Are you looking for the most effective way to promote your business online? If so, then you have probably stumbled upon the terms SEO and PPC numerous times. These are two of the most popular ways to reach online consumers, and both prove to be very effective. But with limited resources, you might be wondering whether you should focus on just one. In this resource, you’ll learn about SEO vs PPC advertising and how to decide which to incorporate in your overall marketing strategy.
What Is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. Basically, this process involves optimizing your website in order to increase its organic rankings. Search engines are the largest source of inbound web traffic, which explains how valuable it is for business to increase their search visibility. In general, a business that ranks higher on the results pages receives more visitors than those listed below it. But you don’t want random visitors flocking to your site. The main goal is to generate targeted traffic in order to boost conversion rates.
What’s great about search engine traffic is that it’s usually targeted. Of course, this assumes that you target the right set of keywords. Many marketers fail in SEO simply because they put too much focus on keywords with the highest number of monthly searches. While it’s nice to get a ton of traffic to your website, it’s much better to drive the kind of traffic that turns into paying customers. You would always prefer getting only 100 visitors and converting 20 of them over amassing 1,000 visitors but only receiving one conversion.
This is why keyword research plays an important role in any SEO campaign. Instead of targeting keywords with high search volumes, you’d be better off using keywords with high commercial intent. Basically, these search terms indicate that users are ready to make a purchase. For instance, keywords that include the word discounts usually indicate that the user looks for the most affordable deal on the market. If you follow through with the right content and offer, then you have a good chance of capturing the attention of that user and closing a deal.
What Is PPC Advertising?
PPC advertising falls under SEM, which stands for search engine marketing. Many marketers and webmasters use SEO and SEM interchangeably, but it’s vital to learn the difference between the two. When talking about SEM, marketers usually refer to PPC ads, which are the ones you see displayed on the websites you visit and the search engine results pages. Many prefer buying PPC ads because they help provide instant traffic, but many also get turned off because it entails spending money in the ad auction.
It pays to understand that PPC advertising also revolves around keywords, much like how SEO does. And as with SEO, you want to target keywords that show high commercial intent. In SEM, you bid on keywords these keywords and when you win the auction, your ad will be displayed alongside the search results for relevant terms. It’s easy to see why many marketers are put off by the auction since it seems that businesses with the biggest marketing dollars will always win. But in reality, this is not always the case.
Google’s ad auction doesn’t only factor in the money spent by bidders on keywords. They also use incorporate quality score in their formula, giving small businesses a chance to compete against huge brands. Quality score basically refers to how good your online ad is. Factors such as its relevance, size and overall impact to end users are used to determine the quality score of your ad. By increasing your quality score, you can certainly win the ad auction despite having a limited marketing budget.
Comparing SEO vs PPC Advertising
Now that you know the basics of SEO and PPC advertising, it’s time to choose whether you should one over the other. As you can see, both of these online marketing techniques come with their respective advantages and disadvantages. This is precisely the reason why it pays to consider using both of them in order to maximize the visibility of your brand. There’s no reason to limit yourself to only SEO or PPC. But if your resources make it difficult to start using both, then you can choose one and eventually incorporate the other.
Your decision largely depends on the current state of your website. New businesses might be better off doing PPC advertising. This is because SEO can take a significant time investment. PPC, on the other hand, can drive traffic to a website very quickly, provided the right keywords are used. Of course, the downside to this is spending money bidding on keywords. But by setting up a solid PPC campaign, you can certainly generate a good ROI.
What’s great about SEO is that it provides long term benefits. By using SEO from the early stages of your site, you increase your chances of being reputable and authoritative in the eyes of search engine crawlers. In time, you’ll reap the rewards of effective SEO tactics and reach the first page for multiple keywords relevant to your business.
The debate about SEO vs PPC advertising will live on, but keep in mind that you can always incorporate both in your overall online marketing strategy. Just make sure to define what your business goals are as these can guide you in making the right decision. Also remember to allocate your resources in the most efficient way possible in order to maximize the returns to your business.