SEO or PPC: 3 Ways to Know What’s Best for Your Site

Written on 20 May, 2017 by Julia Hammond
Categories PPC

Since the dawn of the internet, it would seem that search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) have been pitted against each other. Both are used for the same goal: boosting traffic to your website. The way they operate differs however, and it can prove challenging deciphering which is best for your website.

SEO is a way of achieving higher ranking in a natural search on sites such as Google. By following SEO best practices, it is more likely that you will be displayed more prominently within search results, and can be a more natural way to gain website visitors. Compared to this, PPC is a way of paying for advertising to gain traffic. By using Google AdWords, Yahoo Search Marketing and such, your ads will be displayed within a sponsored section of a search. Whenever someone clicks through to your website you will pay a sum to the ad provider.

So, how do you figure out which is best for your site and business overall?

  1. Time Given

The time in which you would like to achieve results is very telling as to what marketing practice would work best for you.

If you are starting your marketing late in the game, and there is an event coming up that requires almost instant visitors to your site then beginning a PPC campaign would achieve the best results. It works almost instantly and allows you to gain visibility and traffic in a short time period.  This is, of course, if you have the budget to support a PPC campaign.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t reach the first page if you use SEO over PPC. If you have a strong SEO campaign with naturally embedded keyword phrases, you can reach the top-ranking page within a search. SEO is a more organic way to gain rankings within a search, and is a relatively long term way to develop rankings. This may take a longer time than PPC, especially when building a newer website or page.

If you are looking for a quick-fix result in a short time frame, then PPC would be your answer. But, if you are looking for longer term, lasting results that can build a solid website base then SEO may be the best way to go.

  1. Desired Reach

Whilst SEO is a fantastic way to gain natural traffic to your website, it remains difficult to know exactly how many people you are reaching. This is especially difficult when you sell a niche product or service.

PPC, however, has guaranteed visibility within Google’s network. This means that you are more likely to reach a wider audience. If invested in properly, you will not only display within Google rankings, but within other networks like Facebook. However, much like the previous point, this is only as long as you pay for the advertisement. It is more effective in its immediacy, but SEO has wider gains long term.

So, if you can wait – it may be worth it.

  1. Budget Restraints

Now, both SEO and PPC are solid investments for any website or business.

You pay for both in very diverse ways, with SEO services paid for through a digital marketing agency, or the SEO specialist which is optimising your content. PPC have specialists that you would pay for as well, but you would also be paying for the cost per click within the search engine itself.

PPC for that reason can come at a higher cost than an SEO campaign. If you have limited time to reach your campaign goals, and a wider budget, it may be more worthwhile to invest in PPC. If you have a smaller budget, SEO can be the worthier choice as smaller budgets tend to be worked with to achieve the best results within that frame.

The return on investment may not be seen as immediately with SEO than it is with PPC, as PPC takes immediate action within Google and other search engines. It is a short-lived investment dependent on your budget however, which makes SEO the longer lasting choice.

Why can’t we have both?

Either one can give you a strong result dependant on the above factors. However, using SEO and PPC in cohesion can achieve incredible results overall. You will be more likely to see a return in any investments made, and can gain a wider reach that can have longer lasting effects.

PPC and SEO are fantastic to work hand in hand with each other. Not only can you benefit in terms of better rankings on SERPs, but it can allow your website to achieve both organic and paid results. This can increase traffic and set your business up in the long run to continue to achieve results.

Using both also enables you to gain more data to base your overall optimisation on. By evaluating the way in which PPC ads get the most conversions, you can better optimise your SEO content to achieve results. This is through looking at the keyword phrases that led people to your PPC, and eventually to a sale. By identifying this, you can add popular keyword phrases into your SEO content and reap the benefits.

Using PPC and SEO both have their individual benefits, but when working together they can become the power couple supporting your website.

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