SEO and PPC are two diverse methods to boost your digital footprint and secure a prominent spot on the search engine results pages (SERPs). But essentially, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the organic way to drive traffic to your website. In contrast, PPC or Pay-Per-Click is similar to buying an ad spot on TV or radio. You pay every time a client clicks on the post or your banner. An example of PPC is Google Ads.
There used to be a time when clients would look at PPC with derision. They think that it is a way for Google to wring more money out of them without offering long-term results.
In recent years, however, studies have shown that PPC is an effective tool to target customers with laser focus. Suddenly, you stop using the shotgun approach of pulling the trigger and hoping the splashing trajectory of the pellets would hit something.
Here are some statistics on PPC and SEO:
- Advertisers spent $10 billion in PPC ads in 2017
- Nearly 8 in 10 marketers swear by the efficacy of PPC ads (WordStream)
- More than 6 in 10 advertisers plan on increasing their PPC budgets the next cycle
- 45% of SMBs or small and medium businesses have invested in PPC
Meanwhile, search engine optimization is regarded as the gold standard for driving traffic and leads to client websites.
- Google is still the dominant search engine, accounting for more than 86% of searchers worldwide
- Over 93% of online searches start with the search engine (Search Engine Journal)
- The first five relevant pages after the search engine query receive more than 67% of Internet traffic
- Google factors in about 200 fundamental elements in its algorithms to rank a website
- 7 in 10 marketers believe that SEO is more effective compared to PPC
Maximizing Strengths and Weaknesses
Both SEO and PPC have their respective strengths and weaknesses, so you need to combine both strategies to optimize the value of your digital marketing investment.
Here are the pros and cons of SEO and PPC:
Search Engine Optimization
- More sustainable, which is ideal if you have a limited budget
- Brand awareness
- Localized organic traffic
- You can theoretically do it yourself if you have the knowledge
- Gain expert status
- Increase your leads and conversions
- Higher click-through-rate
- Search engine algorithm always changes, so you are always on your toes
- Slow-going. It will take time for the seeds you planted to grow
- No guaranteed results
- Prominent position on the page for relevant queries
- Brand awareness
- Localized paid traffic
- Almost instantaneous results
- Google reports a $2 return on investment for every $1 ad spent on PPC
- People who click on PPC ad are more likely to buy compared to SEO
- You can monitor your ROI using pixel tracking
- Track your PPC ads in real-time
- You have to pay for the ad every time someone clicks on it
- There is a long learning curve
- The PPC ads will only last as long as your budget allows
While SEO and PPC may take different routes to achieve the same results, choosing one does not automatically exclude the other. In fact, the best strategy is to combine both methods to get the most out of your digital marketing campaign.
Contact Our Team Of Digital Marketing Experts
Still not sure if SEO or PPC is the one for you? Keen to develop a holistic search engine strategy designed to win at SEO, PPC, social media, and the entire world wide web?