In digital marketing, you would hear popular buzzwords, such as the acronyms “SEO” and “PPC”. If you are not familiar with these words, SEO means search engine optimisation, while PPC means pay-per-click. Both methods are used by most digital marketers of today to increase traffic to a website and boost revenue. However, people who have been doing digital marketing for some time will know that, when it comes to SEO vs PPC, there are a lot of things to consider.
Some digital marketers prefer SEO over PPC when it comes to trying to get more revenues for the sites they are handling. Others choose PPC over getting organic results via SEO. There are some, however, who believe that using both is necessary to achieve success for their websites. They also know when are the best times to use them for maximum profitability.
SEO vs PPC: What’s the difference between these search marketing methods
Before you can determine which method to use at any given time, you first need to know the difference between SEO and PPC. Let’s start with the definitions for each one.
SEO – This is when your site and its pages are improved to help make them more appealing to search engine bots and crawlers. The tweaks and additions you make on your site will give it a better visibility on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
If properly optimised, your site will even show up on the first two pages of the SERPs. This happens when keywords that are associated with your site are used by your target market when searching.
SEO uses various marketing techniques including on-page and off-page optimisation, content creation, social media marketing, and more. Technically speaking, SEO is more intensive than PPC, but it is usually cheaper since its cost isn’t variable.
PPC – This model of advertising requires you to pay each time one of the ads you place on the search engines is clicked. This means you only pay for the ad when it generates results and redirects a person to your site after they click on it.
PPC is usually more expensive than SEO. If you get a lot of click-throughs, you get a higher monthly bill for your ad spend. The good thing is, you will get a better chance of converting visitors to actual paying customers.
Of course, you can always try to control your ad spend by setting a monthly budget. However, this will also restrict the number of times your ad will appear on the search engines when someone use the keyword you are targeting.
Before you can judge which method wins over the other when it comes to SEO vs PPC, you need to understand the factors that affect the results each one generates. Knowing when you should focus on one over the other will help you get the best results and the best bang for your buck.
The best situations to use SEO
So, when is it ideal for you to focus your efforts on SEO? Here are some of the situations where SEO is best used for your site:
- When you want to ensure regular traffic and consistent results – SEO is not something that generates results overnight. It takes a bit of time to produce the results you want, but when it does, you reap the rewards over and over again. This is because a properly optimised site will show on top of the SERPs and will stay there with constant optimisation.
- When you want to be considered an authority in your niche – People tend to be more inclined to brands that are seen as authorities in their industry. Sites that are considered the go-to places for a certain service or product usually have better rankings. Some authority sites also provide visitors with valuable information that they need.
- When you don’t have to compete with big brands – If your niche doesn’t have lots of big competitors, SEO is a good choice for you. This doesn’t mean that you should turn your back on SEO if you have to go against big brands. SEO is still needed, but you cannot expect instantaneous results when you have bigger brands with more authority to compete with.
The best situations to use PPC
Just like SEO, PPC is also best utilised in certain situations. Here are some of the times when PPC should be used:
- When you want quick results – Since PPC ads show immediately, you can be sure to have the traffic you want minutes after your ad goes live. But still, you need to create an ad with good quality to show on top of others in your niche. You also need to set the right bid so you will be constantly ahead of your competitors in terms of ad results.
- When you want targeted traffic – Not all people who come to your site are there to make a purchase. If you want more-targeted traffic to your pages, specifically those who are aiming to buy, PPC is a good fit for you.
- When you have time-sensitive offers – PPC is a good marketing tool to use when you want people to take advantage of sales and promos that are only going to last for a limited time.
So, which method should you use when it comes to your site and your efforts to achieve maximum profit? In the battle of SEO vs PPC, you should know that it is you who will win when you know how to use each one and when. The trick is in understanding what and how each one works and applying such knowledge to help your site generate the results you want.