PPC Tips, SEO Written by 0

In today’s digital world, search engine marketing is a crucial part of any business strategy. Stats provided by Jupiter Research show that 81% of users find their desired destination through a search engine like Google.

However, one debate that always surrounds SEM is whether targeting your customers through attention-grabbing ads is the best way to go, or if you should leave it more to chance by offering them the best and most educational content they can find instead.

In this article, we aim to answer the question of whether PPC (pay-per-click) or SEO (search engine optimization) is right for you and your business. Before we try to tackle this fundamental issue of SEM (search engine marketing), though, it is imperative that you first take time to map out your business needs, then learn about the pros and cons of each type of marketing. Only then can you really decide whether PPC or SEO is right for your company and your budget?

Map Out Your Business’s Needs

One of the most vital steps you’ll need to take before you decide whether to use PPC or SEO is to understand the needs of your business and audience.

In a nutshell, there are two types of companies; one that has an innovative product or service to offer, and another that’s entering an already established industry where competition is fierce.

No matter which of these types of businesses you run, marketing them requires effort from you. However, the kind of search engine marketing you decide to choose depends on the following questions:

  1. Do you already have website traffic?
  2. Are you looking for immediate or long-term benefits?
  3. Do you run a competitive content strategy?
  4. What’s your marketing budget?

Though decoding your business and its needs will help you pinpoint the strategy that’s right for you, it’s not as simple as it may seem. Along with answering the questions mentioned above, you also need to take a detailed look at the pros and cons of each method.

Understanding SEO

What is it all about?

SEO or “search engine optimization” is centered around targeting keywords that help a website get to the higher rankings of a search engine and, as a result, achieve more natural or “organic” traffic.

According to a study, the SEO industry is currently worth $65 billion and will continue to grow exponentially in the coming years. Though there are some costs involved with implementing and continuing work on SEO, you won’t need to pay directly for the traffic you’re attracting through this technique.

The Positives

  • Helps you gain authority and brand connection: When you organize and streamline your content and website, you’re not only telling search engines that you have quality content to offer, but also making a real connection with your Instead of pointing people straight toward your product or service, you’re providing an experience that would be valuable and will make customers more loyal to your brand.
  • Retains your reputation for a long time: Unlike paid traffic, organic traffic doesn’t dry up quickly. Though you will need to make an effort to manage and maintain your rankings, once there, you will gain a strategic advantage over your competitors. Unless you make major SEO mistakes, your website will continue to get a high return on investment over time.
  • It’s free: SEO can be 100% free if you understand your marketing strategy well and don’t need to hire a firm. Unlike PPC which requires direct costs per click, search engine optimization will require only payment for a few secondary expenses. Many companies do choose to hire an SEO firm, but there’s no direct cost per click to your website like there is with PPC.

The Negatives

  • Requires a lot of effort and time: Perhaps the biggest setback of a stand-alone SEO strategy is that it will take months to build before you can start benefiting from it. If you’re managing the procedure on your own, you’ll need to be well-versed in technical, on-page and off-page SEO. You’ll not only need ample time to gain the required expertise but also expect it to execute each of the processes of SEO.
  • There are no guarantees: Another con of deciding on SEO over PPC is that you can never really guarantee your success. Even if you’ve spent weeks on building your authority, Google’s algorithm will have the final say on whether or not your website is worth the rank. Also, because these algorithms can change overnight, you can’t be a 100% sure of your success.
  • Results are not immediate: It will take a considerable amount of time for you to establish your SEO strategy accurately, which is why you won’t be able to get immediate results. While positive returns will be made over time, it’s not a quick-fix to your online marketing woes.

Understanding PPC

What is it all about?

According to Google Economic Impact stats, businesses make an average of $2 for every $1 they spend on Google AdWords.

Simply put, PPC or pay per click marketing is where you strategically place ads of your products or services on search engines and pay for each time a person clicks on the ad. You can choose where, when and under what context your campaigns appear and monitor the performance of real-time data.

The Positives

  • Instantaneous and quantifiable results: One of the primary reasons why you may decide to go for PPC over SEO is because it helps you get immediate returns. Instead of waiting for the algorithms to rule in your favor, PPC gives you the immediate traffic that you want. However, keep in mind that having quality content is Google’s preference for both SEO and PPC.
  • Higher chance of getting noticed: PPC ads are placed either above or below the organic SEO rankings. This means that the campaigns have an increased chance of grabbing the user’s attention, even if he isn’t looking for your particular brand and product. Moreover, if you invest in visual ads, you not only improve your click-through rate but also increase brand recognition.
  • Ability to control budget: In spite of having to pay for each click on the ads, PPC allows you to manage the budget you’re spending daily. You can set a limit on how much and how often you’re willing to pay. So, this technique can not only help in generating quick leads but is also an excellent low-budget option.

The Negatives

  • Lack of credibility: According to an article published by SEOmoz, organic results are 5 times more likely to be clicked on as compared to PPC ads. The reason for this is because users have learned to trust organic results more than paid ads because they know that the business that has paid ads is paying rather than being organically popular to be in the results.
  • Highly competitive: With PPC, it’s not as simple as placing an ad on Google and forgetting all about it. The competition can be fierce depending on your industry and keywords, and other businesses compete intensely to replace you. The costs can and will most definitely go higher as you do battle for top spots with competitors.
  • Short-term results: Finally, one of the biggest cons of adopting a PPC strategy is that it will only give you temporary results. Unlike SEO that keeps on benefiting you, PPC ads will drive traffic for as long as they are visible in the search engine results. The minute they disappear from the engine so does your traffic.

The final verdict

So, now that you’ve read the positives and negatives of both SEO and PPC, you must have understood that they will work well when implemented together. If you have a tight marketing budget, our suggestion is to control your PPC budget but also work on your SEO simultaneously, so that you continue to receive relevant traffic even when a competitor replaces your ad in the search engine results.

Also, don’t make the mistake of solely depending on search engine optimization, especially if you’re a new business, because it will take longer to build a reputation online and you’ll be missing out on potential immediate, high-converting traffic.

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