PPC vs SEO: How Do You Know When Each Method Is Best?
Two powerful marketing methods promote your business and bring your products or services closer to your customers: pay-per-click (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO). Let’s find out which is best, considering the following:
- Advantages and disadvantages of SEO
- Advantages and disadvantages of PPC
Before hiring an expert Chicago PPC agency, determine which strategy is best. Let's go!
If you want to learn how Digital Authority Partners can increase your PPC effectiveness, watch this video!
Advantages of SEO
SEO helps businesses place higher in search results, attract more website visitors, and eventually increase revenue. Remember the following advantages as you develop a digital marketing campaign strategy:
1. Affordable Digital Marketing Strategy
SEO is an affordable digital marketing strategy that requires no significant financial investment. Some upfront costs may be involved, especially when hiring an SEO agency or purchasing tools to optimize a website, but the ongoing costs are relatively lower than paid advertising.
Additionally, the benefits of a well-developed SEO strategy can continue to generate traffic and revenue over time without additional investment. SEO targets specific keywords and demographics to reach desired audiences without incurring costs related to broader marketing strategies.
2. Targeted Sales Funnel Customers
Customers move through a sales funnel, which visually represents their journey from awareness to action. SEO can effectively target customers at different stages of the funnel because it optimizes website content and structure for specific search queries and user intent.
- Top-of-the-funnel: Customers may search for general information about a product or service. Using relevant keywords and helpful content that answers customers’ questions, businesses can attract customers to their websites, show their products and services, or promote their brands.
- Middle-of-the-funnel: Customers may consider options and compare different products or services. Businesses can position their brands as preferred options by providing detailed product descriptions, reviews, and comparison guides. This helps consumers make informed decisions.
- Bottom-of-the-funnel: Customers may be ready to purchase or take a specific action (download or signup). By optimizing their website for transactional keywords and providing clear calls-to-action (CTAs), businesses make it easier for customers to complete a desired action and convert.
3. Stability of Search Traffic
When properly implemented, SEO offers search traffic stability because it improves a website's visibility in organic search results. With SEO, a website's search engine ranking combines relevance, quality, and authority, which can take time to build but provide long-lasting benefits.
By using a well-executed SEO strategy, businesses increase their chances of ranking higher in search results for relevant keywords and attracting consistent, high-quality traffic to their website. This is a stable source of traffic and revenue that is less susceptible to fluctuations in competition or budget.
4. Promotion of Brand Authority
SEO promotes brand authority by helping businesses establish a strong online presence and demonstrate expertise. Optimization improves a website's ranking for relevant keywords. When a website appears at the top of search results for a particular keyword, it shows that it is a trusted and authoritative source of information.
High-quality and informative content also builds customer trust and credibility, which increases brand loyalty and positive recommendations.
Disadvantages of SEO
Alternatively, using SEO in digital marketing has some disadvantages. Take note of the following before creating your marketing campaigns:
1. Frequent Search Algorithm Changes
The digital market is constantly changing, leading to search algorithm changes. Marketers must continually adapt their SEO strategies to keep up with the latest best practices and algorithm updates and maintain their rankings.
Search engines, such as Google, regularly update their algorithms to improve the relevance and quality of their search results. These updates impact a website's search engine ranking, affecting traffic. By following SEO best practices, businesses can ensure that their websites remain relevant and valuable, regardless of algorithm updates.
2. Non-Stop Optimization Required
Marketers may consider consistent optimization a tedious aspect of SEO because it requires ongoing effort and attention to detail. SEO is a continuing process that requires regular optimization and monitoring, including keyword research, on-page optimization, link building, and content creation.
Consistent optimization can be time-consuming and require a significant investment of resources. But constant optimization is critical to effective SEO. By regularly updating and improving website content and optimization strategies, businesses can improve their search engine visibility and attract more organic traffic over time.
3. Results Take Time To Show
SEO can take a long time, usually around three to six months, because search engines use complex algorithms to determine search rankings. As we mentioned earlier, these algorithms are constantly changing and evolving. It can take some time for search engines to recognize and index the changes made to the website.
