Pay-per-click (PPC) and search engine optimisation (SEO) have the same goals: to put your name in front of people, get your business noticed, help you rank higher on search engines and increase your traffic and sales.
You’re probably already aware of the importance of having your business, services and contact details online for people to find. Yet, with over eight billion Google searches a day, it takes more than just an online presence to hit a lot of people’s radars.
Organic SEO and PPC are two of the most effective ways to stand out in this busy online marketplace. While you can use both as part of an effective digital marketing strategy, you may wonder what the difference is. What are the pros and cons of each? And which one should I start with to see results quickly?
This article dives deep into where PPC and SEO fit into the picture and how Anchor can help you with each.
What Is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?
Search engine optimisation means improving your site’s visibility and rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). The higher you rank, the more likely you’ll attract organic traffic that leads to site visits and sales.
Of course, these days, most SEO is focused on the world’s most popular search engine, Google, but you can also use SEO for Bing, YouTube, Yahoo or any other form of search engine.
Search engines use bots to crawl pages and put them in an index. Algorithms assess the pages in the index to determine where they should rank in relation to user inquiries. To rank on the first page of SERPs, you must optimise your website by utilising keywords and links in the right places.
Benefits of SEO
SEO is completely free! While it can take much more work for your content to rank higher, you don’t have to keep running an ad to maintain your place. If you’re in the number one spot on Google, you’re the first organic result that people will see below the PPC ones. You’re in a position that inspires trust in web users, and you’re ready to receive a steady stream of organic traffic. SEO is a long-term strategy that offers benefits in the future. The same blog post can continue to attract new web traffic and sales years after it was first published.
Drawbacks of SEO
SEO has very few drawbacks. Sometimes, you have to be patient and wait to see results. And once you get there, maintaining your page’s high rankings is an ongoing process, but it’s a process that’s worth it. You can lose your place if competitors start using better SEO techniques and if Google’s algorithm updates or if users’ intent changes (e.g. a keyword suddenly attracts more inquiries for a brand-new product than what it originally stood for).
What Is Pay-Per-Click (PPC)?
Pay-per-click (PPC) is one of the most common online advertising tools that allows businesses to run ads on a platform, such as Google Ads, and pay a fee every time someone clicks on it. You may not know it, but you’ve seen PPC in action before. Whenever you search for something in Google, the first few results usually have ‘Ad’ next to them. This is an example of PPC in action. Much like SEO, PPC is used to drive traffic, sales or enquiries. But unlike SEO, you can target a specific audience when using PPC. For example, if you want to target males aged 30-40 who love football and live in a particular area, you can do just that.
Benefits of PPC
One of the most common benefits of PPC is that you start receiving clicks almost immediately. While it takes a few hours for your ad to get approved, you will see the clicks increase once it is. Another benefit of PPC is that you can track and measure your campaigns easily. You can see what does and doesn’t work well with your campaigns, allowing you to tweak them over time. This also ties in with the benefit of being in complete control at all times: you can decide how long you want to run your ad and when to turn it off.
Drawbacks of PPC
Like SEO, there are only a few drawbacks associated with PPC.
Since PPC is such a popular advertising method, competition for popular keywords can be fierce. This means that the cost of your PPC campaign can increase quickly, requiring you to constantly monitor your campaigns and ensure you get the return you need. While PPC starts to show results immediately, there’s a big difference between being able to do something and doing it well. Developing a successful PPC campaign takes time: you need to do keyword research, identify the right audiences, review data and constantly monitor and tweak your campaigns.
Choosing The Right Strategy For Your Business
With PPC offering quick results and SEO providing long-term benefits, which strategy is best for your business? Perhaps it is a combination of both PPC and SEO strategies Here are the main factors you need to consider when choosing the right strategy for your business.
1. Traffic potential
If you’re an SEO wizard and manage to land the top-ranked page on the organic Google search results, you’re probably guaranteed a 24/7 flow of traffic, whereas paid ads only drive visits for as long as your campaign is up and running. PPC may get you more clicks in the short term, but you’ll pay more out of pocket, too.
2. Cost factor likeliness to convert
You may have heard that SEO is completely free. While you don’t have to pay any money upfront for organic website traffic, it does involve hard work to get that “free” traffic from Google, and we all know that time is money.
The cost of your PPC campaign really depends on the popularity of the keywords you’re competing for and how many advertisers are bidding on those keywords, among other factors. If you’re worried about paid ads breaking your bank, you can set a daily budget in advance to keep complete control over your spending.
3. Likeliness to convert
The question is: Which visitor is more likely to convert, one finding your site via PPC or through organic SEO?
If you’ve done a great job setting up your Google Ads campaign, traffic coming from PPC is more likely to convert. Highly targeted and optimised ads ensure that the person presented with it is actually looking for what you have to offer. Whereas your website can rank for various keywords, a user coming across your organic listing may not be looking for a particular product or service on offer.
Before setting your budget, look at what your competitors pay for their ads. The industry benchmarks will give you an idea of how much you should spend. How high the CPC (cost per click) is very much depends on the products or services you’re selling. If you have to stretch your budget, relying on SEO might be a wise choice.
Let Anchor Build The Best Strategy For Your Business
Anchor can provide you with a plan that includes SEO and PPC for the strongest, most precise and longest-lasting approach possible.
SEO is constantly changing, and it’s hard to keep up with the changes when you have your own business to run. We make it a priority to stay in the know so you can focus more on your immediate priorities. When we work together, we become a part of your team, boosting your message and brand exposure while maintaining your unique identity and authenticity.
Contact us today for a strategy that drives traffic to your site using the most powerful digital techniques and tools available.