For businesses and organizations attempting to generate more traffic to their website, two reliable online marketing strategies come to mind — search engine optimization (SEO) or pay-per-click (PPC). SEO and PPC are both reliable marketing strategies for businesses, organizations and web site owners, and they target search engine users. Inbound traffic generated from search engines is incredibly valuable — about 58% of consumers claim to research a product or service on a search engine before buying, which provides qualified leads. SEO and PPC campaigns are a bit different from each other, especially in the way they generate results. So, which approach is better?
Let’s start first with PPC. PPC campaigns allow you to pay for web-traffic by utilizing PPC services through popular websites such as Google, Yahoo and others. These advertising programs enable you to display ads in the sponsored results section of each search engine’s results page (SERP). You pay for these advertisements through flexible fees that are based on how competitive your chosen keyword is. For example, whenever a viewer lands on your website from from your PPC advertisement, the rank and fee for that keyword will increase — hence the label “pay-per-click.” PPC experts use the term “click through rate” to describe the amount of visitors to a website coming from PPC ads. Click through rates for PPC ads with Google are 600 times higher than click through rates for Facebook. They provide fast, short-term and reliable results.
With an SEO campaign, compared to PPC, the process is more long-term, and takes a bit more work and man-power to effectively create and manage. The results from an SEO campaign can take longer to notice when compared to PPC services, too. However, this doesn’t mean that you should shy away from SEO because it’s more involved; market research shows that inbound leads from SEO campaigns, on average, cost 61% lower than outbound leads like cold calling and direct mail. Additionally, SEO features an 11.1% higher closing rate than outbound marketing tactics. SEO works to improve the visibility of a website by creating high quality, and valuable content for both on and off site syndication. This process allows sites like Google and Yahoo to recognize your website as more valuable for its viewers, therefore the organic rankings of your websites significantly improve on the SERP.
So, back to the original question — which approach is better? Well, it all depends on your needs and your marketing budget. If you want more traffic fast, and are willing to pay for it, then PPC might be right for you. But if you’re open to making a long term investment, for future results, it may make more sense to invest in organic rankings through an in-depth SEO campaign. However, you don’t have to pick just one of the two strategies; in fact, a combination of SEO and PPC campaigns can be a very powerful marketing strategy for any business or organization.