General Article

PPC vs. SEO: What’s the Difference and Which is Right for My Brand

SEO(Search Engine Optimization) and PPC or Pay-per-click marketing are two forms of Search Engine Marketing. PPC is advertising on search engine pages while SEO focuses on ranking high on search results.

With PPC you bid on keywords with the intention of them appearing on at the top of their search results, above the actual organic listings. You only pay when your ad is clicked. So picking keywords which are expensive, don’t convert well, or have a low search volume keyword can cause you to waste money. While SEO can be done by anyone, and the clicks don’t cost a thing, it’s not free and is usually more effective when money, as well as time, is invested in it. SEO vs PPC is a tough decision, you’ll learn which one is best for you.

Here Are Some Important Factors of SEO and PPC to Consider 

The Traffic Isn’t Exactly The Same

SEO brings organic traffic and while it takes time to see a significant change in traffic, it will usually increase over time. PPC can bring a lot of traffic but you have to continue paying for it, or you’ll stop getting traffic. When used properly, organic search traffic can be warmer than PPC traffic. Everyone used to scroll past the ads, and many people still do, however, times are changing. Research shows 46% of clicks come from the top 3 paid spots. 

SEO is Subject to Algorithm Changes

Google’s algorithm used constantly changing to provide people the best possible results. At the drop of a hat, your ranking can just change and someone else gets your traffic. However, if you work to maintain your ranking, and publish unique content on a regular basis, you can minimize the chances of this and fix it if it happens. The only outside factor affecting PPC is search volume and competition. 

Time To See Results 

The instant your PPC campaign is approved, you can start getting traffic. As stated above, SEO takes time because you have to gain Google’s trust, create content, acquire quality backlinks, etc. With PPC, you’re practically buying their trust. You should still expect 6-12 months of use with either to see consistent results. PPC is really easy to scale, while SEO is more about the maintenance once it starts producing results.

Who Should Focus on PPC

PPC works better for time-sensitive offers such as seasonal offers and product launches than SEO does. CPA marketing, squeeze pages, and affiliate marketing can also benefit from PPC. Although SEO traffic is sometimes warmer, PPC campaigns can offset this disadvantage with targeting. 65% of clicks on paid ads lead come from consumers when are ready to buy. PPC also allows split testing on a small scale before making a huge commitment. 

Who Should Focus on SEO

Anyone who is looking to boost their website’s authority and trust not just with search engines, but with your audience. SEO is also good for boosting the value of a website. Lead generation can be accomplished with both, but 57% of B2B marketers say SEO generates more leads than any other type of marketing. SEO can be a huge difference maker for new or established e-commerce stores, but you have to already know which keywords work, otherwise, you’ll waste a lot of time and possibly money. 

Which One Is Better?

The short answer, both are great. There are many different marketing channels out there and you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket. And while it’s best to learn and use as many as possible, you should learn as much as you can before investing money into them. You might come across a terrible agency who causes you to think a certain type of marketing is ineffective. 

Instead of thinking SEO vs PPC, you should consider using SEO and PPC as this approach will help you dominate your field. They both use similar principles and when you have a firm grasp on PPC you can apply your knowledge to your SEO strategy. If you can’t afford the expensive keywords for your PPC campaign, you could(and should) use those keywords for your SEO strategy.