If you’re new to digital marketing you may not know where best to spend your marketing budget. With a variety of channels at your disposal, allocating budget accordingly can seem like a mammoth task.
PPC and SEO are two channels that business owners and in-house marketing managers often feel conflicted by. With that in mind, we thought we’d take the opportunity to outline the benefits of each digital marketing avenue and hopefully explain why you would want to invest in each channel.
How SEO & PPC differ
There are two key differences between SEO or PPC. The first is that paid ads appear at the top of the page, above the SEO results. The second is that traffic from organic via SEO is free (not including the cost of implementing an SEO agency) whereas traffic from PPC has a cost for each click.
Pros of SEO
Trust & credibility
People on the internet tend to trust SEO listings more than they do PPC so they’re more likely to click on an organic result. So having a strong organic presence can be incredibly valuable to you.
Once you’ve gained a strong organic presence, maintaining it shouldn’t be that difficult and you’re likely to stay visible to potential customers for the foreseeable future. SEO has a longevity to it that makes it a really strong channel to invest in.
You become an authority
To succeed via SEO you have to create high quality, valuable content that your customers find useful. And over time, this positions you as a trusted authority in your industry meaning customers are more likely to come to your website again and again.
SEO drives high converting traffic
The Search Engine Journal reported that leads generated by SEO can reach a conversion rate as high as 14.6% which is a lot better than the 1.7% close rate you can generate from email marketing or print advertising.
Cons of SEO
You have to think long-term
SEO efforts can take a while to be fruitful so you have to think long-term rather than immediate. Investing in a quality SEO agency will see you yield results but not straight away.
SEO can be subject to instability
Google algorithms and updates can make aspects of your SEO strategy such as rankings suffer turbulence and your position on the page of Google search results may change from month to month.
Competition for keywords can be tough
If you’re a new business with a brand new website that hasn’t built up domain authority, you’re going to find it difficult to compete with the big guns. For example, if you’re just starting out, you’re not going to get to the top of page 1 for the keyword “shoes.” So you have to adopt a smarter strategy than that to gain visibility in your market. This is why it’s helpful to have an SEO agency to do the work for you.
Pros of PPC
Unlike SEO, as soon as you begin your PPC efforts, the results are immediate. And even better, the placement of your ads are above the SEO results for maximum visibility. So if you want quick results in the short-term, PPC will help you tremendously.
PPC marketing tends to be relatively stable and doesn’t suffer the same turbulence that organic methods can. Of course, factors can affect your results but they don’t tend to have as big an impact.
PPC provides a uber-targeted way to get in front of potential customers. Ads can be targeted by search keywords, time of day, day of the week, geography, language, device and audiences based on previous visits for optimal ROI.
Because PPC results are immediate, it means you can test different campaigns and their elements relatively easily and get feedback quickly to inform your next move.
Cons of PPC
PPC campaigns can be expensive depending on what keywords you’re bidding on and what market you’re in. You need a decent PPC agency to help put a cost-effective strategy together to ensure you’re not wasting budget on underperforming and irrelevant keywords.
No budget = no visibility
Unlike SEO where your position on the search results pages is earned, when you stop PPC spend you immediately disappear.
Higher bounce rates
You tend to get higher bounce rates through PPC but this of course varies from company to company and from industry to industry. And when someone clicks your ad you pay for it even if it doesn’t result in a sale or lead.
Adopting an integrated approach
To get the best of both worlds, we would ideally recommend an integrated approach that utilised both PPC and SEO. Rather than thinking about them as two separate entities, it’s wise to recognise the benefits of using PPC and SEO to complement one another. Because then, you’re covering all your bases. And there are so many reasons why you should be using PPC to inform your SEO strategy. But obviously this integrated approach of combining SEO and PPC efforts isn’t going to be the best strategy for every brand.
If you’d like help marketing your brand but aren’t sure what the best channels to invest in are, get in touch and we’d be more than happy to help. We’re a specialist PPC & SEO agency in Manchester: firstname.lastname@example.org / 0161 204 7200.