SEO vs. PPC: Selecting The Right Method for Business

iMac desktop SEO & PPC

In the age of digitalization, the rules of conducting businesses have changed. Though the core concepts are still followed, the method of conducting a business online has its own sets of rules and success factors to be considered. The two most lucrative methods used to market digital content are search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC).


Search engine optimization is a process that is used extensively to optimize a website so that it performs better on search engine results. This comprises ranking and other parameters considered important by your target audience. SEO displays a cumulative result that is crucial to establishing the reputation of a website.


Pay per click, on the other hand, is another mode of advertising where advertisers pay you a fee every time their ad is clicked upon. The concept is very simple – you are required to allow the posting of ads on your website and you will be paid for it each time a person who is browsing through your website clicks on it.


Entrepreneurs are constantly confused about choosing one of the two options to promote their business. We will be exploring some advantages and disadvantages of each of these methods to help you understand their functions and make the right decision for your business.


Advantages of SEO and PPC

In this section, we will throw some light on how your business can benefit from using SEO and PPC methods by exploring the advantages of each of them.


SEO Benefits

Co-workers discussion SEO benefits

Brand Awareness

Better search results will lead to better brand visibility. Brands that are more popular in their ranking are sought after by consumers when they shop for various products and services. A better result helps in building reliability for your brand, thereby carving out an identity that consumers are aware of.


Greater Organic Traffic

Organic traffic is a term used to refer to the number of visitors viewing your website page when they are searching for a particular product or service. While they may not have used a specific brand name in the search bar, a general query like ‘best shampoo for dry hair’ may pop up your website on the top if you cater to the hair care business.


Using keywords is a great way to improve organic traffic on your website and attract consumers to try out your business offering.


High Return on Investment

SEO is an effective tool for increasing awareness, generating business leads and creating a long-term strategy to address your marketing needs. It helps you to keep a tab on website traffic and social media engagement to determine what consumers are looking for and improve your offering. This creates economies of scale in the long run by minimizing your cost and maximizing returns.


Clear Segmentation

Potential consumers use search engines to type specific search requirements. This is a more successful approach for you because your products and services can get listed in the forefront. In digital marketing, there are no visibility problems as in traditional marketing where your listing may get lost in the sea of other advertisements.


Creates Credibility

People are more likely to trust your website if it appears among the top search results. A high page ranking translates to a better business reputation and can get you more consumers.


PPC Benefits

keyboard and mouse on desk

Total Control

The best advantage of using PPC is that you get to have full control over your marketing campaign. You can choose the keywords and direct your placements based on your target group and business requirements. If you see it generating positive results then you can easily ramp-up your campaign or vice-versa. You also have the option to modify an existing ad and try out new tests every day.


Trackable and Measurable

PPC advertising campaigns are easy to track and measure by using the AdWords tool along with Google Analytics. This will enable you to check performance parameters like the number of clicks, conversions and impressions. The stats are readily available and show you the campaign performance and traffic based on your campaign.


Requires Less Planning

There is no limit to when you can start exploring PPC. While SEO requires meticulous planning much in advance, PPC can be opted for at the last minute if you feel the need for it. You also get an opportunity to advertise your product to people who are not aware of your products and services.


Blends with Other Marketing Channels

The PPC tool can be used in tandem with other marketing channels that you may be using in order to promote your business to potential consumers. Content marketing is a popular marketing tool that is used to create lucrative content about a product or a service with the objective of attracting the target audience. Using AdWords is a great way of keeping people engaged on your website even if they have no buying intention.


Contribution to Business Goals

Whether you are looking to expose your brand on a large scale or inform people about an e-commerce sale, PPC helps you fulfill your requirements. It is a very powerful tool that can align website traffic to meet your business goals. This will help you support your sales targets and plan future supply requirements by analyzing the present demand.


Disadvantages of SEO and PPC

While SEO and PPC both have their share of benefits, they also come with certain limitations which may or may not affect the marketing campaign that you have established for your business.


Cons of Using SEO

Google homepage on laptop screen

Slower Results

The biggest drawback of using SEO to address your business needs is that it takes a long time to give you the desired results. The process of getting your content indexed by search engines could range from a few hours to a few weeks. Thus, this technique may not work for you if you have not planned your marketing strategy in advance.

