Should You Use PPC, SEO or Both?

Getting found online isn’t easy. Many business owners find themselves struggling with a choice: PPC or SEO? Paying for advertisements can have immediate benefits, but Organic SEO can be a lasting advantage. Which one is right for your business: PPC, SEO or both?

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

Working in the PPC advertising sphere is a game of measuring ROI. It’s relatively easy to get noticed by running paid advertisements, but it’s more difficult not to spend more than you earn through those new leads and conversions. Ultimately you need to balance the costs of PPC with the returns.

PPC is also a rapidly expanding industry. Alongside Google and Bing campaigns, you can also run PPC ads on social media networks, i.e.LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, for exact audience targeting. Google is also expanding their PPC advertising to include highly targeted, paid local results for service businesses like real estate agents, locksmiths and plumbers, for example.

However, with the right digital solution, PPC advertising can offer tremendous opportunity. It allows for faster, and often higher visibility for competitive search terms than organic SEO. In the right digital marketing strategy, PPC is often used a stop gap solution until you have developed your SEO campaign to rank organically for competitive target keywords.  

The primary advantages PPC has over traditional SEO:

  • Speed – PPC advertising’s chief advantage is speed. It’s easier to set up and monitor than SEO and can be built to target rapidly changing events, promotions and opportunities.
  • Targeting – PPC ads allow for detailed audience targeting, letting you gain more control over your visibility. For instance, PPC advertising on Google Adwords gives you access to retargeting, search network advertising, and even multi-platform advertising on YouTube and other Google services. On Twitter and Facebook – you can further filter your target demographic by age, region and web habits.
  • Data – PPC ads give you more data about how people found you than SEO does. Unlike SEO, PPC reporting includes exact keyword data, making it easier for you to learn what your customers are searching for and at what part of the conversion funnel they found your business.
  • Immediate Returns – Because you can control when, how long, and where your ads are displayed, PPC is excellent for immediate action and quick returns (like promotions and special events).


Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

In contrast to PPC advertising, SEO is best served as a long term digital solution. By gaining better organic rankings, your website can obtain long-lasting and powerful results in terms of traffic and conversions.

Unlike PPC ads, the ROI calculation of SEO work is more complex. The backend work you do on your website to improve your rankings might not have any effect for weeks or months. Which is why benchmarks are imperative for calculating returns vs expense each MTD, YTD and comps.

Developing a great new blog post or incorporating new keywords into your meta & copy may send more visitors to your website, or it might not. However, a strategically designed and well-implemented SEO strategy will, given time and resources, help you gain organic rankings. Many studies have proven that a higher organic ranking position equals more traffic.

The biggest advantages of organic SEO are:

  • Longevity – “If you build it, they will come.” If you earn them and sustain the strategy, strong SEO rankings can last for a long time and send tons of traffic to your site.
  • Cost Savings – Unlike PPC ads, you don’t have to pay for each keyword position. SEO requires a larger upfront investment but is more cost effective in the long term. Similar to buying a car outright vs financing it.
  • Trust – Some users simply prefer organic results to ads. With strong organic rankings you’ll earn more visits from these ad-wary searchers.


Or Both

For many businesses, a balanced strategy that combines SEO and PPC is the best approach. While an Search Engine Optimization campaign is ramping up and earning rankings, Pay Per Click can fill in the gaps and provide detailed data about strong keywords to target.  

Relying solely on PPC or SEO can make it hard for you to get the returns you want, both immediate and sustainable. Paying for all your results can hurt your wallet, but waiting for rankings to develop can hurt your visibility. Balancing between both allows you to improve positioning while earning conversions. You can also use this strategy to build content targeted toward users who are already interested in your service.

If you’re ready to take your digital marketing strategy to the next level; contact FleetCreature’s PPC & SEO Specialists today!


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