When it comes to marketing a business, you want to make the most of your budget. Both search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) are popular choices. But you need to learn more about both and determine the differences to make an informed decision on which is best for your business model. The biggest difference between the two is that once written and posted to your website, SEO content doesn’t cost you more money.
The Difference Between SEO and PPC
The biggest difference between SEO and PPC is that SEO is a one-time or infrequent expense, while PPC costs the business money each time someone clicks an ad. Also, PPC ads appear on other companies’ websites. Here’s a closer look at both:
What is Search Engine Optimization?
SEO optimizes the content on a website so that it ranks high in an organic search by a potential customer. This helps companies improve both the quantity and quality of website traffic by researching and optimizing for terms that your ideal customers use to find answers to questions related to your business or locate products or services similar to yours. This involves strategically identifying the best long-tail and short-tail keywords associated with your products and services and optimizing your website to organically rank for those search terms.
What are PPC ads or Google ads?
PPC ads or Google ads appear on a search engine or other website to encourage potential customers to click them and be taken to a company’s website. You will normally see these ads at the very top or bottom of search engine pages (SERPs). The company pays a small fee each time someone clicks their ad.
Is SEO Better Than PPC?
Both SEO and PPC offer benefits for attracting relevant traffic to your website, and each has weaknesses, strengths and a unique marketing angle. However, a small company or one that sells inexpensive items might not enjoy the same benefits from PPC as a larger business selling expensive products would. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of both types of search engine marketing.
Pros and Cons of PPC
PPC offers a mix of pros and cons that you need to consider before signing up, such as:
- Immediately seen by potential customers
- Ability to control the budget
- Easily tracked results
- Targeted advertising
- Ongoing expense
- Customers ignore sponsored ads
- Not long-lasting
PPC marketing is a great option for businesses that have a high-profit margin on products to offset the expense.
Pros and Cons of SEO
SEO can be a powerful marketing tool, even in a recession, but it does have a downside. Check out the pros and cons:
- High return on investment (ROI)
- Residual benefits
- Increased reach for prospective customers
- Can be tailored for the local community
- Fierce competition
- Long-term investment
Even if done correctly, SEO has disadvantages that minimize some of the advantages. However, almost every established business that wants to attract new customers online by reaching the first page of Google needs SEO.
How SEO and PPC Work Together
SEO and PPC operate in different manners but they share a similar function — to generate conversions and attract new leads. Your company can combine these approaches to create an effective and holistic search engine marketing (SEM) campaign. Oftentimes, a temporary but strategic PPC campaign can be useful in kickstarting SEO efforts later down the line.
Does Your Business Need SEO or PPC?
While both SEO and PPC have their specific advantages and disadvantages, they both strive to help your company reach new customers and generate revenue. You can combine the two approaches to create a successful SEM campaign. The main thing to consider is if you’re willing to pay for each time someone clicks an ad, or if you want to invest in an SEO strategy with a higher return on investment.
Still not quite sure which route best supports your business aspirations? We’ve got you covered. Reach out to us today to see how our SEO experts can help your company grow by leveraging the power of SEO or PPC.