SEO vs PPC: Which One Should You Use to Meet Your Business Needs?

seo and ppc management
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Digital marketing becomes more important for business success with each passing year. Ecommerce is projected to be worth $4.9 trillion by 2021. That’s the gross domestic product of several countries, combined. 

With digital marketing being so important, it’s understandable that it’s such an enormous industry. Not all marketing services are created equal, either. 

Marketing should never be boilerplate or generic. It should be tailor-made for each specific business. Your business is unique, and so are your goals. 

Your marketing strategy should reflect this. That means knowing what you’re hoping to achieve. It also requires knowing what marketing services and techniques are out there. 

We’re going to take a look at two of the most popular digital marketing trends, to help you figure out which approach is best for your needs. Continue reading to learn how to make the most of SEO and PPC management! 

Your Guide To SEO and PPC Management

Digital marketing is such a huge field that every branch could require its own degree. The first step in understanding SEO and PPC management is understanding the difference between the two. 

What Is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s the branch of digital marketing that helps your website get found. 

SEO is made up of two main categories. On-page SEO is the content of each individual page of your website. It’s predominantly comprised of keywords and technical considerations, like headers and sitemaps. 

Off-page SEO is predominantly made up of backlinks to your website. It’s also known as “off-site SEO.” 

Sounds simple, right? It is, but it’s also not nearly as cut-and-dried as all of that. Both on-page and off-page SEO are enormous disciplines in their own right. Each one has its own particulars, its rules and regulations it must adhere to. 

Off-page SEO largely depends upon the quality of backlinks to determine ranking, for instance. Google employs a fantastically complicated algorithm to determine these rankings. 

Benefits Of SEO

61% of marketers state that improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top priority. That’s well more than a majority. Why is SEO so popular with digital marketers?

For one, SEO lets you target the exact audience you’re looking for. To illustrate this point, think about an anonymous circular ad campaign in the past. 

How many ads do you think a company might print? Out of those ads, what do you think the response rate was? Most likely fairly low. 

We’re conjecturing here, but it stands to reason. You’re shooting blind, in the dark. Even worse, every one of those marketing assets costs money to manufacture. Not only are you not making money, but you’re also actually losing it. 

Let’s consider another scenario, to look at another aspect of SEO and why it’s important. Think about telemarketers. How often have you been sitting down to dinner, only to have the phone ring with an unsolicited sales call?

How fond were you of that company after the fact? How would you likely react if you were presented with the option of them or one of their competitors?

Advertising to the wrong people can be worse than no advertising at all. Not only do you not make any sales or conversions, you actually give people bad impressions of your brand. 

SEO is like getting a magic list of phone numbers of people who are looking for your product at that exact moment! How much would that list be worth to your company?

SEO is one of the main cornerstones of inbound marketing. Inbound marketing lets you find a specific audience by creating content around specific keywords. 

SEO also empowers organic search. This is the Holy Grail of digital marketers, as it lasts forever. SEO is the gift that keeps on giving, as you actually build instead of just paying money for ad campaigns. 

Finally, SEO also helps build your brand’s reputation. This is largely due to link building. Having people link to your website shows that you are trustworthy and thought leaders in your industry. 

What Is PPC?

Now let’s learn about PPC. Knowing the difference between the two will help you decide which marketing approach is right for you. 

Start off by imagining a search engine. Imagine you’re looking up a search term. We’ll use ‘PPC and SEO marketing,’ to stay on-topic. 

Do you see the first two results on the search engine results page (SERP)? The ones above the ‘People Also Ask’ section? Those are PPC results. 

PPC stands for ‘pay-per-click.’ They’re digital ads that are served to users looking out relevant search terms. These are handled through digital ad companies. Google Ads are one of the most prevalent, and the ones you’ll see at the top of Google searches. 

PPC ads aren’t restricted to search engines, however. Have you ever seen banner ads on the top or sidebars of websites you’re browsing? Those are PPC ads, as well. 

The reason it’s called ‘pay-per-click’ is the company running the ad agrees to pay a certain amount every time someone clicks through their ads. 

Benefits Of PPC 

PPC advertising has its strengths and advantages, as well. First and perhaps most importantly, PPC is a fast-track to Google’s front page. You simply can’t buy that kind of exposure, otherwise. 

Considering that only .78% of Google searches click on links from the second page. Those aren’t very good odds. It’s prohibitively difficult to get to the first page of the SERPs for most of the popular keywords, as well. 

Climbing the SERP results organically requires SEO. SEO requires time and money. There’s no telling how long it’d take to gather the necessary number of backlinks to hit the Google front page organically. 

PPC also gives you greater control over your advertising, as well. It lets you set your budget, for one thing. It’s a nice way to build your audience for a certain, set amount of expenditure. 

