The title of this article is PPC vs SEO, and that’s purely because that’s the misconception that many businesses have. They believe that only one or the other will be effective in garnering results, and end up completely neglecting the other. No one is saying that you should exhaust yourself trying to do both, but sticking to only one is not the best tactic. Each has the potential to help your business show up at the top of search engine listings, but for different reasons.

Let’s look at the differences between the two, and what benefits they offer.

At its core, PPC is a type of paid advertising, while SEO is an organic ranking strategy. PPC involves a bigger financial investment, but can get you results faster. SEO, on the other hand, costs significantly less, but will take much more time to see results.

Each of these strategies can be implemented at different points in your business campaign and for different reasons.

First of all, consider what you competitors are doing, because that’s always a great way to understand what you need to be focusing on, and where you need to be excelling. If you find that many of your competitors have started running PPC campaigns, that would be your cue to start your own PPC marketing campaign, so that you’re not stuck playing catch up. The cost of keywords is based almost entirely on how many businesses are bidding on them, and how often they’re being searched. If your competitors are running PPC campaigns, the precious keywords that you’re both fighting for are likely to be expensive. The longer you spend deciding, the higher those prices go up. That’s why it’s better to jump in the game as soon as possible.

Also, you may find yourself increasing your PPC budget as you go, increasing your funding as your success grows. Generally, this is how PPC works, because lucrative campaigns allow you to build bigger campaigns with more desirable keywords. It’s best to prepare yourself for this growth when starting up a campaign, and to anticipate it going forward.

When building a PPC campaign, you’re in the unique position of being able to choose your own budget, which will be allocated throughout the course of the campaign. When we said that PPC involves a greater financial commitment, this is what we were talking about. With SEO, you generally pay an agency a set amount, and receive a certain quality of result in return. With PPC, there’s no guarantee about the quality of result. Rather, certain keywords are guaranteed to be clicked more frequently, and consequently are more expensive. Generally, you want to spread out your budget so that you can spend at least ten dollars a day, and depending on your industry, that number may be higher. Based on what your budget and daily spending limit is, you can then determine how long of a campaign you’ll be able to run.

The cost of a PPC campaign may have very much to do with the industry in which you operate, as certain keywords and industries have a higher cost-per-click average. Highly competitive industries, such as automotive, technology, etc., are likely to have higher CPC averages, thus costing your business more money for a campaign, and making it more difficult to acquire a profit. When the anticipated cost is higher than the anticipated profit, SEO may be a better option. It will take longer to garner these results, but they’ll come at a fraction of the price.

Another factor to consider is how much time you’re willing to invest in the process, and not just in terms of how long the campaign will be, but how much time will be spent on it per day. SEO is more of a long term game, requiring you to produce relevant content, disseminate it across the web, and to repeat this process over and over again. There are faster ways to do SEO, but this is the most reliable. If you’re doing SEO in conjunction with PPC, or if you have time to spare, or even if you have so much work power that you can condense the time needed to do it, SEO is an extremely powerful strategy to utilize.

However, if you’re looking for quick results with minimum effort required, PPC is the way to go. Not only can it bring you to the top of search engine listings, accomplishing what SEO is supposed to do, but it can also show you how your work is being received by your target audience, in the form of detailed metrics, statistics, and conversion results. Both Bing and Google offer the tools to examine and understand these metrics, and are extremely helpful in determining what return you’re getting on your investment.

SEO and PPC can also have an effect on the client base which you accumulate, and the speed at which you do so. If you’re looking to build a long term client base, SEO is the way to do this. It ensure that consumers are finding your business organically, knowing full well that your search engine rating has to do with the quality of your content and work, and your ability to perform as a business. PPC, on the other hand, is better for quickly getting the word out, such as when you’re orchestrating a flash sale, or looking to quickly acquire a large number of customers. Because PPC is paid advertising, it appears more regularly in search engine listings, and is likelier to be seen when you need it to be seen. This can result in consumers finding out about your business and contacting you immediately. While the stigma is that these may be ‘lower-end’ clients, it’s up to your business to convert them into long term customers.

After figuring out what the average CPC will be, consider how competitive the Search Engine Results Page is for your industry. The problem with SERPs is that certain businesses will have the top spots and are likely to stay there, just given how much money, time, and work they put into it on a daily basis. As a smaller business, your chances of ‘dethroning’ them are pretty slim. They’ve probably been doing SEO for much longer than you have, and trying to beat them at it could mean lots of lost investment on your end. In cases like these, PPC is likelier to get you the results that you’re looking for, albeit at a higher investment.

Ideally, your business should be engaging in both PPC and SEO marketing, as both of these are key ways to build the success of your business. Most businesses do use both, and find that the combination allows them to try out new methods and attack every angle. Before jumping in with huge investment, it’s best to try both out, to see which works better for your industry and your needs, and which is more manageable. At the end of the day, it’s all about what’s best for your business.

So whether you choose SEO, PPC, or both, make sure to do it right.

Give us a call today to see how the Rush Ventures can help you!

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