Not sure whether your business would benefit more from Pay Per Click (PPC) or Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts? There are some key differences when considering SEO or PPC in your overall marketing plan. We are going to break down the differences and help you objectively decide between the two.
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the practice of increasing traffic to your website through organic search engine results. Simply put, it is the process of improving your site to increase its visibility for relevant searches on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo among many others. The better visibility your pages have in search results, the more likely you are to get the attention of prospective clients.
Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo use bots to crawl pages on your website to collect information about the content of those pages and put them in an index. Next, algorithms analyze pages in the index, looking at hundreds of ranking factors or signals, to determine the order pages should appear in the search results for a given query. There are many things that go into ranking factors including the quality of content, keywords, crawlability, mobile-friendliness and site structure. Having a comprehensive strategy will help improve your rankings and overall visibility.
What is Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising?
Pay-per-click (PPC) is an advertising model that lets advertisers place ads on Google, Bing and Yahoo search engines and pay only when their ad is clicked. The goal of a PPC ad is to get the potential customer to click through to the advertiser’s website and complete a valuable action, like filling out a form or purchasing a product.
Like SEO, a Combination of factors goes into ad ranking to determine if and where an ad will appear on the SERP, including bid amount and the quality of the ad. As its name implies, the Ad Auction is a bidding system and that means advertisers bid on the keywords they want to trigger their ad. Since advertisers only pay for each click on their ad, it’s important to only bid on keywords that are relevant to the business. This will help increase ROI from ad spend. The most important thing is to find the right keywords to bid on that are going to drive sales and conversions while keeping cost-per-click
to a minimum.
What are the pros and cons of SEO and PPC?
Pros of SEO:
- Drive Awareness
- Builds Credibility & Trust In Your Brand
- Returns A Great ROI Since Traffic Is Free
- Sustainability Because It Is Always “On”
Cons of SEO:
- Results Are Not Immediate & Can Fluctuate Frequently
- Requires Access To Resources Like Content Developers & Technical Experts
- Constant Algorithm Updates That Effect Ranking
Pros of PPC:
- Potential Top Of Page Position
- Specific Messaging Shown To Potential Customers
- Consistent Brand Visibility
- Ability To Target A Specific Audience
- Immediate Results That Allow For Analysis And Testing
Cons of PPC:
- Costs Can Quickly Add Up If Not Optimized
- Complex And Ever-Evolving Platform
- Time Required To Test And Measure Results
- Requires A Consistent Investment
How can SEO & PPC Can Work Together?
There are many benefits of running a full SEO and PPC strategy together. SEO and PPC are often in pursuit of the same results, and each tactic is supportive of the other. This produces both long and short term wins in both strategies. Benefits of a joint strategy in PPC and SEO are that it maximizes SERP coverage, provides a full coverage of keywords and elevates brand awareness to those looking for your business.
Understanding your prospective customers and how they use the web is key to determining whether paid search, organic search or a combination of both is the best approach for your unique and ever-changing situation.