SEO vs. PPC: Which is Better For Your Business?
To SEO (organic) or PPC (paid)? That is the question.
Organic traffic is considered free or earned. On the other hand, pay-per-click (PPC), deals with paid advertising. Both are valuable and when used in tandem, they can skyrocket your online visibility and sales.
One is a long term solution for sustained digital growth (SEO) while the other (PPC) is a great way to boost leads, sales, and conversions fast. Knowing your own company and the difference between these two marketing strategies will help you make the best decision for your brand and its success moving forward.
Continue reading to learn more about organic vs. paid search and how they work for your business.
Organic Traffic (SEO)
The organic Google results on the SERPs (search engine results pages) are all the links you see below the paid ads.
The positions of your organic results are determined by the quality of the content on each particular page. Additionally, Google’s search algorithm factors in the overall authority and search-engine ‘friendliness’ of your domain.
Even though it’s technically “free,” organic traffic is often viewed as more valuable than paid traffic. Here are a few statistics that support that claim.
- 51 percent of all website traffic comes from organic search, 10 percent from paid search, 5 percent for social, and 34 percent from all other sources.
- 39 percent of purchasers were influenced by a relevant search.
- 70-80% of search engine users are only focused on the organic results.
- 61% of mobile searchers are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile-friendly site.
- Results on the first page of Google (The Top 10) receive 92% off all search traffic on Google. Traffic drops by 95% on the second page.
These stats make SEO and organic search look game-changing and they are! But don’t get too excited. You need to understand that generating traffic and ranking organically on Google takes time.
The competition for organic traffic is greater than ever. If your website isn’t optimized for SEO it will be hard to rank anywhere near the first page. Similarly, if your content isn’t top tier it will be even harder.
Don’t let this deter you against an SEO campaign. Any business committed to long term growth should start investing in SEO as soon as possible. That way you’ll start building up authority and make the process easier down the road.
- SEO has a lot to do with improving user experience and a quality campaign will make for better first online impressions.
- A big part of any SEO strategy in 2020 is conversion rate optimization (CRO). That means SEO will drive users to your site and keep them converting when they get there.
- Most facets of SEO require ongoing care and attention, but the benefits are often compounding and increase over time.
- SEO targets more than just the general search results. It can help you show up in local map packs, snippets, directories, and more.
- Results take time and the average SEO campaign takes around 6 months to start producing results.
- Hiring agencies or people for top-quality SEO work can be expensive.
- There are absolutely no guarantees in SEO and anyone who promises you 1st page results right of the bat is lying or using black-hat techniques.
- Ranking can be quickly lost due to Google algorithm updates and unforeseen site issues.
Paid Traffic (PPC)
Once again, paid search has to do with all of those advertised links you see at the top of a Google search. You can get your business into these links buy bidding on specific AdWords that you think potential customers might already be searching for.
Here are a couple of statistics that prove the importance of paid search.
- 75% of people say paid search ads make it easier to find the information they are searching for on a website or search engine.
- Paid ads have an 11.38% CTR on Google.
- 63% of people said they’d click on a Google ad.
- PPC visitors are 50% more likely to purchase something than organic visitors
Nowadays, the only thing that differentiates the ads from organic content is a little bit of black bolded text that reads ‘AD’. Fortunately for advertisers, some users don’t even realize they’re clicking on an ad. Google continuously tests and tweaks the look of these results and how they show up. This makes it even harder to differentiate between what’s an ad and what isn’t.
Depending on the AdWords that you target, a paid search campaign can cost you a lot of money. The tradeoff is that these ads provide you with almost immediate leads, sales, and conversions when done right. A high-quality PPC campaign paired with a quality product might just result in hundreds of sales overnight.
- PPC gives you the ability to track, tweak, and report on ads in real-time. More specifically, you’ll know right away what’s working and what isn’t.
- Consumers exposed to display ads are, on average, 155% more likely to search for the brand and related terms.
- PPC allows for retargeting where you can reach users who visited your site but didn’t complete a conversion.
- PPC is often more costly than SEO when used as a long term strategy.
- As soon as you stop paying for ads, your visibility goes away.
- Paying for PPC ads does not guarantee results.
Using PPC & SEO To Grow Your Reach
There’s no clear answer to the question of whether PPC or SEO will work better for your business. In an ideal world, the best strategy is to combine the two for maximum results. Unfortunately, most small businesses only have the budget for one or the other.
Business Scenarios Best For PPC
- You have an innovative new product that will be hard to rank for organically.
- You have a one-time offer or are promoting a one-time event.
- You have a brand new website or brand without much authority.
- You’re looking for immediate conversions or sales.
Business Scenarios Best For SEO
- You want to stick around for the long-term and build up your site’s authority.
- Your site already has enough authority to potentially outrank competitors organically.
- You have patience and don’t necessarily need to see immediate results from your marketing strategy.