Which Is Better SEO or PPC?
Posted on 23rd November 2018 at 09:42
Often encountered by rising entrepreneurs and already existing business owners who are curious about content marketing and getting onto the page one of Google, is the question: Should I focus on SEO or PPC? (Facepalm)
Standing for Search Engine Optimisation, SEO activity produces better search engine rankings and high visibility through organic (or unpaid) traffic. PPC, or Pay-Per-Click on the other hand, focuses on paid clicks, that almost guarantee a top placement instantly on page one of Google. PPC ads appear at the top of Google, which you may have already seen already as “sponsored”.
As a startup or established business owner looking for new leads, sales and maximum return-on-investment (ROI), which of these two fantastic marketing methods is actually more important? This post outlines the key positives of both SEO and PPC, and points that you should take into account during your decision making process.
SEO - Search Engine Optimisation
Organic SEO, is getting your business website to show up higher on search engine results pages also known as SERP's. This includes maps, local directories and listings. For the purpose of this blog, we'll be focusing on the listings part.
Here are some factors to think about when it comes to SEO.
Investing in SEO doesn’t necessarily mean cheap and inexpensive, although it's normally a fairly cost-efficient exercise. To fully invest in it takes time, effort, and cash, but it's the sheer number of enquiries and sales that you can get from your rankings that make the exercise worthwhile.
As with any marketing, the questions you should be asking are:
What is an average client worth to me over a lifetime?
"If I got a page 1 ranking, how many new enquiries would I get each month?"
"How much would that grow my business over the next 3,6,12 months?"
A great thing to do is figure out how many clients you need per month from top rankings to assess whether investment into SEO is worthwhile or not.
It's very rare people trust or respond to advertisements at first sight or contact. If your business page shows up organically in the rankings, on multiple occasions, this establishes market trust and authority.
Once organic traffic is established, it’s fairly steady (unless your site gets deleted, or the pages you rank for get erased, or Google makes significant algorithm changes).
It must be noted, that the sustainability of your rankings also lie with how much you sustain your efforts in creating new and relevant content.
Blogging and fresh regular content onto your website copy can make a huge difference.
Remember, your competitors are also fighting for those top spots. Staying on top of your ‘SEO game’ and/or outsourcing the regular SEO activity could be a very smart decision for your short & long-term business success.
PPC - Pay Per Click
As an advertiser on Google Adwords, you pay Google directly for a top spot. A search result linking to your business page is guaranteed to be viewed and seen by everybody who searches for the keyword that you’re trying to rank for. Which position you end up exactly highly depends on two key factors, what your quality score is for each keyword, and how much you’re willing to pay for a click, compared to your competitors.
Essentially, Google run an auction between you and your competitors, and whoever pays the most and shows that they are the most relevant, get the best positions and costs per click (CPC)
This is why it's imperative to have your Google Ads account set up properly and optimised each month, as failure to do so, can result in huge unnecessary costs or as Google Ads expert Perry Marshall calls it 'The Google Stupidity Tax!'
Instant Keyword Monitoring
The system for running advertisements lets you specify keywords that you want your search ad to appear in, you will instantly know which keywords convert and which don’t. This is something you wouldn’t immediately know when you’re operating just in SEO.
Google Ads can be a fantastic tool for measuring keyword success and then using those keywords in your SEO strategy.
PPC directly provides you the option to fully target your desired areas. If you're a plumber in Enfield, then you can target just Enfield, or just around Enfield, by radius, postcode or names of towns. Therefore you can be sure that your ads are only appearing to people that you can actually serve as customers.
That being said, you can also target anywhere nationally or internationally, even Afghanistan - we've tried!
Contrary to what most people say, PPC can actually be budget friendly, if managed properly. Of course, costs will be sustained if there are no sales at the end of the project – but that would mean that the campaign was either not well planned out or there is an issue with the website/landing pages.
It's the job of your agency or marketing person handling your account to advise you on best practise and how to make the most of your campaign. In Google Ads, you can set the maximum amount you're willing to spend each day & the system will only advertise based on your budget limits that you've set.
What Do You Need For Your Own Personal Business Success?
There are equally good points for SEO and PPC, but what does your business require right now?
If your business is a small enterprise looking into dominating local page results to generate a stable number of leads, a combination of SEO and PPC is the right formula.
If your business is more established and has a lot of renowned competitors, a deep foundation for SEO must be established, and may take significant time & investment to get it there.
All in all, combining both in your marketing strategy is the most optimal solution to gather conversions, awareness, and visibility.
It will take a few months to take effect, but for a solid, growing marketing strategy, SEO and PPC will generate a solid stream of enquiries coming into you if carried out correctly.
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