SEO or PPC? Choosing the Best Option

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Online marketing has two main pillars: search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC). They are very important marketing tools to boost traffic on any website.

These strategies can be used in synergy or in isolation, depending on your marketing budget and client requirements.

But to make the best choice, it is necessary to understand both of these marketing tools. Only then can you maximize your ROI and results.

Here are the various features of SEO and PPC to help you make the best choice.

SEO Pros

  1. The biggest advantage of using SEO is that it is free, that is, if you are doing it yourself. Even if you hire help, you can generally do SEO with a small marketing budget.
  2. Organic search results are seen as more authentic and trustworthy.
  3. With the use of the right keywords, you can get the desired visibility and reach amongst your target audience.
  4. The click-through rate is much better with organic search results. More users will automatically click on the first organic search result rather than paid ads.
  5. If you want to create long-term brand value, then SEO is the best choice.
  6. The return on investment (ROI) from SEO is more consistent and sustainable.
  7. Backlinks, blogging, and on-page optimization help give your website more sustainable growth.

SEO Cons

  1. One major con of SEO is that search engines’ algorithms keep changing. Every time that happens, websites can lose their rankings.
  2. Another major disadvantage of SEO is that it will not fetch results overnight. It will take much longer before your website starts ranking at the top.
  3. SEO needs constant content management, which requires time and expertise.

PPC Pros

  1. The biggest advantage of using PPC is that you will always get one of the top positions for your advertisements. In Google ads, the top four positions are fixed for paid ads.
  2. It is one of the best ways to increase the visibility of the brand.
  3. You have more control and analytics when you use PPC. You get in-depth information on your ad campaign with the help of Google Analytics.
  4. PPC may be a better choice for ecommerce websites as the option of displaying visual ads is available.
  5. Location-based customer targeting is possible with paid ads.
  6. It is better to use PPC if you want immediate results from your ad campaign.
  7. To promote offers with an expiration date, it is best to use PPC.

PPC Cons

  1. The biggest disadvantage of PPC is that if you have a small marketing budget, then PPC may be too expensive. The cost of running ads over a period of time will be much more than using SEO.
  2. There is a lot of information and analysis available when you use Google Analytics and Google Adwords. But putting that information to use will require expertise and time, which means that there is a steep learning curve.
  3. Another con of PPC is that the ROI is lower than that from SEO.

Time to Choose

Now, that you have seen both the pros and cons of SEO and PPC, it makes choosing between the two easier.

But in an ideal scenario, if you have a large enough marketing budget, then it is best to start with PPC and meanwhile work on your SEO for consistent and organic growth. You can use both of these strategies to get maximum results.

If you want to learn more about SEO and PPC, then check out this infographic by SpyFu.

SEO or PPC Which to Choose INFOGRAPHIC 1

Image courtesy: SpyFu

Zac Harris is the Director of SEO at SpyFu. He is passionate about scaling companies and testing all things SEO.