Building high-quality backlinks to a website can also take time, as it often involves reaching out to other websites and building relationships with webmasters or content creators. It can also take time for search engines to recognize and value these backlinks, affecting the website's ranking.
Advantages of PPC
PPC advertising in digital marketing helps marketers target specific audiences, produces quick results, and is flexible for various campaigns. By partnering with an expert Chicago PPC agency, businesses can drive traffic and conversions and control their advertising spend. Here are the advantages of PPC:
1. Quick Results
Expect quick results with PPC because ads are displayed to a specific audience that is actively searching for their products or services. This means that the ads have the potential to generate immediate clicks and conversions.
PPC campaigns are set up quickly and launched within a matter of hours. Compared to SEO strategies, businesses can start seeing results almost immediately, whereas SEO can take months to generate traffic and results.
2. Appearance above Organic Results
PPC ads appear above organic search results in a special section labeled "Ads" or "Sponsored." After businesses bid on keywords related to their products or services, the search engine uses a complex algorithm to determine which ads to display based on relevance, quality, and the amount the business is willing to pay for each click.
Businesses can quickly and easily get their ads in front of potential customers. In addition, since the ads are above the organic search results, they are more visible than organic searches.
3. More Accurate Audience Targeting
Successful PPC campaigns target the right audience and display ads to people searching for their products or services. PPC campaigns use targeting options such as location, demographics, interests, and search intent to ensure the ads display to the right audience.
For example, a business selling women's clothing may target its ads to women in specific age ranges and locations who have shown interest in shopping for clothes.
Disadvantages of PPC
Like SEO, PPC has several disadvantages. Learn about them and see if PPC is the right strategy for your campaigns.
1. Higher Cost of Campaigns
PPC advertising can be costly because businesses must bid on specific keywords related to their products or services. The cost per click (CPC) can vary depending on the competition for those keywords. When many businesses bid on the same keywords, the CPC increases, making it more expensive to display their ads.
Some industries or niches have higher CPCs due to their competitive nature. The cost of creating and managing effective ad campaigns, as well as hiring professionals to help with the process, can also add to the overall cost of PPC.
2. Reduction in Profit Margins
Paid advertising can reduce profit margins because it requires businesses to pay for each click on their ads, regardless of whether or not that click leads to a sale or conversion. Like PPC ad budget bleeding, if a business spends more money on clicks than they earn from sales, its profit margins decrease.
The competition for ad space in PPC increases the CPC, which can further reduce profit margins. Suppose a business is in a highly competitive industry or is targeting popular keywords. In that case, it may need to bid higher amounts to have its ads displayed, which can eat into its profits.
Thus, marketers need an efficient keyword bidding strategy to avoid wasteful spending and increase profits.
3. Easily Outdated Ads
Creating quality ad copy is one of the most crucial steps in crafting PPC ads. However, ad copies can become outdated quickly because they target specific keywords and audiences. Search algorithms and user behavior also change rapidly, thus requiring marketers to regularly update and refresh their ads and targeting strategies.
Ad copies and visuals may also become stale or less relevant as user preferences and trends change. To prevent this, businesses should regularly monitor their metrics and performance and adjust their ad copy, targeting, and visuals.
Businesses must select a PPC agency with proven expertise in content creation. An experienced agency can track ad performance and make on-time changes.
Choosing between PPC and SEO depends on a business’s marketing goals and budget. For quick results and those with a higher allotted budget, PPC might be a better option. SEO can be a good choice for businesses with the time and resources to invest in a long-term strategy.
An experienced Chicago PPC agency recommends using PPC and SEO together. Using both PPC and SEO improves online reach and increases website traffic. PPC can provide insights into which keywords work best, and both strategies can help target the right audience.
Do you want to know how PPC and SEO can change your marketing campaigns forever? Contact Digital Authority Partners (DAP) now to learn how we can help you.
Want To Meet Our Expert Team?
Book a meeting directly here