SEO vs. PPC: Which One Do You Need?

Which is a better way to find customers through your business website: search engine optimization (SEO) or pay-per-click advertising (PPC)? Ask that question and you will find that there are many different passionate opinions and viewpoints out there – not just amongst web designers and online marketing professionals, but even within groups of business owners themselves.

But which group is right? Before we can get to that answer, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each argument…

What You Need to Know About SEO

Proponents of organic search engine optimization will tell you that it’s more cost-effective over time to have customers find you in Google’s “normal” search listings than it is to pay for ad space. They’ll also tell you that a very low percentage of prospects actually click on paid ads, and that PPC can get to be expensive very quickly.

There are a lot of merits to that argument, of course. PPC does entail spending money while organic search marketing doesn’t cost you anything on a per-visit basis. And, a good search ranking for a high-traffic keyword can keep customers coming to you week after week for years. Google currently processes around 5 billion searches per day. Who wouldn’t want a healthy slice of that traffic coming to their website?

Some Things to Remember About PPC

PPC fans point out that while organic SEO tends to be slow and cumbersome, paid search ads can be set up within minutes. Not only that, but they allow you to choose the traffic you want to receive. So, your campaigns can become more and more efficient over time as you hone in on your ideal audience.

Additionally, you can make changes to your PPC campaigns on the fly, testing new messages, search terms, and landing pages based on new inspirations or hard analytic data. Plus, some surveys suggest that PPC traffic converts into leads and sales at a higher rate. In other words, people tend to click on paid ads when they are looking for real solutions rather than window shopping for information.

The downside of PPC advertising, of course, is that you are paying for each and every click to your website. However, if your campaigns are structured properly, those clicks can be a lot cheaper than you might think.

The Bottom Line on SEO vs. PPC

When you’ve been in the web design business as long as we have, you quickly learn that there is room for both SEO and PPC in a profitable online marketing campaign. Choosing between them is like deciding whether you need food or water. Either answer is going to be incomplete.

SEO and PPC do different things. They also happen to work well together. Many of our clients use PPC to test keywords and messages for their SEO campaigns, and then keep them running for specific groups of buyers. That lets them devote time, energy, and money to longer-term SEO campaigns that show a bigger ROI but aren’t as responsive to new market conditions.

If you get too hung up on the SEO vs. PPC debate, the chances are good that you’re going to miss the bigger opportunity that’s right in front of you.

Get the Online Marketing Advice You Need

At Black Door Creative in Rhode Island, we take a unique approach to web design and online marketing. That’s because we don’t force our philosophy on to you, but instead find out what works for your business and then develop commonsense solutions to the challenges you’re facing.

So, no matter what business you’re in or what kind of budget you have to work with, we would love to talk to you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about our capabilities.

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