SEO v PPC: Which Search Marketing Method Should I Use?
The ethos of digital marketing is all about raising the online profile of a business. The success of an online business greatly depends on the amount of traffic it can generate to its website. There is no point in having a website or online business if no one knows it’s there. But how do you best direct traffic to your website?
Though their end goal is the same they are different concepts that require different techniques and methodologies. Both are very effective at driving visitors to a website.
When Should You Use SEO?
SEO (or Search Engine Optimisation) refers to a group of search marketing techniques that are designed to propel a website to the first page of the major search engines (such as Google and Bing). Statistics show that 80% of traffic that can be generated for any website will come from search engines. Google is by far the biggest search engine – it generates more than 3.5 billion searches per day – so it’s important to use this to your advantage to drive traffic and visitors to your website.
But when should you use SEO over PPC?
- When you’re looking for consistent results. Getting to the first page of Google’s search results won’t happen overnight. It takes time but once you get there you’ll enjoy sustained traffic to your website. If you maintain your SEO campaign, you can stay at the top of the search engine results page and enjoy the long-term benefits.
- When you’re building an authority site. If you’re looking to build a website that is an authority on a particular topic, the best way to establish this is to generate sustained traffic to your website which will, over time, allow it to build up its reputation and become popular enough to dominate the market. The only way to do this is through clever content and smart SEO planning.
- When you want to increase the value of your website. If you’re planning on selling your website, you’ll want to sell it at the best possible price, therefore you will want to increase the value of your website as much as possible. There are many factors that contribute to this including the amount of traffic generated, consistency of the traffic generated, page rank, search engine rankings over time, and link popularity etc. All of these elements can be improved through careful SEO campaign planning.
But what about PPC?
PPC (or Pay Per Click) marketing is a method of advertising on search engine results pages. You may have seen these when searching on Google or any other search engine. They appear at the top of the search results page. This type of digital marketing is called Pay Per Click because you pay for every user who clicks on the ad you are promoting. The most popular PPC advertising platforms include GoogleAds (or Google Adwords) and Bing Ads.
So when should you use PPC marketing over SEO?
- When you need immediate results. Looking for results fast? PPC is the best digital marketing method for achieving this. As soon as your PPC campaign is approved through Google or Bing, the ads will immediately be displayed for millions to see, thereby immediately generating traffic opportunities. In this way, PPC works brilliantly for product launches, squeeze pages, CPA marketing campaigns, seasonal campaigns, and event-focused marketing etc.
- When you’re looking for highly targeted traffic. Unlike SEO marketing, PPC marketing allows you to target your audience based on their demographic data such as age range, gender, income bracket, educational level and marital status of the people who will be able to view your ad. This also works for Facebook Pixel Marketing (another form of PPC). This makes PPC a great method for reaching a highly targeted audience and leading them to your website.
- When you’re promoting a time-sensitive offer. When you have a time limit on a particular offer or event, PPC marketing is the best option. While SEO campaigns can take a while to produce results (although they are excellent at generating sustained traffic), PPC can deliver traffic within a matter of minutes.
- When your website isn’t designed for SEO. SEO campaigns work best for content-rich websites which are regularly updated with new content, new pages, landing pages or blog posts. This allows you to inform search engines that your website is relevant and up to date, and helps your website remain at the top of the search engine results page. However, some websites are not designed for this, in which case PPC is the best option.
- If you want to dominate search results for your keyword or search phrase. PPC ads display above organic search results. For some keywords and search phrases, this means that as much as 50% of the search traffic goes to the top 3 sponsored links. If you’re not running PPC campaigns for these keywords and search phrases, you could be losing clicks to your competitors who are using PPC search marketing.
SEO or PPC may be better for certain campaigns in certain situations but overall, it’s best to think of SEO and PPC as working together as part of a joined up digital marketing strategy.
Interested in finding out how SEO and PPC can help your online business generate results? Call us on 01242 224315.