Perhaps PPC’s greatest strength is the ability to see how your marketing materials perform. It offers probably the most in-depth analytics and deepest granular insights of any other marketing tool out there. 

SEO Vs. PPC: Which One’s Right For You?

As we said at the beginning of this article, there is no cut-and-paste marketing solution. Everyone’s marketing needs are different. That means which digital marketing discipline will best help you realize your goal also depends. 

There are a few things you can keep in mind to help you decide which would best serve your needs, however. 

You Have A Unique Product

One of the situations, when PPC makes the most sense, is if you have a unique or innovative product. If you’re building a reputation in an established area, you can use SEO to build your brand and raise brand awareness. 

But what if you’re launching a product that no one’s ever heard of? For instance, how many people were looking up ‘ride-sharing apps’ before Uber launched in 2009?

To put it another way, Henry Ford once said, “If I asked people what they wanted, they’d have said faster horses.” 

If you’re launching a disruptive product or service, PPC advertising can be a major benefit. You might look into PPC advertising for social media, for instance, to find people who might be open to trying out your brand. 

You’re Launching A Product Or Promotion.

PPC is also useful if you’ve got a one-off event or promotion you’re trying to spread the word about. Something like a Kickstarter is one great example of how PPC can help raise awareness of your brand even if your company is brand new. 

It’s also an example of how PPC can be a great investment. You might spend some money on the PPC campaign, but how much of that money will you earn back over time? Considering the fact that a repeat customer is 9 times more likely to make a purchase than a new customer, it wouldn’t take very long at all for that money to pay itself back, with interest.

You’re Promoting Commercial Products

The logic using PPC for commercial products is similar to using it for special products or promotions. The money that you spend on the PPC campaign will pay itself back, over time, in the form of conversions and sales. 

That’s not the only reason you’d want to use PPC to promote a commercial product, however. It’s more challenging to develop commercial products via inbound or content marketing, for one thing. Even SEO can be challenging due to regulations in the media and publishing industries. 

Media and publishing companies have stringent rules around printing sponsored material, and for a good reason. Sponsored materials masquerading as objective science raises some questions about journalistic ethics, for instance. 

It’s hard to get backlinks at this stage of the game, at the best of times. It gets exponentially more difficult when you’re trying to get links for a commercial product. Sponsored content and guest posts are often the only way you can get those links, and that often ends up being quite a bit more expensive than a PPC campaign. 

You Want To Build Lasting Value

We’ve talked a great deal about why you’d want to use PPC. Now let’s take a look at when SEO might be a better pick for your brand. 

Lasting value is probably the biggest reason for choosing SEO vs. PPC. Every dime you spend on SEO is essentially investing in your company’s future. This could be achieved in a number of ways. 

One is creating high-quality content that establishes your brand as a thought leader in your industry. This achieves two goals at the same time. You increase your brand’s reputation while getting invaluable backlinks at the same time. 

Another method would be creating content around specific keywords you’re hoping to rank for. Every piece of content you create helps get your websites higher in the SERP rankings. So much the better if people link back to that content at the same time. 

Ranking Locally 

It’s impossible to overstate the power and importance of local SEO if you’re promoting or selling any kind of physical product or service. Consider the statistic that 76% of mobile users who search for a product or service will visit a physical storefront that same day. 

Considering that 28% of those searches will result in a purchase, you’d be foolish to not work local SEO into your digital marketing strategy. With that kind of conversion rates, you’d be essentially leaving money on the table. 

You Don’t Have To Choose

One of the beautiful things about PPC vs. SEO is you don’t have to choose just one! The two work marketing disciplines work absolutely beautifully together. 

For example, say you start with a keyword you’d like to rank for. You might start with some keyword research. You might create some content to rank for that keyword, at the same time. 

That keyword can also be useful for PPC campaigns. You might use that keyword to make some bids for a digital ad network. This will bring in customers looking up those keywords, at the same time. 

Don’t have a product or service you’re trying to sell just yet? You can work with that, as well.

You might run a PPC campaign on a social media network, asking people to opt-in to your newsletter. That way you’ve got a built-in customer base ready and waiting once you launch your commercial products in earnest. 

Whichever route you decide to take, focusing on SEO and PPC will help laster focus your digital marketing efforts. You’ll start to think of campaigns from the top, beginning with your business goals and what you’re hoping to achieve. 

Once you know what you’re trying to do, it’s just a matter of breaking it down into small, actionable steps. You’ll be achieving greater success than you could hope for before you know it! 

Looking For Online Marketing Services?

Who can blame you? Consumers in the United States spent $586.92 billion on ecommerce in 2019. How could you not want to get in on some of that action?

If you’re looking for the best SEO and PPC management you can find, read more about our online marketing services immediately!