SEO aims to achieve higher organic search engine rankings, those which appear below the sponsored results, by following the best SEO practices that make Google, and other search engines, take notice of your website. Although this process can take a bit of time, especially if you are starting from the bottom, it can be a worthwhile investment as you do not have to pay for these clicks from the search engine onto your website.
PPC, meanwhile, means that you pay for traffic using Google AdWords, Bing Ads, or other PPC advertising programs. These enable you to display adverts in the sponsored section of search engine results, which can be found at the top, side and bottom of the page. As the name suggests, you are charged every time a user clicks on one of your ads, and this fee is usually determined by how competitive your chosen keyword is.
But which approach is better for your website? The answer lies in how quickly you need to see results from your search engine marketing.
If you are looking to immediately gain traffic and have the budget to pay for it, then PPC is right for you. But, if you are looking for long-term, sustainable results on a smaller budget, it makes sense to invest your time and money in improving your organic traffic with SEO. Now, we’ll be taking a quick look at the benefits of both SEO and PPC marketing.
Benefits of SEO
- When compared to PPC advertising, SEO offers longer-term results and is more affordable. This is especially true if you find yourself in the top three organic results on a search engine results page, as these gain the vast majority of clicks.
- You do not have to worry about cost-per-click (CPC) figures. For the most competitive industries, it can cost over £50 for a single paid click onto your website. Organic results are not affected by this, so achieving a high ranking for these search terms can prove to be invaluable.
- While it takes longer to achieve success with SEO, the results are a lot more sustainable. You may appear at the top of the search engine results page using PPC advertising, but you will disappear from there as soon as you flick the switch off. This is not the case with SEO, providing a sturdy backbone for your search engine marketing.
Benefits of PPC
- PPC advertising offers immediate results. This means that as soon as your ads have been approved by Google, they will start showing to your target market at prominent locations on the results page.
- You can target who sees your ads. If your website targets a certain demographic, you can ensure that only these people see your ads, meaning that there is no wasted spend and more chance of them completing a purchase once they’re on your website.
- PPC is not affected by SEO algorithm updates. SEO algorithm changes can be hard to keep up with. When these changes are implemented, websites that have been optimised for the previous algorithm can lose rankings, ultimately meaning a reduction in profit. PPC advertising is immune to these algorithm changes, meaning that it ensures there is a steady stream of visitors to your website.
The great thing about search engine marketing is that it is not an ‘either-or’ choice. When a well-maintained PPC campaign is combined with a solid SEO-optimised website, the results can be very powerful. But, if you can only allow for one, we would say that the biggest consideration you should make is how quickly you need to see results from your search engine marketing, and then make your choice