SEO or PPC: Which is More Effective?

Big Fish Local

Every business, big or small, has a limit to their digital marketing budget. That means people want to invest where they’ll see the most return on investment.

This leads many of our clients to ask whether it’d be better for them to pay for search engine optimization or run PPC advertising campaigns. 

The answer depends on their circumstances and goals, but in reality, these digital marketing strategies work best when combined together.

What is SEO?

SEO is the name given to a range of techniques designed to boost the ranking of a website according to search engines. 

These techniques include implementing keyword strategy, pursuing content marketing plans, and performing both on and off-site optimization so that the algorithm recognizes the site as reputable.

The purpose of SEO is to raise a website’s position on the search engine results pages when a relevant search term is used. Since the vast majority of search engine users find their answer on the first page of results, this can represent a huge increase in organic traffic.

Search engine traffic is especially desirable as the people clicking through to a company website are already actively looking for the products and services that the business offers.

What are PPC ads?

PPC stands for pay-per-click. This is a kind of internet marketing in which companies pay a fee whenever one of their advertisements is clicked. Rather than earning visits organically through SEO, this is a way of “buying” visits to your website. 

PPC ads commonly feature on search engines. Platforms like Google offer companies the opportunity to bid for ad placement when someone searches for particular keywords. 

If they win this auction and their ad is displayed, then they will pay a small fee every time someone clicks through on it. The idea is that each visit is valuable enough in terms of sales that the cost of the click becomes more than worth it.

SEO or PPC: Which is more effective?

Although both are marketing strategies designed to ultimately boost conversions, SEO and PPC have different short-term objectives that mean they each work better in different conditions.

SEO is considered especially effective for small businesses targeting local searches. It’s an ongoing strategy that will grow your online presence over a longer time period.

On the other hand, PPC ads represent an acquisition strategy. They’re ideal if you want to get visitors to your website quickly, for example if you’re running a time-limited sale.

SEO is the preferred option for people with lower marketing budgets who want to build the authority of their brand and create content for different stages of their sales funnel.

PPC is better when you’re promoting an offer or you want to direct your audience to a sales page for an immediate conversion. If your product is the first of its kind, you can’t wait for someone to search for it to discover it!

How SEO and PPC can work together

PPC campaigns allow you to gather a lot of data that can then be used in your SEO strategy. Each of them can inform the other.

A lot of behind-the-scenes work is required to build a successful PPC campaign: keyword research and landing page setup are just two areas where SEO information would also come in handy!

If you’d like a free consultation with the digital marketing experts at Big Fish Local, contact us today. We’d be delighted to discuss the best methods to grow your particular business.