Online marketing is essential to making a business profitable. For this reason, there are hundreds of strategies thrown around as the best way to market for profit. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to wade through the rubbish to find genuinely good ideas.
Through all the small-time marketing strategies, there are two top dogs. SEO and PPC are well-known as the two best ways to market online for profit. But both take time and patience – it can seem overwhelming to consider them at first, especially if you are a small business.
So, for those just starting out, you may be wondering which one is best to dedicate your time and resources to. In this post, we’ll discuss when SEO and PPC work best, how to make them work for you, and from this, you should be able to work out which is best for you.
But first, you may be wondering what SEO and PPC are.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. There’s a lot that goes into SEO, but at its bare bones, SEO is a bunch of practices that aim to make your site more visible when people search for goods and/or services that relate to your site.
For example, if someone searches ‘Greek restaurant,’ and you run one, good SEO should push your website up the rankings. This way, you should find more visitors to your site, and therefore more sales made for your business.
What is PPC?
PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click. This is a type of marketing where advertisers will pay each time someone clicks on one of their adverts. These adverts could be placed on others’ blogs or websites, or – more commonly – these ads could be placed in search engines. Have you ever googled something and seen two or three ads pop up before the search engine results? That’s PPC.
This brings more traffic to your site, as those who click on the ad are redirected. When it comes down to it, PPC is a way of buying visits to your site, rather than working for clicks organically.
When should you use SEO marketing instead of PPC?
Consistency: Gaining good SEO takes a while. You won’t start appearing at the top of search engine results within a week. However, once you’ve put in the effort and time and have made it to the top of search results, you’ll find you experience consistent, sustained site traffic. If you stick with your SEO marketing, you can stay at the top for a good long while, too.
Selling your site: If you have reached the point in your business where you are looking to sell your site, you need good SEO. A site will sell for much more if it has many visitors regularly visiting the site. Consider it from the buyer’s perspective: would you buy a site if it didn’t have good, consistent visitors? Of course you wouldn’t. So, if you are looking to sell your site – now or in the future – you need good SEO practices to keep your visitors coming and returning.
Authority: Certain sites are considered authority sites. These are sites that people will frequently go back to when they need help in a certain area. Maybe you blog about insurance well – so people come back time and time again when they need advice on their insurance issues. As you can see, authority sites receive plenty of visitors, as they are considered a good source of information. To become an authority site, you need good SEO. How will people discover you in the first place if you aren’t easily accessible?
When should you use PPC marketing instead of SEO?
Quick results: Unlike SEO, which takes a while to start working at your desired level, PPC can start working immediately. You can experience an influx of visitors within minutes. The reason behind this? Once your advert has been approved, it will be put up immediately. For this reason, PPC is perfect for new product launches, seasonal promotions, and event-focused marketing.
Targeted marketing: Unlike SEO, PPC allows for highly targeted marketing. PPC works in a similar way to social media. When marketing, you can choose to market specifically to age groups, genders, income levels, marriage statuses, and education levels. For this reason, PPC marketing can be very specific – not only will it bring you visitors, but it will also bring you the right kind of visitor. From this, you’re likely to have a higher visit-to-sale ratio.
Non-SEO compatible sites: SEO relies heavily on frequent content. Therefore, it’s great for businesses with blogs that regularly post content to draw visitors in. But, for businesses without this frequent posting – say, a t-shirt company – SEO isn’t as effective. A t-shirt company without a blog is more likely to benefit from PPC because SEO doesn’t benefit those who aren’t posting good content regularly.
Should you use SEO or PPC?
When it comes down to it, both SEO and PPC have benefits. In an ideal world, you should use both SEO and PPC tactics. When they work in conjunction, they will bring in the maximum amount of profit for your business.
But, if you are only in a position to be using one marketing technique, have a look at the times SEO and PPC work best. Which one is more likely to benefit your business? Do you need visitors now? Go for PPC. Or do you need a consistent roll of visitors? Go for SEO.
For those who are still unsure, you can source help from outside. There are plenty of PPC management services available, as well as SEO experts. Using other companies can help to ensure your SEO and PPC marketing is done in a way that will help you best.
No matter the type of business you run, online marketing is essential, so it’s important to get it right. Consider your options carefully, then once you’ve found the method that suits you best, get to work!