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SEO Vs PPC: Which is Right for You?

By Lydia Barley

If you’ve stumbled upon this blog post it’s likely that you have a dilemma, you want to grow your business but you aren’t sure whether to engage in SEO or PPC. Chances are, you just can’t afford both at the moment, so you want to make sure you engage in the one that brings your business the greatest return. Sound familiar? Keep reading, in this blog post we’re going to breakdown the different benefits of SEO and PPC to assist you in choosing the one that is right for you.

First things first I think it’s important to define each:

What is SEO?

Search engine optimisation, SEO for short, is a form of online marketing which focuses on improving the amount of targeted traffic to a website via search engines such as Google. This traffic is gained from the organic search results on search engines.

What is PPC?

Pay per click, also known as cost per click, is a form of online marketing in which a business can display ads for their goods or service in the search results. In this case advertisers are only charged when a user actually clicks on their ad, hence why it’s called ‘pay per click’.

Search engine results example

Pictured: A search engine results page example, with 2 ads displayed at the top and the organic listings below those ads.

The Benefits of SEO

  • SEO is ‘free’ – In contrast to PPC you do not need to pay each time someone clicks on your link. Once you get to the point where your website is ranking number 1, you don’t need to pay for all of the clicks that come from that, you can just sit back and enjoy the traffic. However, this does not mean that SEO is free, to get to that point a considerable amount of time and effort is required and even once you’ve hit that point continuous work must be put in to maintain your ranking.
  • SEO increases the value of your website – While this may not be your top consideration, if you were to sell your website, organic rankings greatly increase it’s value.
    Increase of value
  • SEO is consistent – Once your website is ranking highly you will sustain that high rank, as long as you continue to monitor and maintain your SEO efforts. However as soon as you turn off a PPC campaign the results will immediately disappear.

The Benefits of PPC

  • PPC brings immediate results – as soon as your campaign has been approved your ad will be displayed, bringing you instant results.
  • PPC allows for targeted traffic – PPC allows you to narrow down your prospects based on demographic data. Ensuring that you reach your target audience with your ads.
    Progress
  • PPC is not an ongoing process – PPC is not an ongoing process that needs to be continuously maintained like SEO, you can turn your campaign on or off whenever you like.
  • PPC is not affected by algorithm changes – With a PPC campaign you don’t have to worry about the search engine’s algorithm, as it does not impact PPC campaigns.

Okay, So Which is Right for Your Business?

Obviously we can’t give a clear-cut answer on whether you should invest in SEO or PPC in this blog post. Our answer would vary greatly depending on your individual circumstances and the industry that you’re in. After reading through this blog post however you should start to get an idea of which service aligns best with your circumstances and your business goals. Some questions to ask yourself when making your decision includes the following:

  1. How competitive is your industry in the organic search engine results?

It’s important to take the time to research your industry. How competitive is ranking in the search engine results for your industry? If you’re unsure an SEO expert will be able to assist in answering this question. If your industry is extremely competitive it will be considerably more difficult to rank and will take more time and investment for you to see any SEO benefits. This is not to say that SEO is an investment that should not be considered, this is just to say that you should keep in mind that getting results from your SEO campaign will require a considerable amount of investment.

  1. Do you need quick results or are you willing to wait for results?

As discussed previously, PPC generates instant results bringing traffic immediately. In contrast to this, SEO takes a considerable amount of time, from months to years. Are you willing to wait that long or is your campaign time sensitive? If you’re just now thinking about how you can begin advertising a promotion leading up to Christmas you may want to consider PPC as opposed to SEO.

Take some time

While we typically recommend using both PPC and SEO in conjunction, we understand that this is not always feasible, hence why we put together this blog post. So take the time to work out which is better for you to invest in for now. If you need assistance in deciding or if you need assistance with your campaign contact one of our SEO or PPC specialists. We are more than happy to help.