26
Oct

Any new client I am consulting always asks me: “What approach should we start out with first?”

So the first thing I would like to say is that there is no first, second or last approach. SEO and PPC are the standard and most powerful traffic generating approaches for your online marketing campaign besides other marketing strategies like social media marketing, video marketing, content marketing and so on..but lets not get into it right now and carry on with our discussion on how to choose between PPC and SEO.

Lets start with a brief understanding of both these approaches. Both these approaches work towards the same goal (generating more traffic) the only difference is the way of achieving it.

SEO VS PPC

SEO VS PPC

SEO – Search engine optimization is building your website traffic using strategic approaches to have a higher ranking in organic search engine results page (SERPs). The major investment in using SEO tactics is your time (of-course money is involved too), and since it takes time for your SEO methodologies to take effect and have higher rankings, SEO is a long term effect. You will need to keep on following the new approaches (changing your in-page and off-page methodologies) towards your SEO marketing to maintain your higher rankings. The higher your SERP rankings high is the number of leads your business is getting and you will realize your efforts are well worth the investment.

PPC – Pay per click marketing is paying directly to the advertiser to display your digital ads on the search engines result pages. CPC – as the name says cost per click is what you will pay every time your ad is clicked. Advertisers bid on the keywords they want to target on their niche to get a spot on the sponsored results. The most common platforms to have your sponsored results displayed are Google, Yahoo, Facebook and Bing.

Comparing both the approaches:

SEO

PPC

Position on SERP

Displayed with all the other organic listing on the main body of the page. There will be a lots or related search results (mostly your competition) displayed based on the search engine’s algorithm, the search query and your strategic SEO approaches used.

These results might not be filtered based on the location until and unless specified. There may be no guaranty on the position/ranking of your website.

Displayed on the top or the right of the search page’s body with “Sponsored Results”, “Ads” or “Promoted” written.

The background color will be different from the background color of the body to make them stand out. There will be no guaranty for top ranking on PPC either, but the results displayed here might be filtered out based on the keyword bid for, location, timing selected.

Budgeting

The ongoing cost of SEO consultant (if you are hiring one) which can include your initial website setup, implementing SEO strategies and continuous maintenance of those strategies. There is no cost associated with choosing targeted keywords by SEO.

Spending around a $1000 per month on your SEO approach, getting higher rankings in SERPs will keep on generating lots of free to your website. But you need to keep in consideration that more leads will pop in only if you have higher rankings, websites with lower SERP positions can only manage to get very few leads.

The ongoing cost of PPC consultant (if you are hiring one) plus the cost of the PPC campaign which you will be paying to the ad platform based on the number of clicks and the price of your keywords.

Based on the industry and your keyword your cost on maintaining that campaign may vary.

If your keyword is “Truck Insurance” your average CPC according to Google Keyword Planner tool is $11.22. On average for 100 clicks your cost would be $1122.00. Taking a realistic conversion rate of 5% your cost of one lead is $224.40. Keeping your profit and your cost per lead in consideration, decide if its worth spending this much every month and don’t forget to add the cost of the consultant to this budget.

Expecting Results

With SEO you have to expect at least 3 months for your leads to flow in with regular organic results. If you are a startup business you would not love to spend on advertising while just waiting for 3-4 months for your first online lead to show up.

You might need to keep up with your SEO approaches to maintain higher ranking and have new leads flow in.

With PPC, all you need to do is sign up with a ad publishing platform, chose your industry keywords and have your ad designed (1-2 days). You will have your first ad published as soon as you are done with these simple steps and can expect leads to flow in.

Once you remove your campaign your PPC leads stop (except if your leads have turned in your returning customers – you expect them as your direct leads now)

 Maintenance

Maintaining SEO is maintaining your website and your code. It will be more complex if you don’t have much knowledge about how to manage the code and what to change when needed.

Here you will need to keep up with the new search engine updates and follow the strategies accordingly to maintain your higher rankings.

Maintaining PPC campaign will be easier (easier and not easy) compared to maintaining a website. All you have to manage here is your ad campaign and your keywords.

Here you will not need to keep up the new search engine updates, all you will need to do to maintain higher rankings in sponsored results is to bid higher on your keywords and you stay on top.

Reading the above points you would have now figured out that SEO is more of a strategic approach while PPC is a more tactical approach. So talking realistically is not about deciding between SEO or PPC, instead its more worthwhile when both the approaches are incorporated in your internet marketing strategies.

Advise: If you are a small business owner and are trying to manage your own SEO or PPC, always keep a track of your approaches and your campaigns. If you realize your efforts are not yielding your expected results it never to late to hire a consultant.

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