SEO vs. PPC – Which is Better?

When it comes to SEO and PPC, every online marketer out there seems to have a strong opinion on the matter.

Some say SEO is the one and only way to go.

Others are completely on the side of PPC.

But…which side is right?

The short answer is: it’s complicated.

However, we’re going to do you one better and talk by discussing the pros and cons of each and how both SEO and PPC might just fit into your overall marketing plan.

What is SEO?

If you’re new to this blog and/or marketing in general, here’s a brief summary. SEO, aka Search Engine Optimization, is all about helping your website – and the individual pages on your website – rank highly in the search engines (like Google) for certain keywords relevant to your industry.

The ultimate goal is, of course, for your business to rank at the top of Google when searchers and potential customers type in your keywords into the search bar.

We wrote an article all about SEO, so if this is new to you, we would encourage you to check that out! But in terms of SEO vs. PPC, what you really need to know is that SEO is what generates and sends organic, non-paid traffic back to your site.

What is PPC?

PPC, or Pay Per Click, on the other hand, is all about the pay to play.

You’ve seen PPC in action. It’s those first few search results at the very top (or side) of the page, and they always have the word “ad” included somewhere in the listing.

Instead of organically ranking you page highly on Google due to on-page and off-page SEO efforts, PPC skyrockets you to the top of the search results.

But there’s a catch – you have to pay for it.

And if you ever stop paying for it, those top-of-the-page ranking will go away immediately. This is one major difference between PPC and SEO – for the most part, SEO rankings won’t fluctuate too much, but PPC will drop off the map without sufficient funds backing up those ads.

Pros and Cons of SEO

Of course, there are pros and cons to both SEO and PPC.

Let’s talk about SEO first.

For starters, it can take a long time for businesses to see the results of diligent and consistent SEO work. Especially if the business is new and the domain name was just purchased, it can take a solid 6 months to start seeing first page results for that industry’s top keywords.

And while first page listings provide organic traffic to your website, SEO isn’t exactly free. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes and the initial and ongoing investments can be pricey, but in the long run, the ROI makes the investment more than worth it.

Because when you choose to invest in SEO, that means your website will start to organically appear at the top of the search results – and you don’t have to worry about those rankings going away if you stop funding an ad budget, as with PPC.

Also, approximately 82% of people choose to click on the organic SEO results on any given search page vs. 18% who click on the ads – so long term, you’ll get more traffic back to your site with SEO.

Pros and Cons of PPC

But PPC can be a great solution as well.

For new businesses – especially those looking to sell online and generate revenue, sometimes waiting 6 months for the SEO results to kick in isn’t really an option.

Sometimes you need traffic right away, which is where PPC can be really beneficial.

Just as with SEO, there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes when creating PPC ads. Even though you are paying Google to display your ads, the actual ad copy and click-through rates play a part in determining how highly your ad is placed and how often visitors see it.

So, while PPC can be a great quick fix for immediate traffic back to your site, you still need to write SEO keyword-targeted ad copy that really resonates with your audience.

What’s the Best Solution?

Honestly, the answer to the question is – it depends.

For some businesses, straight SEO might be the best answer, while for others, PPC might be most helpful.

In our experience, we always have the best results when our clients combine both SEO and PPC into their overall marketing strategy.

Since SEO can take a bit to kick in, the PPC can help supplement the traffic back to your site in the meantime.

And even after the SEO kicks in and your website is at the top of Google, PPC can still be valuable as it can help you to target a wider audience.

So, in conclusion, we generally recommend a mixture of both to our clients. Both SEO and PPC have their place in any marketing strategy – it’s how you execute both that really matters.

If you’re interested in jump-starting your company’s SEO and/or PPC, we would be happy to help! Please give us a call at 817-470-5274 or fill our contact form below and someone from our team will be in touch with you asap to answer any questions you might have.

Happy marketing!