SEO vs. PPC - Which is The Best Marketing Strategy? Semalt Gives The Answer
When it comes to being found, you have two choices on the broad marketing scale.
Choice number one is Pay Per Click or PPC. PPC is when you deliberately pay for getting to the top of the search engine's results page (SERP). It has immediate results, but can it work as a long-term strategy?
The second choice is SEO or Search Engine Optimization. SEO is when you build your website to reach the top of the SERP. It is a long-term focus on marketing that comes from the authority of your website. But how useful is it when you need a quick turnaround?
So in a battle between SEO and PPC, which is the best marketing strategy? The short answer will depend upon the goal of your business. PPC has an immediate response with a high level of investment. For small businesses, some campaigns can spend as much as over $100 per day.
SEO is excellent for building a collective audience but runs into issues when it comes to short-term earnings. Below, we will go into the details on both options.
Three Reasons To Choose PPC
People are fifty percent more likely to buy something when clicking on a PPC ad. When it comes to successful advertising, PPC can cause a high amount of conversions for your website.
But what if you are in the beginning stages? PPC may not be as effective in building a website as an authority. When the PPC campaign runs out, that's it.
Below, we will go through a shortlist of different reasons that you may be thinking of a PPC campaign.
Your Audience is Incredibly Narrow
In 2009, a fantastic copywriter by the name of Alec Brownstein purchased an advertising campaign targeting the name of an executive at his dream job. Given that people will tend to google themselves, or set up a Google Alert for their name, the target eventually hit its mark. Finally, Mr. Brownstein was hired at his dream job, making his goal achieved.
As a small business owner, it is up to you to know your business target. When you know your consumer, you can target them very effectively. It is doubly the case when it comes to knowing their goals. It allows you to align yourself with them with greater ease. If you cannot answer the question of their goals quickly, it might be time to have a conversation.
You Have a Specific, Single-destination Goal
The name "BP" doesn't always come with a positive response. They are most known for the 2010 debacle known as the "BP Oil Spill." To address this issue, BP purchased the keyword "oil spill."
The purchase resulted in them being able to address a response to those who might search it. While it was a PR disaster, BP did well in targeting this specific keyword. However, it cannot be called a complete success given their company was entirely at fault for the issue.
This story gives us a unique lesson of PPC. Be very specific in your goal. If you have a single destination for them to stop at on the other end of your PPC, it is more likely to be effective.
If Your Goal is Sales Conversion
For this example, we will be switching our focus over to YouTube. In the old days, it was hard for advertisers to find a way to get YouTube advertising to work for them. The Perfume Shop and Net Media Planet (NMPi) took this as a challenge.
Eventually, YouTube grew a more effective targeting platform that allows advertisers to focus on specific videos. As a result of this, NMPi could target videos with 100 percent relevancy. Success happened by targeting celebrity perfumes on the same celebrity's videos. This strategy resulted in almost a 240 percent return on investment (ROI).
This story tells us that PPC can be incredibly useful in sales. It is a specific goal that leads people toward what they want. For example, If someone is searching for camping supplies in your city, you will be able to target a particular keyword to attract them. This strategy results in a higher immediate potential in a sale.
Three Reasons To Choose SEO
SEO seems to be an elusive system. If you want people to visit your website, why don't you pay for their arrival? The answer to that question comes down to two areas.
First, PPC is an expense that tends to add up fast. If you want to remain competitive, you will want to spend the same rate as others in your area. Being outspend means other people will receive more clicks than you. As a result, PPC becomes a bidding war, which is great for Google.
Second, PPC works better for short-term goals. If you want to make a sale and nothing else, PPC is perfect for you. Just make sure you out-earn the spending.
Long-term traffic comes from consistently hitting the top of these search engines. You can't do that if you pay Google to do it for you, you have to build a strategy that makes you easier to look up. With this knowledge in mind, we will list some reasons to choose SEO below.
You Want To Build a Regular Audience
A long time ago, a friend of mine invested in a short-term campaign advertising their blog. For the first week, the blog was able to boast a significant number of visitors and outpaced other blogs in the same niche. After the PPC money ran out, people stopped coming.
This issue was related to the aspiring blogger's inconsistent posting schedule. They posted anywhere between three to zero times per week. People read the few articles that were there and decided to move on.
Also, we lacked the sophisticated targeting algorithms people wanted back then. This blog was a "gaming blog," so he targeted males age 18 to 30 who were interested in the topic. They could have been looking for specific issues that the "target" did not want.
SEO allows you to target entire questions and keywords align with your audience's desires. Also, they won't vanish when the money runs out. Your audience has people who are searching for your content.
To Create a Consistent Base of Information
If you look at the Semalt blog, you will notice that the SEO and PPC topic has been searched through before. One thing you will see as you explore the blog is the various other topics that are associated. You can study anything from the basics of SEO to marketing during recession times.
You will find this strategy is also on other significant marketers and bloggers. These include Neil Patel, Hubspot, Ahrefs, and Buzzsumo. These people have a lot of useful information that could come to you in the form of a paid book. So why would they give it away for free?
From a marketing perspective, free content brings people to want to view your paid content. If you are willing to give away stuff for free, they are going to continue to look at your paid marketing tactics. Eventually, they might buy your product.
The second reason is that more people results in more potential backlinks. These backlinks will establish your website as a place of authority. By spreading your willingness to help others, you are more likely to be viewed as trustworthy.
So You Can Regularly Repurpose This Content To Continue To Rank High
Matt Cutts, formerly of Google, stated that up to 30 percent of web content in 2013 was repetitive. It isn't a problem, but Mr. Cutts goes into further detail on what that means for the myriad of websites trying to rank for the same thing.
By placing them all into a "cluster," google sorts through the information to find which of these results has a higher authority and is easier to read. Those that meet the top of the list have more backlines and are well constructed.
How does this information apply to old content?
If you look through any analysis tool, you may find that your site has several different internal links to it. As a result, it is already built-up with a good deal of authority to them. When you revive old content, you can take those links with it. You have a much higher chance of reaching the top of Google.
So pay attention to your highest performing content. Ask yourself the question of how it could be applicable today. Once you have that answer, repurpose those sections so that they may be searchable for a modern audience.
What is Better When Comparing SEO and PPC?
With all of these examples in tow, this brings us back to the original question. What is better: SEO or PPC? The shortest answer: it depends.
PPC is great for those who have short-term, incredibly specific goals. If you need to convert a sale, attract an incredibly narrow audience, or have an incredibly particular purpose, PPC may be more appropriate. It results in an immediate response and a higher potential conversion rate.
SEO is fantastic for long-term informational strategies that are for helping you and your audience grow. By producing content that they can use, they are more likely to become a regular visitor. They may not want your service, but they may know others who do want your service.
Given the need for a long-term plan, my ultimate preference comes down to SEO. Many visitors that come from PPC are less likely to stay. While you can pay to get to the top of the list, you need to ensure that your earnings outweigh your marketing. Not every marketing piece will find themselves with a 200 percent ROI.
While SEO may win the long game, PPC wins the short game. However, it is paramount that you invest in an SEO strategy. Consider Semalt, who are specialists in the field of assisting you with this long-term strategy. With a proven track record of success, they will be able to get you to the top ten of Google. Reach out to an SEO Specialist today.