Both PPC and SEO have their pro’s and con’s, and one or the other may be better for your business. This article will give you a bit of background info on each, so you can get a better idea of which approach may be more successful for your business
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of optimising your website, and all of its pages, so they rank better in organic search results, for example, on Google and Bing. Search engines have algorithms that determine where you rank, in order to make the search engine happy you need to try and work out what the search engine deems important, and then implement this.
Pros of SEO
- Organic traffic has lasting power: Ranking highly for your target keywords can generate consistent search traffic to your website. Even if you halt efforts for a period of time the ranking is unlikely to drop significantly.
- SEO is often cheaper in the long run: SEO can rank your site for a huge number of keywords, which can generate a huge number of visits. In comparison, paying for a pay per click ad for each of these keywords can quickly add up and burn through your budget.
Cons of SEO
- SEO is time consuming: One study by Ahrefs found that only 5.7% of pages rank in the top 10 for at least one keyword within a year of publishing. Most of the pages that did rank took between 2-6 months. So, if you want to see short term results then SEO is probably not the best option for you.
- SEO requires unique content: This also adds on to the time consuming aspect of SEO. In order to rank well your content needs to be well planned and unique. You need to offer visitors something that they can’t find elsewhere online. If you are an industry expert in your field then this should be easy for you. If not it can take a long time to plan out your perfect content.
Pay-per-click (PPC) is a paid form of advertising where you spend each time someone clicks on an ad that takes them to your website. It is most typically associated with Google, but Bing also offers a PPC option. PPC is also possible on social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
Pros of PPC
- It’s quick: If you want SEO to work you can be waiting months, but for PPC it’s much quicker. Once the campaign is set up you can make it live almost instantly.
- You can target more precisely: With SEO you don’t have too many targeting options, you will be targeting anyone who is searching for that keyword. With PPC however you have much more control over the targeting. You can target by demographic and location.
Cons of PPC
- PPC can get very expensive, very quickly: If you are in a high value, competitive industry, such as insurance, PPC can get very expensive. You will constantly be upping your bids to keep up with your competitors. Also, if you try and cut costs by avoiding an agency you may be surprised at how complicated the campaign is to set up. If it is not set up correctly you can end up spending money on keywords that do not best serve you.
- PPC can lose effectiveness: You need to keep on top of your PPC ads as they become less effective over time. People start to see your ads too often and get bored of them
Which is Better
It’s hard to pit SEO and PPC off against each other, as they both have their own merits and downfalls, but there are a few instances in which it is easy to pick.
- If you are preparing for a launch or if you have a one time offer: if you are planning something in the near future it is best to opt for PPC, as SEO will take too long to implement and start ranking.
- If you have a super unique product: it may be hard to implement SEO for an innovative product as no one will be searching for it. Instead, you could try social media PPC to build awareness and appear for customers who may be interested in what you are offering.