SEO vs PPC what's better for your business

SEO (search engine optimisation) and paid ads (PPC) are titans of the digital marketing world. But which is best for your business? 

You want to make sure that you’re putting your marketing budget to good work. And most importantly, get a decent return on investment on whatever you choose. 

Here we go, clash of the titans – SEO vs PPC!

SEO or PPC: Which is better for your business?

SEO and PPC could both be what your business needs. 

See if PPC could work for you 

If you want to pay to drive people to your website immediately, then paid ads could be perfect for you. 

You’ll need to explore the daily cost you’re willing to pay to drive people from search engines to your website. 

PPC works in the way that you’ll set a daily click budget (e.g. £15 per day) and Google will list your ad at the top of the search engine for the keywords you wish to target. If people like your ad and click through to your website, you’ll pay for that click and user to come to your website. 

You’ll also need to factor in a management fee if you work with a paid ads expert.

Do be warned, if you have a low budget, your ads may not show. It all depends on what your competitors are paying. Or if you run out of budget, your ads won’t show any more.

Could SEO work for you?

SEO is similar to paid ads. The difference is that SEO relies on your website and its content to make your website rank on search engines organically rather than paying to appear at the top and for every click.

SEO is more cost effective than PPC, but it takes more time to get you to the top of the search engine results organically. With SEO, once you do appear at the top you won’t have to pay per click. And once you’re there, if you can keep your website at the top, you can reap the reward of tons of clicks at no extra cost.

It’s a longer burn than PPC, but it’s a great long term investment for your business, with the potential to drive customers to your website for years to come.

Or use SEO and PPC to cover all bases!

SEO and PPC can do different things for your business, and depending on how you want to use your budget, you can utilise them both in your digital marketing strategy. 

How successful are PPC ads?

PPC ads tend to be most successful in the short term. Most PPC campaigns only last a couple weeks to a month, and are regularly changed. This allows a business to capitalise on the search volumes of various target keywords they’re using. 

Plus, the success of your own PPC ads can be easily tracked. Keep an eye on metrics like your click through rate and conversion rate, compared to your actual cost per click. This is where you can see how much you’re making against what you’re spending. 

What are the advantages of PPC over SEO?

Number one, they deliver fast results. The moment a PPC ad goes live, it can start bringing more traffic into your website. Then you’ve got the chance to turn these new visitors into paying customers.

A user will also see a PPC ad before any organic SEO content. They’re listed before any organic search results and will be the first thing a person sees after using a search term. 

You also only pay when someone clicks, hence the name ‘pay per click’. This can make PPC an affordable advertising strategy in the early days of your digital marketing. You can set your daily budget for running the ads and you’ll never go above this limit as long as it’s in place. 

What are the downsides of PPC marketing?

In using PPC, you’re bidding against various other businesses pushing their content. If you’ve set your bid too high or too low, you could be losing placements to your competition. 

PPC is also far less cost effective if you plan to use it without SEO. SEO content provides a much better guarantee on investment when used over time. PPC could soon reach a traffic ceiling and lose its effectiveness, and yet it will still cost you per day. 

Is SEO more cost effective than PPC?

SEO tends to be more cost effective than PPC. The return on investment is incredibly high.  After all, you can get results through SEO practices for a much longer period of time. Any content made to be SEO friendly is going to last you months, even years.

Even on a basic budget, hiring someone to write your SEO content for you is going to be the better use of money than bidding on PPC ads and hiring someone to set up, run and continuously optimise your PPC ads. 

When should you not use SEO?

In all honesty, you don’t need SEO if you’re an offline business or a business with no need to drive people to your website. Or if you don’t even have a website!

However, any business with a website must be investing in their SEO. 

Can SEO and PPC work together?

Using SEO and PPC together is a great way to start out with your digital marketing if you have the budget to do both.

You can start off by creating SEO content and then use PPC ads to link to that content to begin with before the content ranks organically. This ensures that when a user clicks through an ad, they’re going to find valuable content on the other side. 

Over time, what you want to see is your content starts to rank organically, which means when it does, you won’t need to use PPC to drive traffic there, the newly ranking page will organically drive free traffic to your website instead.

Should SEO and PPC ever be used at the same time?

Yes! But it depends on how healthy your budget is and what you want to achieve and in what time period.

The cost of each can vary and using both at the same time can deplete your initial resources. However, you should build up to using both at the same time over the course of your first year in business. This will create a better digital marketing strategy than using SEO or PPC separately. 

Does PPC hurt SEO?

No, PPC doesn’t hurt SEO. In fact, it helps it. 

If you consider the fact that ‘user experience’ is a ranking factor in SEO, that means how people interact with your website will help you to rank. And you can use PPC to drive people to your website to test your website’s user experience. 

Your PPC traffic can be key to giving Google a positive signal as to whether your user enjoys the experience on your website after clicking your ad. 

If the user does stay and enjoys using your website, that sends Google a positive signal that your website and content is decent, and will more likely rank you. 

Quick recap of the pros and cons of SEO and PPC

Now you know the difference between SEO and PPC, and how they interact, let’s list the pros and cons side by side. 

The pros of SEO:

  1. Offers a long term rankings and ROI.
  2. Cost effective in generating organic traffic.
  3. Creates a sense of trust for both clients and the algorithm.

The cons:

  1. Can be hard to find a keyword balance.
  2. Requires a sound knowledge on how to run an effective SEO strategy.
  3. Results can take months to deliver.

The pros of PPC:

  1. You only pay when you get a click.
  2. Can be changed whenever you need.
  3. Instant results can be achieved.

The cons:

  1. Short term results – only long term if you can consistently spend a daily budget.
  2. You could be bidding against thousands of other businesses.
  3. Bidding can be pretty expensive for certain keywords!
  4. You may need a budget anywhere between £10 – £200 per day, plus a management fee from a PPC expert to manage it all.

Talk to TJ Creative about your use of SEO vs PPC

We’re a content marketing agency who have expertise in both. If you want help deciding which method is the best for you, get in touch

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