SEO vs. PPC with The Web Guys

It’s the age-old digital marketing question – should you be focusing on search engine optimization or pay-per-click advertising – and it’s a doozy. Yes, it would be great if some kind of marketing guru could provide you with a definitive answer that could put all your doubts to rest. But like so many conundrums of this kind, the answer has to come from within. Let’s do a bit of soul-searching.

Touching on the Basics

We turn to SEO to help our web pages rank higher on those search results we don’t pay for, which helps to ensure that our content is not only relevant but also high quality. While optimizing your SEO takes effort, it won’t cost you anything in terms of your digital marketing budget. PPC advertising, on the other hand, is designed to get your online ads in the right hands at the right time, and you pay for each click.

Which is the right path for you? That depends on a wide range of variables that include all the following:

  • Your marketing budget
  • Your marketing goals
  • Your marketing priorities
  • Your overall resources, including your ability to dominate your SEO

The two forms of marketing certainly aren’t mutually exclusive, and although it might sound like a cop-out, the best approach often requires a melding of both. Ultimately, optimizing your website includes optimizing your SEO, which means that turning your back on SEO isn’t going to do you any favors. As such, striking a balance between SEO and PPC is typically the name of the game.

Getting a Handle on the Search Landscape

Today’s search engines, including everyone’s favorite, Google, offer a whole lot of features that are designed to provide seekers with the answers they’re looking for – along with the tools they need to keep digging.

Some of the primary features that make Google such a gold mine include:

  • Search tools, including related searches
  • Featured snippets
  • Images and videos
  • Carousels
  • Ads
  • Top news stories
  • Maps
  • Organic listings

Each of these is an avenue for exploration that can render untold riches for intrepid search marketers. From here, we’ll take a deeper dive into SEO vs. PPC.

What SEO Has Going for It

What does SEO offer that PPC does not? That’s a great question for which there are a lot of great answers, including:

  • When your targeted keywords gain visibility in Google Search, it helps drive consumer awareness of your business, which is what you’re going for.
  • The more prevalent you become on Google Search, the more recognized your brand becomes, which is a hallmark of consumer trust and which – in turn – drives business.
  • Showing up organically in a search elevates credibility, and no one has to tell you how important your business’s online credibility is.
  • When it comes to SEO, there are a lot of opportunities to explore, and finding your niche can bolster your brand and online standing in highly effective ways.
  • Concerted SEO efforts generate reviews, and consumers live and buy by authentic reviews. In other words, well-considered SEO can help polish your reputation.
  • Content SEO helps generate website traffic, and website traffic equals exposure, which is undeniably the most important step in the march toward sales.

It’s important to note that while there is no specific charge in relation to SEO, it takes effort on your part, which translates to an investment of time or money – or both. Polishing your SEO over time allows you to build on that investment and parlay it into business-bolstering outcomes for considerably less than you would pay per click.

What PPC’s Got Going On

The primary advantage of PPC advertising is its laser-like focus. You can target your paid ads in relation to a number of variables that include all the following:

  • By search keywords
  • By audience
  • By location
  • By time of day and by day of the week

This affords a lot more fine-tuning than you’re going to get with SEO.

The Speed of Advertising

Creating an SEO portfolio that works for you takes a considerable amount of time and effort, but you can have a PPC ad up and running in a flash. When heading to search means time to buy, PPC advertising packs a real punch.

Hard to Ignore

With PPC ads, searchers are going to see you. While this doesn’t mean they’re going to click on your ad or that it will mean much at all in the moment, that guaranteed exposure can be worth its weight in gold.

Targeted Exposure

PPC ads are paid advertisements, which means that you are in the driver’s seat in terms of your message, site links, pricing, bullet points, how your customers can connect, and more. Your imagination and marketing know-how are the limit when it comes to PPC, which allows you to paint on a much broader canvas.

Budgeting Options

There is no denying that PPC ads can get very costly very quickly, but you have complete control over your budget. Google allows you to set a daily-spend cap, which means there won’t be any nasty surprises in relation to cost. If you’re running a small business in a relatively small area with a relatively short list of keywords, PPC can be surprisingly effective and affordable.

Not an Either-Or Proposition

In the end, it’s not a matter of whether you’re team SEO or Team PPC. Instead, it’s all about finding balance, which comes down to considering the variables that are most in line with your business goals and going from there. Businesses are almost universally well advised to blend the two genres of advertising to find their own sweet spots.

Find Your Advertising Groove with a Digital Marketing Pro

At The Web Guys, we understand how challenging it can be to find the right digital marketing path for your unique company, but we’re here to help you strike the right balance by making the most of both your marketing budget and your SEO efforts. You don’t have to sacrifice one for the other, and if you reach out and contact or call us at 317-805-4933, we’ll help show you the way.