Experts at digital marketing companies often pit Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click ads (PPC) against each other. Both are very efficient and can increase the traffic to your website and conversion rates. But, which is better? The answer is more nuanced. Below you will find the pros and cons of PPC and SEO to help you choose the better one.
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Pros of using SEO
- Generate organic traffic
SEO helps your website and blogs achieve a high ranking on Google searches. It gives you the power to redirect traffic toward your website. The high ranks are only awarded for some chosen phrases and high-quality content. Once you have attained a high ranking, your website stays on top for a significant time. However, social media and advertisement mediums require a continuous commitment of time, money, and resources. Therefore, SEO is effective at generating high organic growth in the long term.
- Comparatively inexpensive
As mentioned above, SEO expenses are often one-time expenditures and do not require a long-term commitment of time and energy. When calculated, the average conversion per dollar spent for SEO is much higher than the one for PPC. SEO also performs better on all the other metrics when compared to PPC. However, it does not mean that you should completely rule out using PPC ads.
- Reaches a larger audience base
While SEO is effective for companies that target a specific demographic, it is equally as effective for companies that target a wider audience base. For example, an HVAC installation company provides services for homeowner and commercial properties, two separate audiences. SEO enables the company to reach both demographics through intent-driven keywords. To make the SEO keywords more effective, the company should create two separate pages for residential and commercial purposes and advertise using different strategies for them.
Cons of using SEO
- Results are delayed
As most experienced digital marketers say, all good things take time; especially when it is search engine optimization. SEO takes a long time to deliver the results after the initial investment. Sometimes, it may take up to a year before you can see any tangible results. So, is there a definitive way to know how much time it will take? Well, it depends. SEO strategy is optimised according to the age of the domain, size of your website, quality of your content, and the keywords you are using. All these factors can affect the ranking of your website. At best, it will only take a few weeks to show the results.
- Quality of content
SEO success is directly dependent on the quality of your content. If your content lacks depth and proper grammar, it will not show up in the top search results. To be successful, you need to create content that is relevant, distinctive, and authoritative. Readers want to consume content from reputable links and will focus the search on pieces written by industry experts. Thus, the writer’s experience in the specific industry also influences the SEO rankings. Another way to increase your ranking is to insert more trustworthy links and share snippets from other articles. Of course, if you are facing trouble writing such content pieces, it is better to hire professionals.
- Attracts cold prospects
Now, a perfectly working SEO strategy does not guarantee that all the visitors will turn into customers. More often than not, your visitors will be people who are in the preliminary stages of their product research. Yes, this kind of traffic is still valuable. But, it also shows that you might need to devote more effort to direct those people to purchases. While this kind of customer behaviour is expected, it might be unwelcome during certain business stages.
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Pros of using PPC advertisements
- Quick results
Unlike SEO, which can take up to months before showing results, PPC is much more effective. Digital marketers can start getting tangible leads far more rapidly. Setting up PPC ads is also far simpler than creating SEO blogs. For PPC, you just have to bid for the keywords or phrases where you want to display your website and then pay for it whenever someone clicks on it. Some platforms, like Google, also have auto-bidders making things even easier for you.
- Target audience based on indicators
Again, in SEO, sometimes you might get cold prospects who are just visiting to do some product research. But, with PPC, you can carefully design your campaign for the right people with the right intent. The platform’s campaign manager enables you to meticulously select or omit audience demographics from your campaigns. Hence, you can better utilize your budget.
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Cons of using PPC advertisement
While it is faster than SEO, it is much more expensive. It can take some time to figure out exactly what is working for your company. These little tweaks and the time taken to understand your campaigns can stretch your budget. The PPC keywords and phrases are also wildly expensive for competitive segments. This is why PPC ads are not recommended for start-ups with a shoestring budget.
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- Low success rate in the long run
PPC is highly scalable, and due to this, it has some unintended side effects. Visitors develop an ‘Ad blindness’ mentality. In this, the visitor subconsciously starts ignoring your ads or overlooking them. It mostly happens because of repetitive and long-running ads. Therefore, over time, the efficiency of the PPC ads drastically decreases.
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Which is better?
Ideally, if you have the budget for it, you should run both SEO and PPC advertisements. PPC will help you target a specific audience, and SEO will help you boost organic traffic. If you are new to marketing, you can always outsource these functions to other experienced digital marketing agencies.
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PPC vs SEO: Pros and cons
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Experts at digital marketing companies often pit Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click ads (PPC) against each other. Both are very efficient and can increase the traffic to your website and conversion rates.
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Image 1 Desc.: Experts at digital marketing companies often pit Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click ads (PPC) against each other. Both are very efficient and can increase the traffic to your website and conversion rates.
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Image 2 Desc.: Ideally, if you have the budget for it, you should run both SEO and PPC advertisements. PPC will help you target a specific audience, and SEO will help you boost organic traffic. If you are new to marketing, you can always outsource these functions to other experienced digital marketing agencies.
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