If you’re considering starting a digital marketing campaign for your business, then one question you may ask is whether you should focus on SEO or PPC.
To help you work out what is best for your business, we have put together this guide to explain the differences between each and the results you can expect to get from them.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and focuses on the organic search results that are displayed on a search engine results page, such as on Google.
Typically, organic means ‘free’, as these results can be obtained from putting in some dedicated hard work to your website and content.
This is because where you rank on a search engine results page is determined by the quality of the content on your site, the amount of people who click through to it and how ‘friendly’ your site is to the algorithms used by search engines.
Therefore, SEO entails creating content that people want to read and makes you sound like an authority in your business niche. It also aims to make use of keywords, metadata and optimised images, among other factors, to help improve search engine rankings.
You can read our previous blog post to discover how you can make your website more SEO friendly.
Why is SEO Important?
Did you know that the results on page one of Google receive 92% of all search traffic? That means it is crucial to be ranking on page one of results for a given keyword to have people click through to your website.
What is PPC?
PPC Stands for Pay Per Click. When you search something on Google, you will often see advertised links at the top of the results page. These links appear because businesses have placed bids on keywords that they think will be searched by their potential customers.
These adverts can be placed on things related to your business, or on terms relating to a competitor. A good example of this is Domino’s Pizza; searching the word ‘pizza’ on Google, and you will be presented with an ad for Domino’s at the top. However, if you search for rival brand ‘Pizza Hut’, you will also sneakily be presented with Domino’s as the first link on the page, as they have paid to be there as an advert!
PPC can automatically bump you to the top of the results page, but it will cost you a lot of money.
Why Choose SEO?
SEO can be considered as being more of a long game. While paying for your business to appear higher on a search engine results page can offer quick gains, implementing a strong SEO strategy across your site can allow for your website to rank higher for years to come.
While PPC can get you to the top of the page, you can’t make people click. In fact, many people avoid adverts, leading to around 80% of search engine users only selecting organic listings. If SEO is likely to get you more traffic anyway, then putting in the work is well worth it.
Better For Customers
The basic principles of SEO, such as improving website usability and producing quality content, are all beneficial to your customers. Even if you don’t find yourself ranking on page one as quickly as you’d like, you’ve still made improvements that can help to attract and keep customers and clients.
Cons of SEO
As with all things, there are some drawbacks of SEO campaigns:
- It is time-consuming! Typically, an SEO campaign will take about six months before you start to see results.
- There is no guarantee that it will work – getting to the top results on Google is hard, and there is lots of competition.
- Rankings can be quickly lost if there are algorithm changes or site issues.
Why Choose PPC?
If you need quick results, or to promote a deal or event that is time-sensitive, then PPC is the one for you! PPC can see you shoot to the top of the search results and the only work you need to do is manage the bidding campaign.
When looking at statistics, research has found that people who visit a website through a PPC link are 50% more likely to make a purchase than someone who visits the site through an organic link.
Easier to Manage
While SEO is a long game, with no guaranteed results, PPC campaigns can be tracked and adapted in real-time. This means that if something isn’t working, you can see and change it to get the best results for your budget.
Cons of PPC
As with SEO, there are some potential negatives to choosing PPC:
- PPC can cost a lot of money, especially if used as a long-term strategy.
- When you stop paying for an ad, you won’t be visible anymore, unless you also have an SEO campaign in place.
- If you can’t afford to bid on stronger keywords, or poorly manage your campaign, then results will not be great.
- Some people avoid PPC advert links in search results.
Why Not Both?
As you can see, there are pros and cons to each, with one offering a good long-term strategy and the other offering more immediate results. Ultimately, if you have the resource, then it can actually be most beneficial to make use of both.
That way, you can get immediate results with your PPC while you work on developing your SEO strategy. Then, when your PPC campaign ends, you will hopefully be in a strong enough position from the SEO campaign to see great results continue from organic means!
If you would like to implement SEO or PPC campaigns into your digital marketing strategy, but don’t know where to start, Ducard is here to help! We are a digital marketing agency who specialise in all forms of digital marketing, so whatever your needs, we’ve got you covered!