic search by users generates about 51% of website traffic.
- An organic search yields up to 39% of purchases made online.
- 70%-80% of users give priority to organic results over paid ads.
- 61% of mobile users contact businesses that offer friendly mobile-based websites.
- The first page of Google attracts 82% of organic traffic.
The stats alone make SEO and organic results look like marketing strategies that can boost your business to the next level.
Reasons You Should Choose SEO
#1. Free of Cost
The SEO strategy costs nothing! However, it entirely depends on how much time you spend on gathering and listing down the best keywords and the kind of quality content you produce with it.
#2. Improves Website Traffic
SEO offers you a channel to a wide variety of potential customers. It’ll help you list your website to gain the top spot.
#3. Makes the Website Discoverable
When you’re in full control of your SEO, you get to make sure your content is targeted at the desired audience. A good SEO optimized content will help you rank on the top.
#4. Target the Desired Audience
Instead of having to pay for a general audience, you can target your desired target market to convert them into potential buyers.
#5. SEO Never Stops Ranking
SEO has no time limitation; it’s biggest selling point is an increasing ROI over time. If the SEO strategy is done right, your search results will double or even triple in a few months.
Reasons You Shouldn’t Choose SEO
SEO is a time-consuming and patient marketing strategy even though it’s free of cost and yields higher search results. There is no set timeline because organic results take time and constant revisiting to make the content more SEO-friendly.
#2. More Competition
When your website ranks high, with organic results, your competitors will try to do better. So, to stay on top of your game, you always have to be one step ahead.
#3. Dealing with Change
SEO is bound to change over time; one day, you’ll be witnessing a simple keyword like ‘buy online,’ and the next day, it’ll be ‘shop online.’ The unpredictable change requires you to keep optimizing your content to ensure organic results.
#4. Easy ‘Pay’ Out
The SERPs have top positions, i.e., the first ten results on the first page, which can be hard to acquire with just SEO. Most top positions are saved for paid ads, and if you don’t have the budget for it, you’ll be settling for a lower rank with just SEO.
You could be doing everything right, by creating SEO-standard content, using maximum keywords, and still lack behind. So, it could take time to make sure your SEO strategy is yielding expected results.
Understanding Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
Pay per click or PPC has everything to do with the ads you see on the top of SERPs, like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. To get an ad placed on the top of the Google search engine, you need to bid on specific AdWords that are relevant to your business. Among marketers, PPC is also known as paid ads or paid search. Apart from Google AdWords, other PPCs include, RevContent, AdRoll, and Bidvertiser.
Important PPC Stats
Here is a list of a few stats that explain why some enterprises lean towards PPC to attract more traffic.
- 75% of smartphone and desktop users claim that paid ads are easier to search as compared to organic results.
- Paid ads have a CTR of 11.38% on Google.
- 63% of people agree that they click on the ad instead because it’s usually on the top, which means they don’t need to scroll down.
- Users who click PPC ads are 50% more likely to purchase as compared to organic visitors.
Reasons You Should Choose PPC
#1. Yields Faster Results
If you have a nice budget and want to see your website ranking quicker, PPC is your best option! The waiting time, unlike SEO, is cut short. When you start a PPC campaign, you don’t need to wait for too long or have the patience to yield results. PPCs are quick and easy to initiate.
#2. Alter With a Few Clicks
A PPC ad campaign can be easily extended or altered if there is a need. PPCs are very flexible and can be retargeted before the budget is used up.
#3. Offers Local and Global Exposure to Business
SEO strategy is used to attract local users, whereas the PCCs can be used to attract local and global users from around the world. The strategy offers businesses a chance to tap into a bigger audience if they have the budget for it.
#4. Allows Remarketing and Retargeting
Remarketing is the process of reaching people who have already visited your website. Unlike SEO, PPC makes it very easy to remarket and retarget customers that can convert into buyers.
#5. The Results are Easy to Track
PPC networks such as Google AdWords apply various metrics on a single ad that can be viewed by website owners. The metrics allow you to easily measure the success of each ad that you post and assess which ad is performing better. With SEO, it’s not as easy because there aren’t any metrics involved.
Reasons You Shouldn’t Choose PPC
#1. Not Easy on the Pocket
PPCs are expensive as compare to SEO strategies, which is only because SEO is free and PPC is not. PPC is not an affordable option for startups or small businesses because the cost for each click can accumulate to a big figure.
#2. Constant Monitoring
If you’re on an allocated budget for PPCs, then you need to monitor your ad campaigns constantly. Even though a fixed budget is set before the campaign, it’s important to monitor if the ad is performing well or not. If the ad isn’t performing, then the wise choice would be to stop the campaign and use the budget elsewhere.
#3. Requires Money to Make Money
PPCs will generate traffic, revenues, and sales as long as you put in money. Just by paying once doesn’t guarantee you sales and revenue. For your desired outcome, you need to keep the money coming.
#4. End of the Budget Means End of the Campaign
Your ad will disappear into thin ‘internet’ air as soon as your budget runs out. If you decide to stop paying for your ad campaign, your traffic, sales, and revenue will stop with it.
#5. Not a Stable Long-term Strategy
If you’re thinking of turning a PPC into long-term traffic yielding strategy, think again! PPCs don’t grow on trees and can be very heavy on the pocket. Additionally, there’s also a chance that the keyword you’re using, can be undermined by a newer keyword if your competitor spends more on paid ads.
The Differences Between PPC & SEO
By now, you probably know the pros and cons of PPC and search engine marketing strategies. However, the two major differences between the strategies are:
- PPCs are displayed on top of the page, when users type and search for specific keywords, while organic results are listed below the ads.
- The second difference is that the SEO strategy is free yet time-consuming; however, PPCs are ads that businesses are charged for every time a user clicks on one.
Choose What is Right for Your Business!
To make the right decision when choosing SEO and PPC depends on various factors, the main being your budget and your long-term business goals. If you have a budget and an established business, then start with PPC and slowly incorporate SEO into your content.
However, if you are just starting out as an e-commerce venture, the right path is to start with SEO standard content and then slowly using PPC. You can also talk to experts at Genius Videos to discuss your project.
The combination of both marketing strategies can prove to be fruitful for every business. Good luck!
About the Author!
I am Munis Khan, and I am working in Topfirms.io Company as a Digital Marketing Executive. I am familiar with the innovative ideas, and planning requirements for efficient marketing, to promote our company and market our products. I am willing to contribute to blogs and articles relating to marketing so that more people can get benefit from my knowledge.