In order to answer your question, which is better for our business – SEO or PPC – we have to consider several factors, such as the current state of your website, your digital brand vision, and the target audience.
When you ask this question to digital marketing experts, many will hands down claim SEO to be a superior choice. However, at the same time, they’ll also point out the benefits of PPC. When strategically implemented, SEO and PPC have both proven to be quite effective in helping businesses grow and realise their vision.
To choose one of the two, you’ll have to understand what each one means, what they bring to the table, and what are the challenges you are bound to face with each strategy. We’ll also discuss how SEO and PPC can work together to give you better results.
When you enter a search term or keyword into a Google Search box, you will see a list of results. If you have already logged into your Gmail account or are using the same computer you always do, the search results will be more specific to you.
All search engines collect data required to refine your search results, ensuring you receive the answers you are looking for. They exploit this data to provide optimal search results, thereby elevating your search experience.
SEO, short for Search Engine Optimization, is a digital marketing strategy that allows you to enrich your website with high quality relevant and valuable content.
When you optimise a website with SEO techniques, it helps your website rank higher on search engines. The higher your website ranks on a search engine, the better your business’ visibility and growth. People rarely go past the 1st Google search result page. So, the goal is to be on the 1st page in the top 10 results.
With SEO, you’ll mostly focus on getting long-term organic results.
For example: if you were to search for investment opportunities on Google. The first few results will be advertisements. These are paid results, not organic.
Now, if you were to search for the word Investment, you would probably get the following organic results.
Investing in SEO allows you to rank your business higher on Google with organic results.
Compared to PPC or other paid advertisement marketing strategies, SEO is considered an economical long-term investment, which gives better results. With PPC, once you stop investing financially, the visitors stop. So, it only works as long as you have the money to fuel it. That is not the case with SEO.
After a successful implementation of an SEO campaign, you will continue to get more visitors. It will also be effective for a long time, even after you have stopped using SEO.
While most digital marketing strategies require continuous monitoring, SEO is one of the rare few that can last a long while without much interference. After implementing an SEO strategy, your website will continue to rank for keywords as long as they are relevant.
For your content to remain relevant, you have to continuously update it, providing solutions to a user’s search query. The takeaway here is that a well-targeted and intelligent SEO campaign can get you a steady flow of visitors for years. It will probably also bring repeat visitors who are satisfied with your services.
According to SEO Experts, it takes at least 2-6 months to see the changes brought on by SEO. This statement is true for websites that generally have authoritative links and rich content. SEO just ensures that the content is reaching the right audience.
If the website has little to no content or poor quality content, it would take longer to revamp it and get any results from SEO. Read to know why content length is important for SEO.
SEO would not be suitable for businesses that are looking for immediate results. It could take months and is ideal for businesses interested in creating and establishing their brand.
Content is one of the key aspects of making SEO work. Without quality content, SEO would flounder, and there would be nothing to work with. Similarly, without SEO, even quality content might have a hard time reaching the desired audience.
It is why you need to build authoritative content. Building authoritative content usually equates to finding or hiring a content writer/creator with expertise on a subject pertaining to your niche. Many businesses, by their nature, require to publish content frequently. Such businesses might do well with hiring an in-house writer, which means increasing your budget to accommodate them.
You could also choose contractual content creators who’ll create relevant and valuable content for your business. Creating content could also involve practices such as interviewing experts for their input, which might be a bit expensive for businesses with limited budgets.
PPC, short for Pay Per Click, is a paid marketing strategy where advertisers have to pay a fee whenever one of their advertisements is clicked on. Investing in PPC is investing in online advertisements.
We’ll use the Google search results for Investment Opportunities to elaborate on the workings of PPC.
All three top-ranking search results for the query Investment opportunities have the AD tag attached at the top corner. These are paid advertisements.
Suppose you click on the first link: Jiraaf.com. For you, it will be as simple as visiting another site. But here’s how it will work for the owners or marketers at Jiraff.com. When you click on their ad, jiraff.com will have to pay a fee for receiving you as a visitor.
When done right, PPC can give a great return on investment. Typically, the costs of PPC vary based on competition for a particular keyword. It is one of the metrics that PPC marketers have to consider while building a PPC campaign.
Your PPC campaign creator will have to build a targeted landing page that offers valuable content. Search engines tend to favour advertisers that offer relevant content by reducing the fee they have to pay for the clicks. This, in turn, factors into your profits.
To get optimal results, it is best to work with a reputed PPC service provider in India as they are aware of all the ins and outs of PPC advertising.
If your goal is to get visitors to your website for a specific deal or offer, PPC would be the ideal marketing strategy. It is well-suited for short-term projects with a promise of high ROI. Even a non-technical person who has no idea of the workings of PPC could get started by watching a video on YouTube. On the basic level, it is simple to do.
But is it simple to do well? Not at all!
If you mess it up, instead of reaping benefits, you would be shelling out additional cash that you didn’t factor into the budget. That’s why you need a PPC expert to plan a smart PPC campaign.
When you invest in PPC advertising, letting an expert guide you through the process will bring you instant results that will last as long as your budget runs.
Every PPC platform allows you to select an audience. Your audience is the people who will be seeing your advertisement when they enter the keyword into the search field. While many PPC platforms offer a ready-made audience, recommended for your preference, you have the choice to narrow it down with demographics and geographic data.
For example: let’s assume that you own a flower store and have a plan to offer deals for the coming Valentine’s day, which is in 3 days.
