The constant battle of digital marketing:
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SEO or PPC?
PPC experts say: PPC gives immediate results, targeted brand visibility, and stability. Forget SEO.
On the other hand, SEO experts say: SEO gives long term brand exposure and awareness, credibility and trust, a constant flow of organic traffic, the most cost-effective option, validity, durability, and strategic advantage. Forget PPC.
Is it clearer now? Or, you are even more confused? Don’t fret, here is a closer look into the matter.
If you are an eCommerce business owner, you have probably been struggling, which is the better option: to invest in sponsored Ads or an SEO strategy. So, if you start with the question: Which is the better version for me – then you won’t receive a correct answer upfront.
Well, because both of the options are extremely popular and efficient, but they don’t work the same for every business. Even for businesses in the same niche in the industry, you can’t give a general conclusion.
The reason is simple – your business is (should be) unique, and it has a unique mission, vision, and goals. Yes, the ultimate goal is the same for every company in the world – to make as much money as possible. However, how you will make this money, the path you are going to walk to get there and the impression you want to leave behind you is what will define your brand. This being said, it all adds up to this:
What is the message of your brand, and how do you spread it out?
Keeping in mind that we are an SEO agency, it is nearly impossible to be 100% objective.
However, for the sake of all our present and future clients’ success, here is our simple fact-checked analysis.
With a paid ad, your website will be at the top of the search results for the targeted keywords. This strictly predetermined keyset is chosen before starting the ad campaign. And while the campaign lasts, these targeted keywords remain the same, which is not the case with the SEO strategy (read below). The as will be among the top 4 ads on the desktop or three on mobile that a user will first see before scrolling down to the organic results. But, they will be flagged as paid ads as in the picture below, and many people will scroll past them because they are aware that this is an ad.
In addition, as the PPC ads are improved today, you can add a location, site links, pricing, callouts, and calls, which makes the ad a full descriptive leaflet of the business.
Moreover, you can include images of the products as Google lets you choose if you want to present your ad visually. This is especially important for businesses that sell a vast range of products. And this feature doesn’t exist as an option in organic search.
When it comes to the cost – you have great control of how much you are going to spend and willing to pay while the ad campaign is live. You can target the ad according to many different variables including search terms, time (of day/ day of the week), geography, audiences, language, device, and so on.
Ability to act instantaneously. When you want to place a new product or convey a message relevant to the present time, PPC ads enable you to get in front of the eyes of potential customers right away.
Revealing to Competitors. A big downside is that your competitors can easily copy your ad and find out which keywords you are targeting and use them themselves. The result will be a tie in the google search results.
Another disadvantage of the PPC is that when the budget is spent, you are instantly gone from the results. No more money – no presence on the first page – so, the moment you stop financing the ad, people won’t be able to find you anywhere near on the first page of results.
Even though it needs a lot of hard work, exceptional thinking, and creativity, the SEO strategy will put you on the first page of Google search results, and this will make your brand credible and reliable. Organic traffic will drastically increase because more than 75% of people don’t scroll past the first page of results. Your website has great chances to be clicked.
Improved branding. SEO enables your brand to be heard. Being referenced on authoritative blogs and websites and offering exact and concise information about questions that people often search the answers for increases the awareness for your brand.
Free traffic. Organic traffic means that all the people who will click on the link won’t cost you any money as there is no direct charge for the clicks or impressions. Plus, the set of keywords that will be targeted will constantly increase for no extra cost at all. Remember, with PPC, your set of keywords is predetermined and can’t be changed. Here, with the SEO strategy, more and more keywords will be targeted as the strategy unfolds, giving a lot more new chances to rank high for a different keyword phrase.
Improved ROI. Another SEO benefit is a huge advancement of the ROI (return of investment) compared to other forms of advertisement, of course, including the PPC ads.
Cost-effective. It is the most effective plan when it comes to costs. It isn’t cheap, but it pays off, and the results are long-lasting, and the success keeps on coming even after the SEO strategy ceases to be implemented. However, it must be mentioned that in order to see results from the SEO process, a couple of months are necessary (at least 3) for the strategy to start showing results.
Better CTR. Your site will get far more clicks from an organic listing that ranks high than from a highly ranked paid ad. This is a proven fact.
A risk from informational and consideration queries overtaking the place. There is an aspect that still can be overcome, but it is vital to shedding light on it when the SEO strategy is planned. That is the risk from searches that have informational or consideration intent appearing in the place of those that lead to purchase. In such cases, it is extremely important to target the buying keywords and combine them with the informational and consideration terms in a way that they will not only inform but sell as well.