SEO vs PPC

Adam Pilkington . Oct 17, 2019 . 5 minutes read
SEO vs PPC

One commonly asked question by prospective clients here are Statuo is,‘Which is better, SEO or PPC?’

What clients should be asking is, 'which of the two should I be focusing on?' as the answer to the first question varies drastically, dependant on budgets, targets, industry & who they ask!

If you are looking into these options currently, you’re in the right place; in this post, we will be breaking down the Pros & Cons of SEO/PPC, allowing you to pick the right option for your business or marketing goals.

SEO vs PPC

Before we get started, here are a couple main differences between PPC & SEO:

  • PPC (pay per click) is as it suggests, you pay for the clicks that you receive & you pick the traffic that you want to receive.
  • SEO Bolton Via SEO (search engine optimisation) is free traffic - Google decides what type of traffic you should receive based on the content/authority of your site (there are also many other factors that Google takes into account)

SEO - Pros/Cons

SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimisation & in layman's terms, is how agencies like ourselves, improve the quality & the quantity of traffic that your site is receiving, there are many ways of doing this (which if we told you, we’d have to kill you) so let's get into the Pros & Cons of SEO.

Pros:

  • Traffic: The traffic that you receive is completely free & it doesn't matter how much you receive, you won’t pay a penny.
  • Longevity: Usually once you’re placed well within the SERP (search engine results page) for a particular term, you can often maintain this with an optimisation strategy.
  • Brand Awareness: Organic listings have a better impact on your brand awareness, as people are more trusting of organic results then paid ads.
  • Better ROI: It can deliver a better ROI as you aren’t paying for the clicks/ traffic you receive.
  • Volume: If done correctly you should receive more traffic volume than you would with paid ads (over time), as there are always peaks and troughs & you may not always have the budget to compete with paid ads.

Cons:

  • Time: It can be incredibly slow to rank your site, especially if the industry is competitive because just like you, all of your competitors will also want to rank for the same search terms & it comes down to how long you are prepared to wait, and how much effort you are willing to put in.
  • No Guarantees: There really isn’t any guarantee that you will receive the traffic you want to target. It’s all dependant on how relevant google views your website.
  • It Can Cost More: You don’t pay for your traffic but you do have to pay for the team of people who are generating all that traffic & that doesn't always come cheap.
  • The algorithm: It only takes one quick algorithm update (for which there is no warning) for your site to slide down the rankings.
  • Getting Penalised: You can be penalised for ‘Black Hat’ practises & once blocked by google it is unlikely that you will be able to rank again, so you always need to be careful who you pick to manage your SEO. See Penguin update / Panda update for information on the types of algorithm changes we’ve seen previously.
  • Search Terms: You don’t get to pick the type of traffic you receive or which page they are sent to. Google may want to rank you for a term you don’t necessarily want to be ranked for.
SEO vs PPC 1

PPC - Pros/Cons

PPC is an acronym for Pay Per Click, there are many different platforms in which you can pay for traffic to your site but the one most widely used is Google Ads, here is a list of the pros & cons.

Cons:

  • Cost: You have to pay for the traffic you receive & this can be expensive, especially if you are in a competitive industry. Some industries can be upwards of £100 a click.
  • Wasted money: Unless you are careful, you can waste money on traffic that you don’t want, and so it's very important that your account is structured correctly.
  • Auction: Its an auction for ad space & sometimes you can’t bid enough to win the space that you would like, meaning you don’t always appear for the terms you want to show for.
  • PPC Management: It’s complicated & more than likely you will need to pay for a management team & the ad spend, you need to make sure you pick the right team who you can trust, and ideally look for a Google Premier Partner.
  • Competitiveness: It can be very competitive & unless you have endless budgets, initially you may struggle to compete with other companies who have years of historical data in their account.

Pros:

  • Targeted: You can be incredible specific on the type of traffic that you want to receive & only pay for the traffic you do receive, even picking people based on gender, age, income, location & their interests/behaviours online.
  • Funnels: You can create marketing funnels, from soft prospecting ads to warm intent driven search ads which would then lead onto remarketing ads, to bring people back to your site.
  • Quick: Getting your ads up and running can be almost instantaneous & if structured correctly from the outset, can give you an instant ROI.
  • ROI: You can improve your ROI over time, optimising your account by using google best practises.
  • Affordable: It can be a cost effective way of generating valuable traffic to your site by untapping new & valuable traffic streams for your business.
  • Measurable: It's very easy to track the revenue, leads, customers that have been generated for you via PPC.

SEO OR PPC?

If you really want to have the best possible performance online, then ideally you should be using both of them because they should work together to make your money work harder for you, I.e if there are areas which the cost per click is too high for you, then ranking organically would be the better option.

If you are struggling to rank for certain terms organically but have the budget, then you can target these terms via paid ads whilst simultaneously optimising that keyword for SEO - essentially SEO & PPC should be used synergistically & most good digital marketing agencies will tell you this.

If you want to discuss this further, then book in your free 30 min consultation with us Via our contact us page.

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