With PPC, you get the choice to actually select an audience with desired marital status. For Valentine’s day, you might want to narrow it down to people who are married and in a relationship. You can create an advertisement featuring your Valentine’s day deal and run the advertisement for at least 2 days.
It is just one example of how you can target a very specific audience with PPC. It also allows you to experiment with the targeting until you do it right. You can invest the lowest possible amount to experiment with the keywords, and run an advertisement for a day to see how it works live.
Also, consider the date when you’ll be publishing the ad campaign. If you publish Valentine’s day flower deals on Valentines day and the day before it, you’ll get optimal ROI. But if you publish the same ad on other days, it would not receive much traffic.
Of the two choices we have here, PPC is more expensive. Ads platforms rank PPC adverts based on several factors such as keywords and valuable copy.
When you want your business to rank for competitive keywords, it’s highly probable that other businesses within the same niche are already ranking for the keyword.
Google and other search engines prioritise rankings based on keywords and relevance. Your competitor’s PPC advert will rank higher if their quality score is higher than yours.
But if you are going head to head with your competitor, search engines have to resort to the bid amount. It is the amount you invest in PPC advertisements. Businesses that have set a higher bid amount are given preference in such cases.
Understanding how it works will help you understand why a good PPC budget is essential for the survival of your PPC strategy. When you stop the advert, the money stops flowing, and your website loses the top position.
Investing in PPC long-time could get expensive, and the advert that once got many hits might not work the same. Once people get used to a certain type of advertisement, their eyes glaze over, and it doesn’t register to them anymore.
To hold your audience’s interest, you have to continuously innovate and come up with new ideas that will keep your audience engaged for a while. It is one of the reasons why PPC is good for short-term and quick results. In the long run, you have to be very smart. The key is to update your landing pages or advertisements to make them more enticing to your prospective visitors.
To decide between the two, first, you have to figure out what you want out of your investment.
Both SEO and PPC can help with these, but SEO is better at getting you organic results. It will help reduce the budget for digital marketing, and you can feed that money into your business.
When you choose to hire an SEO agency for your business, you are likely to get continuous visibility for targeted keywords. As long as your content is relevant to the keywords, they’ll show up on people’s search results. The growing digital awareness will also help build credibility and trust. It will help build a nascent bond between you and visitors which can be strengthened by delivering effective services.
Remember that while advertisements have a place on the top of organic results, they are ignored by many users. It is where organic search results reign.
While building an SEO campaign can cost you, it is one of the most affordable digital marketing strategies. The results of SEO are generally favourable, providing an increased ROI. Also, even if for some reason, you have to discontinue your SEO efforts, it doesn’t take away all the hard work. Your website will continue to rank for those keywords until other websites with more valuable content show up.
Typically, the click-through rate for organic results is higher than that for paid results. So, overall with SEO, you get more clicks.
With PPC, your business will always be on the top, above the fold. Even with all the benefits of SEO, PPC still has its influence over the users. While many users may choose to scroll past the advertisements on the top, they are still visible.
We have already seen a few key benefits of PPC, now we’ll talk about a few more. PPC helps target ads to people who are interested in your services. It helps you narrow down the audience in the ad settings. Recently, Google has also started showing visual product ads above the fold.
If you were to search for floral scarves on Google, you might see similar results:
The user who entered the search query wanted to find new floral scarves. So now, instead of scrolling through countless pages that speak about why floral scarves make the best accessories, they can head over to the products and buy them directly.
This is why above the fold ads are beneficial. When done right, they can bring you results. These above the fold visual ads are better at conversion than affiliate marketing which needs SEO to flourish.
PPC has scope for experimenting. It helps you test your products or marketing messages with a short controlled campaign. With PPC, you can control how much you want to spend. While PPC may seem like an expensive affair, the costs can be brought down to a certain degree.
The downside of PPC, as we have mentioned quite a few times, is it tends to be expensive, and once you stop advertising, your visibility goes away.
Ideally, it would be a great idea to invest in both. Since both have distinct benefits, the results of putting them together could do wonders for your website.
Use social media PPC adverts to build awareness about your published content, as blog posts published with SEO strategies don’t go viral overnight. As we have seen, SEO takes at least two months to create any impact. Meanwhile, you can share an advert for PPC to speed up brand visibility.
Before investing in a long-term SEO strategy, consider testing your keywords with PPC. When you run a PPC campaign, you get access to keywords and conversion data, which can be used for organic search as well.
When you have such essential information at hand, you can move the expensive keywords to organic search. It would significantly lower your marketing costs. Access to such data can also help you determine the keywords your competitors are ranking for, and you can exploit this information to create a better campaign for your brand.
Suppose your website has a blog that receives many visitors, but not all of them subscribe to your offers or deals. It doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t interested. Retargeting can help you get them back on board. You can create a PPC advert targeting this audience, reminding them of the offers.
Regardless of which one you choose for your business, PPC or SEO, they share a common problem. One of the pitfalls of keyword targeting is the competition for top-ranking keywords.
Suppose you want to start a boutique in your region, but most top-ranking keywords are dominated by retailers like Amazon, Flipkart, and Walmart. It can be difficult to rank for such competitive keywords, and this is when you need some out-of-the-box thinking.
SEO Audit Services are digital marketing services that help your website rank higher. These services can help you figure out how to improve the performance of your business website and help you come up with ways to rank your website higher on Google.
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