Limited Control

Using SEO services do not give you full control over the marketing campaign. The statistics are decided by the algorithms run by Google and any interference could lead to an adverse effect on the desired results. You also have no control over the magnitude of website traffic that your campaign will generate or the kind of traffic that you will get from your SEO results.


No Guarantee for Results

Just because you have opted for an SEO campaign does not mean that your brand will be displayed among the top results of the first page. This is a huge blow as most consumers do not search beyond the first page of a search engine result. SEO marketing provides no guarantee of providing you with a top spot by using a few targeted keywords.


Longer Time for ROI

SEO marketing campaigns take a longer time to generate favorable results, unlike PPC. This leads to slower market awareness that takes an even longer time to increase revenue. Hence, this method may not prove to be the best one for smaller businesses who are looking to create rapid awareness and start generating income to cater to the operational needs of their businesses.


Requires Expert Aid

Not everyone can run and manage an SEO campaign. It requires a thorough knowledge of its working and its ability to generate results. This does not make it a free marketing tool and you will need to enlist the help of experts in the field to create and monitor your campaign which will lead to additional cost for your business.


Cons of Using PPC

coworkers discussing cons of using PPC

Temporary Listing Results

Though PPC helps to create faster results when compared to an SEO campaign, these results are temporary and fade away as soon as your budget dries up. This strongly affects the recall value and constant awareness that consumers are directed to. If there is nothing to remind consumers about your presence constantly then it will reflect badly on your online presence and subsequently on your profits.


Fewer Clicks

Advertisements can be really annoying when they pop up on the section that a consumer is reading. This makes them dismiss most ads without so much as a second glance at them. For a business, this would prove to be detrimental as your efforts to increase consumer awareness are going for a toss. At the same time, people prefer to click on results generated through an organic search rather than an ad that has been displayed when not required.


Market Dynamics

The market is constantly changing due to the ever-changing needs and demands of consumers and due to the entrance of competitors. While competition pushes a business to do better, it also creates new fads continuously. This makes it important for you to keep changing your ads and campaign themes frequently. You need to monitor your advertisements continuously and take additional measures to keep up with the competition.


Needs Professional Guidance

Since competition has sped up the need to generate faster results, you will need to enlist the help of a professional consultant who is in this business. Campaigns and ads need constant monitoring and changes and it has thus become mandatory to have someone look after your digital marketing campaign to help you focus on your immediate business requirements. Professional services come with a fee which will need to be borne by your business.


Higher Advertising Costs

Pay per click advertising bids can prove to be costly especially if you get into a bidding war with your competitor. While PPC ads have many benefits and are cost effective when compared to an SEO marketing campaign, you may end up with unwanted expenses in your income statement just to keep the competition in check.


SEO or PPC — What Works?

Man looking at iPad mini

Businesses are often left with a tough choice to make when it comes to deciding which online promotion tool is to be used to address the needs of the business and improve visibility on the internet. This decision can be made easy by deciding on a few factors like the size of your business, competition, the funds available for marketing and the duration of your business goals.


If you are looking for a short-term marketing campaign then a PPC campaign may be the best option. It gives you complete control over your marketing campaign and has the potential to attract more consumers than what you may have targeted. This strategy is also suited to small and niche businesses with limited competition. Your business will be displayed at the top automatically since there are not many businesses who provide your products or services.


Large businesses, on the other hand, require detailed planning and execution when it comes to their marketing campaigns since their product or service range is already huge and requires many consumers to utilize them continuously. There is generally a lot of competition from other big names in the industry. Since business giants are not limited by capital, they can afford to spend a little extra on their campaigns. An SEO-focused approach would work best for such establishments as they need to strengthen their hold over the digital market and maintain a higher rate of supply.


It is also possible to derive the benefits of both SEO and PPC marketing campaigns by using them symbiotically. You can easily use data generated from one source to help you with the other. You can also increase your brand visibility by means of PPC ads and organic search for highly used keywords.


Optimizing Solutions

Google phone optmizing home page

While businesses have recognized the need for embracing modern technological solutions to address their business needs, a cost analysis has also made the digital world more favorable for businesses when compared to traditional instruments like newspaper and billboard advertisements.


Many businesses are now considering an integrated approach of several online marketing tools to cater to the needs of their business and generate more revenue along with acquiring a large consumer base. SEO and PPC are probably the most potent solutions in helping them achieve their business needs. Considering the advantages of using each of these tools separately and in unison will help you solve your digital presence woes and optimize your products or services.