There’s plenty of debate as to which of these two popular marketing methods is better than the other. In reality, both SEO AND PPC are essential to online marketing visibility, and they complement each other nicely. Though the two work hand in hand, I believe one is ultimately superior. Below, I will compare some pros and cons, and test their strengths and weaknessness against each other. The last one standing will be declared the winner of my Bimo Belt and be used primarily in my campaigning endeavors!
Pay-per-Click is about a lot more than money. But never forget, the first word is PAY. While a PPC campaign can deliver traffic with relative ease, it can be very costly and has no real longevity — once you stop paying, the traffic goes away. ALso you have to pay for every click whether it gets you business or not. Since you are paying for every click and every ad impression, you are always paying, and this cost keeps rising with increasing competition for the same spot or the same keyword.
SEO and link building require a lot more creative effort but have much more sustainable results. You also don’t need much if any capital to start up at all. Just start writing! Once your website has been optimized, backlinked, and attains a higher ranking naturally, your traffic is practically free. After that you just need to maintain your position. The fact is there is more weight and visibility on a search engine listing than an ad. Page one, rank one can be accomplished in many ways but the only required investment is effort.
SEO is a long term investment. It’s quite the grind to the number one spot for competetive terms. It can take years in some verticals. Once done properly, though it’s not easily shaken or undone. Search engine users trust naturally appearing links more; after all that is what the majority go to a search engine for. When given a choice between the natural result of their search and “sponsored” or PPC links, search engine users opt for organic results almost every time!
PPC doesn’t require lots of time and effort: do your keyword research, choose your ad partners, and get your money ready. The results are immediate. You can start getting traffic within minutes in some cases. Because it is a quick, low maintenace method, PPC is an ideal supplement to more protracted, complicated marketing, like SEO. If your facing a timecrunch or deadline, PPC can get you quality leads quickly, but the fact is: you can do better.
SEO is a deeper science. There is more to learn from it than PPC. Doing SEO research uncovers incredible amounts of intelligence on specific terms, searchers, demographics, products, industries and more. You are forced to improve conversions for each keyword search, and have almost unlimited options modify your campaign and raise the ROI. SEO keeps your website in good condition, from content to user experience, and gives you more insight into the minds of your potential clients.
Search engine users prefer naturally appearing links. SEO targets a larger base of users as most studies reveal that 75 – 80% of searchers click on organic listings as opposed to paid listings. Most search engine users don’t pay much attention to pay-per-click ads that appear along with the natural search results because they think the links that pay to appear don’t have the relevant information on them (and that’s why they needed to pay). In most of the cases banners that appear on content-rich websites too don’t generate many clicks because people are more interested in consuming the actual content on the web page.
An aware user knows that links get higher, natural rankings from search engine algorithms because they are relevant. Since they prefer and trust the search engine they use, they normally show more interest in links that appear with higher rankings than ads that appear in the PPC sections.
It’s pretty clear which of the two I prefer. I am a details oriented, analytic individual though. I have nothing against PPC. I believe it is a versatile and necessary tool for internet advertising just like social media marketing. If you have the budget for it, I urge you incorporate PPC into your campaigns and gauge it’s results for yourself. PPC is amazing for short term goals, but strategic SEO and link building is the ideal for long term online marketing efforts.
*The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of it’s writer and not necessarily reflective of Bimo Marketing.*