Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) advertising are often considered to be competitors in the web marketer’s toolset. Both take up valuable resources, whether they be money or time, and both need constant tracking and a sound strategy in order to work effectively. Despite the competition for limited resources, it should not be a one or the other approach in the majority of cases. Both PPC and SEO have their advantages and disadvantages and an optimal strategy in today’s environment likely involves a combination of the two that plays to the strengths of each.
SEO tends to be a longer-term investment which is done properly can pay great dividends. The organic traffic is free once you are ranking- of course, to be able to rank well for competitive keywords, you will have to put in the time and/or money (likely both) though. Even then, over the long term, the return on investment (ROI) tends to be greater with SEO if you can sustain your position in ranking pages. Ranking well can also help your credibility because most searchers know what the ads are and what the real results are- they tend to associate real results with less of a bias and internally give them more credibility because of that. This generated trust can help your credibility and branding and if you can maintain it may allow you to become a go-to voice or resource in the space.
SEO will also generally have better click-thru rates as more and more people develop ad blindness, or the tendency to skip over the sponsored results. They also tend to be more sustainable than paid results since the latter disappear as soon as you stop paying. Given the slightly different groups of people who click organic results vs. ads (although of course there is overlap there too), ranking organically can be a big boon if you combine it with placing the ads above it too. More on this later.
Moving on to PPC traffic, there are some clear-cut advantages on that side too. For one, the results are way quicker- pretty much instantaneous as long as you put in a competitive bid for your keyword. The ads also appear in prime position- often above the fold and with great visibility. There is also much more control over these listings in terms of the exact text, how the ads will appear, etc. (within the bounds set by Google or the search engine in question). Google even offers the option of visual product ads if it is a commerce page in question, which would improve click-thru as well. These ads are also big for your branding, of course. Finally, with PPC you can target the exact type of user you want including the location where they are, the language, type of device, etc. You do not have these options with SEO. PPC ads can also be a great source of market research for you given the built-in tracking that services like Google Adwords offer which will give you insights into conversions and what works and what doesn’t. You can even easily do A/B testing if you want to try different versions of your ads. The downside of all of this is, of course, the cost- you have to pay for every single click and at a market rate.
It is really the combination of SEO and PPC that will get you the best results in most cases. You can leverage the data collection capabilities of PPC to inform your SEO campaigns. You can also buy ads on competitive pages for which you already rank, really buying you a lot of the valuable real estate on any given search page and furthermore increasing your traffic. PPC is also a great bridge when you first start marketing since SEO will take some time. The key to either strategy is to make sure that you are being analytical and keeping an eye on the individual ROIs as well as the aggregate and tweaking appropriately. You should always be tweaking and figuring out what works and what does not. Ultimately it is conversions that matter, so if you are spending too much to get those conversions, whether, via SEO or PPC, it is time to consider a change.
Please contact Affordable SEO company if you are in process of deciding whether you need to go with SEO or PPC strategy. Affordable SEO company has in business since 2008 and employs only white hat SEO and content marketing technique. You can also call us at 727-938-8891.