SEO vs. PPC: Are You Making the Most of Them?

My Post (20)One of the questions that are often asked of marketers is whether budgets should be allocated toward SEO or PPC or spread between both.

This is a simple question that doesn’t have a simple answer as it very much depends on a whole host of different factors, including:

  • Your goals and objectives
  • Your budget and resources
  • Your industry
  • Your current performance

But these discussions are nothing new. There has been an ongoing debate around SEO vs. PPC for many years.
Deciding where best to invest your marketing budget can be a difficult task for business owners. So, the big question is: Is it better to use pay-per-click (PPC) to buy your way to the top of the search results or should you put your efforts into an organic (SEO) strategy?

You know you can’t ignore channels that can drive traffic from the search engines, but which is the higher priority?

It depends.

To make a decision on which strategy to use, you need to understand the pros and cons of both SEO and PPC, and how they can work together to drive growth for your business. In this guide, we’ll dive deep into each of these tactics and help you to figure out which channel is right for you, specifically looking at:

  • SEO as a Growth Strategy
    • The Pros of SEO
    • The Cons of SEO
  • PPC as a Growth Strategy
    • The Pros of PPC
    • The Cons of PPC
  • SEO vs PPC – Which is Right for Your Business?
    • Choosing a Single Channel
    • Integrating SEO and PPC for Search Success
    • Retargeting
    • Run Ads and Use Data to Inform Your SEO Strategy
    • Own Brand Bidding
    • Using Shopping Ads to Target Buyers

SEO as a Growth Strategy

SEO is all about ranking on the organic (or natural) results on a search engine results page (SERP).

Run any search on Google and the organic listings are those that come after any paid ads or shopping results and are what have historically been known as 10 blue links.

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To succeed at driving increased visibility from SEO, it is important to understand how to properly optimize your website. You need to ensure that the search engines are able to crawl your site, understand your content, index it, and show that your site is a significant authority.

With more than 200 ranking factors used by Google’s Algorithm, it takes a smart marketer (or, more realistically, marketing team) to understand how to win at:

  • Technical SEO
  • On-Page SEO
  • Link Building
  • Content Marketing
  • UX
  • and so much more!

However, ranking is no simple task. The complexity of SEO (at least in comparison to other channels) and the fact that Google’s algorithm is constantly being updated means that it takes the right balance of a multitude of factors for your site to perform well.

And, according to Jason Barnard in our ‘What is SEO?’ guide:

How high in the rankings and how often you appear is merit-based; these engines will show the results they consider to be the best fit for their users.

— Jason Barnard

SEO is all about creating the best result on the web for a search query and those who are able to do that can drive significant volumes of traffic.

The Pros of SEO

But just what are the main advantages of SEO that you need to know about when figuring out where to invest your marketing budget? – Read more