When speaking with businesses who want to improve their visibility across search engines, we’re often asked the question ‘Should we do SEO or PPC?’. As with many things in the ever-changing world of digital, there is not always a clear answer, and many variables need to be considered. Below we look through the benefits of each to help you in deciding which approach to search engine marketing is best for your business.
What is SEO and what is PPC?
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the activity of increasing the visibility of your website on search engines (Google, Bing etc.) organically. You do not have to pay for searchers to visit your website through SEO as it involves optimising your website to rank higher on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). SEO involves multiple tactics such as website optimisation, increasing links to your website (link building), often through PR, and creating high-quality content on your website.
PPC (Pay Per Click) is where you pay for each click to your website that you receive. You bid on specific keywords against competitors within your industry for higher visibility on search engines. Businesses can choose which keywords to bid on, what their advertisements will say and which landing page they will send visitors to.
The benefits of SEO
- Long-term: Although SEO is not an instant fix, and results can sometimes take time, the benefits of a high-quality SEO strategy can reap rewards long-term with on-going improvements to traffic.
- More cost-effective than PPC: Whilst optimising for SEO itself is not ‘free’ or ‘cheap’, the return on your investment is limitless – you are not restricted by budget when it comes to getting visitors to your website as clicks to your website are free.
- SEO supports improved user experience: The very nature of optimising a website for SEO involves creating a better experience for your users through improved content, better linking structures and technical improvements.
- SEO achieves more clicks than PPC: Whilst PPC adverts are positioned above organic listings on the results page, the average CTR (Click Through Rate) for organic listings across the board is higher for organic listings. The average CTR for the top organic listing is 39.8% however this drops significantly for the top paid advert, which has a CTR of just 2.1%.
The benefits of PPC
- Immediate results: The biggest benefit of PPC is that the results are immediate – once your advertising campaign is confirmed, your ads will be shown to users searching for the keywords you’re bidding on. This can be great for a short-term campaign or when your business needs an immediate boost.
- ROI (Return on Investment) is easy to measure: You can very easily see with a PPC campaign what the outcomes were, so ROI is easy to measure. It is also easier to track performance in real time.
- More control: With PPC, you can see in almost real time what is working and what can be improved. Budget can be moved instantly around adverts, so you can be sure that your campaign is always well optimised in real time.
- You can be specific: With PPC you can control where your ads are shown, who can see them and when.
So then, which is best for my brand or business, SEO or PPC?
Whether PPC or SEO is best for your brand depends on many factors including budget, industry competition, and your business goals. For most businesses, we find that the best overall results come when SEO and PPC work in tandem. With PPC being used to support your website visibility whilst you’re improving your organic performance.
The PPC and SEO teams here at Low&Behold work closely together to ensure the best search engine marketing approach for your business and customers. Get in touch with us and we can make a start on improving your visibility across search engines.