In the world of digital marketing, abbreviations like SEO and PPC have been bandied about a lot. In truth, they are some of the building blocks of a successful digital marketing strategy, and they are both successful in their own right. However, as a business, it’s sometimes hard to figure out which one works better for you, or if you need to use both, in what sort of combination will it actually help you stand out.
Organic versus paid
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a way or using keywords and backlinks to grow your organic search results. Basically, what you’re doing is researching customer behaviour online and attempting to create information based on this, and using search keywords to drive people to your website. There is on-page SEO (keywords on your website) and off-page SEO that involves using healthy links to link up blogs and other informative pieces to your site.
Pay Per Click (PPC) is a method of getting paid traffic to your site. This is done by bidding on keywords and using advertising to get people to click on the link. You get charged per click, which is where the name comes from. Both of these methods yield positive results. However, you need to build a strategy wisely.
The pros and cons
According to experts at Healthy Links, ideally, every business should work with a combination of SEO and PPC, and here’s why.
What you will predominantly get from SEO is a whole lot of trust from your customers as well as from Google. It’ll help in your branding, give you a better return on investment and a better click-through rate. Most searchers click on organic results instead of paid results.
However, SEO takes time to have a better effect, although the positive effects of SEO are longer lasting than PPC. Once you’re on the first page via organic results, no one will be able to buy their way in. Content development isn’t easy, though. Understanding keywords in order to make sure they work for you isn’t a walk in the park either. There are cons to SEO, especially if you’re a small business that needs to see a return on investment as soon as possible. Then there’s also the ever-changing Google algorithms. One day you could have amazing traffic, and the next day you’ll be floundering in unknown waters.
With PPC, it’s far easier getting traffic to your site. Your position on the page will always be above organic search results, so there will be visibility nevertheless, even if people scroll past your ad. Then there’s the matter of disseminating information via ads to the right people by bidding on the right keywords. You can display a strong call to action option, you can do product ads, you can get people to call you. Instant action is what PPC promises far better than SEO. There’s a hitch, the minute you stop spending, you lose all that traffic. If you are functioning in the same space as an Amazon, you’ll never be able to compete with them financially.
Finding the right balance
In the end, what works well is a consolidated approach to marketing. Use SEO and PPC wisely, and figure out what works better for you. Your investment in SEO will need to be ongoing and long term, irrespective of what you’re selling. For a small company, a strong organic presence will lay the foundation for anything you ever want to build on top of that. You can put a small budget into PPC, and then spend a little extra around the holidays or other weeks or months when you know there’ll be a bigger demand for your products or service. Using specific campaigns has its advantages.
For a company that is bigger and has a bigger budget, invest in SEO but put a larger percentage into PPC. Paid growth that compliments organic growth through innovative campaigns. The minute your budgets get into ‘large purse’ territory, you will always see a lot of organic and paid traffic.
It all boils down to what you want from SEO and PPC, or from either. Figure that out, because that’s your first step to a successful marketing strategy.