SEO or PPC: Which is Better?

This is not an easy question to answer, as it truly depends on your current situation, objectives, and marketplace. Ideally, a combination of SEO and a PPC campaign tend to lead to the best results for any business. Understanding your prospective customers and how they search online are two keys to determining whether paid search, organic search, or a combination of both is the best approach for your business. Let’s look at the pros and cons of both SEO and pay-per-click (PPC) as a marketing strategy and provide some helpful tips in choosing which is the right strategy for your specific business.

Advantages of SEO:

While SEO is neither cheap nor easy, it will usually be the most cost-effective approach compared to other marketing tactics for delivering brand awareness and relevant traffic to your website. The costs of setting up and managing a PPC campaign are generally the same or even more than the costs of SEO. The difference is that there are continuous click charges with PPC campaigns.

Typically, organic SEO is long lasting. A properly optimized site can keep a high position in the search engine result page (SERP) long after a PPC campaign has been turned off. As such, efforts to develop organic traffic can sustain a business when marketing spend is cut back.

Drawbacks of SEO:

SEO can be very slow. It can take months after you optimize your website to start seeing any results, whereas PPC will start getting the leads you want to see immediately.

SEO is time-consuming, especially if you choose to do it yourself. You have the option to purchase SEO tools or to hire someone to do SEO for you, but that will end up costing real money, not your own time.

Advantages of PPC:

Zero waiting time. Once your campaign starts, you’ll immediately start to see the benefits. These benefits will include more traffic, clicks, and conversions. In comparison, SEO can take months before you start to see your web page moving up the search engine results.

PPC provides a targeted way to get in front of potential customers. Advertisements can be targeted by search keywords, time of day, day of the week, geography, language, device, and audiences based on previous visits. Organic traffic, by comparison, is far more hit-or-miss.

Drawbacks of PPC:

You must pay to get good results and, ideally, the more you pay, the better the results. The competition for keywords has never been higher, which means you’ll pay more later for identical results you’ve been getting previously.

Strategically, PPC is relatively easy to copy. If a competitor notices that you are running a PPC campaign, they can run ads as well. Your messaging can be quickly mirrored, which will limit the impact of your own PPC efforts. Your entire PPC strategy can be easily evaluated by competitors.

Which is better for my business?

As discussed earlier, it depends on your industry and budget. Ideally, your strategy should include both SEO and a well-structured PPC campaign. However, each situation will vary in needs and it is important to recognize which will benefit at that given time. If you are having trouble making this determination or are looking for help with your strategy, the experts at Barhop Design Quincy are available to provide that assistance. Contact us today!