PPC Vs SEO: Which One Should You Start With?

Helping you make an informed decision

When it comes to making decisions about how best to invest your business budget and resources, there are a few important factors to consider. For many businesses, the decision comes down to two key marketing services: PPC and SEO.

Both of these services can provide a multitude of businesses with the support they need to grow, build brand awareness, increase click-through rate (CTR) and ultimately, boost their monthly revenue. But how do you know where to start?

Diginius have compared PPC and SEO services against each other in this detailed blog, helping businesses, such as yourself, to make an informed decision on their next marketing steps.

What is PPC?

Pay Per Click, or PPC for short, is a method of internet marketing that involves businesses paying a certain fee to advertise their business, services, or products online. Essentially, it is a way in which businesses can pay to get visits on their website, thus increasing their chances of making more sales and conversions.

The different forms of PPC include:

  • Search advertising
  • Display advertising
  • Social media advertising
  • Remarketing
  • Google Shopping

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), on the other hand, is a method of marketing that aims to improve your traffic organically. This means that traffic generated through SEO marketing is free. SEO involves creating optimised content, such as blogs and landing pages, as well as keyword optimisation.

The different forms of SEO include:

  • On-page SEO
  • Off-page SEO
  • Technical SEO
  • Local SEO
  • App store optimisation
  • YouTube optimisation

Both PPC and SEO come with their own advantages and disadvantages. We’ve gone into further detail to give businesses a better understanding of what they can get out of each of these digital services and discover which sounds like the best fit.

Advantages of PPC

There are many advantages of PPC. For example, it offers:

  • Better page positioning – PPC ads dominate search result pages, coming in at the top few places on the page. With around 4 ads on desktop and 3 on mobile, a user will always see paid ads above organic results.
  • Improved advertising – naturally, PPC delivers far more space and opportunity for advertising your services or products. From calls, locations to sitelinks, there are many options for creating eye-catching ads.
  • Visual elements – the modern user often prefers visual advertising as it breaks up text-heavy results. PPC offers businesses with the opportunity to utilise services such as Google Shopping to bring some life to their advertisements.
  • Speed Control – with PPC, you can get almost instant results from your campaigns, as well as detailed metrics showing your bounce rate, time on site, conversion rate as well as the exact keywords that you appear for.

Advantages of SEO

Here are some of the core advantages that you can expect from utilising SEO:

  • Brand awareness – when you optimise your chosen keywords, it allows for greater visibility in search engines, therefore putting you in front of potential customers. Naturally, this also goes hand in hand with increasing brand awareness.
  • Credibility and trust – having your site return plenty of organic results on search engine result pages can help to instil a feeling of trust in users. This perceived credibility with an audience may even cause them to skip ads and trust the organic results instead.
  • Sustainability – the efforts you put into SEO will continue to reap in the benefits, even after you stop investing. This means the initial effort you put in will continue to sustain your business, even when your marketing spend is cut back.

Disadvantages of PPC

Here we have listed the disadvantages that can come with PPC advertising:

  • Costs can add up – If you aren’t closely monitoring and optimising your PPC campaigns, you may end up investing more than you intended to. This may be because your ads aren’t getting any ROI but are still costing you for each click.
  • Particular skills are required – it can definitely take some practice to get used to PPC management and creating effective campaigns. Therefore, many businesses choose to outsource their PPC management.
  • Clicks don’t always lead to sales – you can have an amazing selection of ads that have been crafted to perfection, however, if your landing pages or product listings aren’t to the same standard, you may lose out on a sale.

Disadvantages of SEO

Below, we’ve listed the main disadvantages of SEO that businesses should be aware of:

  • Noticed by more than your target audience – it’s great when your organic SEO efforts start to drive more awareness, but sometimes this can put your business directly in front of your competitors, causing them to step up their own game to compete directly with your business.
  • Google is always watching – some businesses or agencies may often use “black-hat” marketing approaches to quickly succeed. However, there’s a high chance you will get hit with a penalty from Google. Therefore, you need to be careful with your SEO tactics and ensure you’re sticking to the book.
  • Results take time – Unlike PPC that can offer quick and instant results, SEO is a long-term marketing tactic. This means that it can often take time to see the results from your efforts.

How to Know Which One to Start With?

As you can see, these are two unique marketing techniques with their equal amounts of pros and cons. So, how can you know which one to start with for your business?

It’s important to begin with setting clear goals and KPI’s for your business. Once you have these established, you can begin to compare these specific goals against the services PPC and SEO can offer you.

For example, are you looking to run a seasonal campaign? If so, PPC is a great option for you. If you’re looking to establish yourself online and build your digital presence with a strong and trusted brand, then SEO is ideal.

PPC and SEO Marketing Make for a Great Relationship

Ultimately, to generate as much success for your business as possible, you’ll want to take advantage of both PPC and SEO. This is because both marketing platforms complement each other by coming through where the other falls short.

When you manage to establish that optimised relationship between both SEO and PPC, you will be more likely to drive bigger and better results that are altogether more beneficial than just concentrating on the one platform.

The benefits of running PPC and SEO side by side includes:

  • The ability to test the performance of keywords in ads before committing them to longer-term SEO campaigns
  • Increase both trust and awareness by having both strong paid and organic visibility
  • Keyword and conversion data from PPC can be fed directly into SEO campaigns
  • High-cost keywords can be moved from PPC campaigns to SEO

SEM, or Search Engine Marketing, consists of a joined-up approach of PPC and SEO, making for a robust and fully integrated strategy. This is a far better option than relying on just the one marketing platform. This form of advertising works towards promoting websites to increase their visibility in search engine result pages, primarily through paid advertising.

Are you Interested in Taking Advantage of these Marketing Techniques?

For more tailored solutions including SEO and PPC services, please get in touch with us today. Our team of PPC and digital marketing experts can offer you tailored advice to ensure you are presented with the best possible solution for your business.

Chester Yang is the Microsoft Program Manager at Diginius with a background in economics and quantitative research.  

At Diginius, Chester focuses on nurturing partnerships with PPC agencies and integrating marketing and sales solutions.