Which Is Better: SEO or PPC?
Today's online business landscape is more competitive than ever, and you must be ever vigilant in making sure your Internet marketing efforts are not lax, lest your competitors gain the upper hand (and the upper positions on major search engines). By now, everyone likely knows about the importance of using search engine optimization (SEO), but how effectively are you using it? Have you also tried a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign?
Internet marketing gurus may tout one of the above methods as more important than the other, but the truth is both are essential to a digital marketing effort. How you utilize them (and whether you use them both) depends on what type of target market you are trying to attract.
The Differences Between SEO and PPC
Essentially, SEO entails utilizing relevant keywords and keyphrases in your website content so that major search engines recognize the relevance of your website in relation to consumer search queries. Strong SEO helps ensure that your website is listed higher in the results, hopefully higher than your competitors.
PPC ads are those paid advertisements you see above or to the side of search results, attempting to catch the eyes (and mouse-clicks) of consumers and draw them to your website or a landing page of your choice. PPC ads also use keywords, and they may show up more and in a better position than your website does. However, you'll pay a fee each time someone clicks on your ad.
Cost vs. ROI
It costs virtually nothing to make adjustments to your website content. Beyond the labor involved in making the updates, it’s a quick and easy way to ensure your website will gain relevancy among your target audience. While SEO work does not normally yield immediate results nor is it considered a quick solution, the efforts do pay off over time. When done by experts, the ROI can be very cost-effective.
PPC costs can vary depending upon the keywords you are using and whether your competitors are using the same keywords. If click-throughs yield sales, then the ROI may be worthwhile.
Tip: Choose keywords carefully to ensure only consumers in your target market click on the ad. Otherwise you will simply be wasting money on click-throughs that produce no sales.
Why Use Both?
SEO helps you improve the relevancy of your website in the eyes of search engines, and subsequently improves ranking and Internet visibility. PPC can be used to drive traffic to your website or a landing page using additional keywords that might not appear often on your site. It is also a quick solution for driving traffic. Using analytics to see how your SEO or PPC efforts are faring can help you determine which areas need more improvement and which method is working best for your site.
So which is better? SEO or PPC? Neither one is really better than the other. Both SEO and PPC provide value to your marketing efforts and should be utilized where appropriate.