SEO vs PPC When to Invest in One Over the Other

Should You Invest in SEO or PPC Marketing? It Depends…

Whether your customer uses Yahoo, Bing or Google, if your business doesn’t rank high in the search, you’ll never get found. The two main ways to rank in search engines is through organic search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) ads. Which one works for your business depends on many factors.

What Is PPC Marketing?

Pay-per-click marketing is when your business bids to have your ads appear in the sponsored results. It’s called PPC because you only pay when a customer clicks through to your website. The benefits of PPC advertising:

  • Immediate traffic results, giving you more access to traffic for seasonal promotions, product launches or event-focused marketing
  • Targeted traffic – PPC lets you target specific demographics, such as income, gender and education level.
  • Dominate search engine results – it can be difficult to rank for short, popular keywords in your industry. Using PPC, you can show up at the top of the page for your selected words.

The downside of PPC is that you really can spend a large amount of money to get the traffic to your website and optimizing your PPC campaigns is not a simple process, it requires significant time investment and knowledge to properly organize your keywords, ad copy, landing pages, and more in an effort to spend less for each click. Often companies will invest in PPC in addition to SEO to steal some traffic for keywords that are more likely to result in purchases/leads when they have difficulty achieving a 1st page position via organic SEO efforts.

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

SEO is a more organic approach to ranking and while there may still be costs if you don’t do it yourself, the investment is longer term. Using SEO techniques, you position your website to rank high in the search engine results without paying per click. The benefits of SEO are quite different from PPC:

  • Consistent results for sustained traffic and long-term benefits.
  • Building an authoritative brand and voice. Many websites generate traffic simply because of their reputation. By dominating the market, you won’t have to pay monthly for a PPC campaign .
  • Customers trust search results that aren’t “sponsored ads” more than they do PPC ads.

While SEO can be a much better long-term investment you must understand that some search terms will be very difficult to rank for. You need to choose a realistic list of terms that you believe will drive the right kind of traffic without setting your sights (at least initially) on terms that will be very difficult to rank for.

Choosing the Right Search Engine Digital Marketing Strategy

Don’t be fooled. Although there is an obvious investment in PPC, SEO is not free. There is an investment in SEO, even if it’s just time. When deciding which marketing strategy is right for you, you have to look at your website and goals.

If you’re trying to jump-start your digital marketing efforts, a PPC campaign can really give your business a boost. Setup for PPC can be fairly simple, but if you want to get the most for your spend some time and effort will need to be expended to learn about and optimize your advertisements. It can also be daunting to use Google Ads management when you’re unfamiliar with marketing.

An SEO campaign is more long-term. Depending on your market, it will take time for your webpages to be indexed and rank for the keywords you want. SEO generally brings very qualified leads. SEO and PPC can work hand-in-hand. Your PPC efforts can help you build long-term SEO results. Don’t discount either strategy, but make SEO and PPC work for your business. Work with a Bay Area SEO company to get best results.