There’s been an enduring discussion about which is better for driving traffic, generating leads and providing value to your business: SEO, or PPC? And the truth is, the answer depends solely on you – or the nature of your business that is.
Before you can get a good idea of which channel is best for your business, you need to understand the difference between SEO and PPC:
- SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) uses specific techniques such as meta descriptions, link authority, and keyword research to obtain a high-ranking placement in the search results page of search engines like Google and Bing.
- PPC (or Pay-Per-Click) is a form of paid advertising that has search engines place your website at the top of the search results page, requiring business owners to pay each time an ad is clicked on.
Now that each has been defined, let’s break down a few benefits you’ll want to consider before you choose a marketing channel to support your efforts.
Number of Visitors and Leads
Any time you consider the ROI value of a marketing effort, you need to take a good look at all the possible numbers each method can give you. The truth is, both PPC and SEO can provide you with a fair amount of visitors and leads.
If you think about the value regarding time, things begin to get clearer. With PPC, you gain more visitors and leads in a short period. However, when you look at longer stretches of time, organic results always have more hits. For sustainable results, go with SEO.
At first glance, you might think that SEO easily beats PPC in price. After all, SEO is initially free (excluding time spent executing it) and PPC depends on paid advertising to be successful. But while you don’t need to pay for any program to get started with SEO, as your business grows, your competition and other challenges may grow also. As a result, you might consider hiring a company that provides professional SEO services, so you can continue to see growth through SEO.
On the flipside, when you go the PPC route, the more clicks your ad receives, the more you will have to pay. While this may seem costly in the beginning, it is far more affordable than running a print ad.
What channel gives you the most immediate results? PPC. With targeting options that enable you to go after your chosen demographics, you can gain new leads almost right away.
SEO, on the other hand, takes time. You can’t directly target demographics with SEO, so it may take weeks or months for your target market to discover your website through organic search. A method to help your organic search with SEO is by optimizing your website to be as relevant as possible for your desired market.
Which One is the Right Choice for You?
So, which channel works best for your business? The easy answer is SEO.
If you are striving for steady business growth through your website, optimization is the most efficient method. The good news is you don’t have to ignore PPC when you go the SEO route. Remember, PPC can provide your business with fast leads and a quick win against competitors.
When you build your marketing efforts around a strong SEO strategy and supplement it with targeted PPC campaigns, you can begin to meet your strategic business goals and see your company grow.