August 19, 2022

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SEO vs PPC – Which Strategy is Right for Your Business?

It can be argued that in today’s business landscape, digital marketing is the only marketing that matters. Whether the truth is quite that simple is another matter, but one thing is certain – with digital ad spend expected to hit $389 billion for 2021, digital marketing is a higher priority for businesses than ever before.

The phrase digital marketing covers a huge range of activities, but two of the most common are PPC and SEO. In many ways they lie at opposite ends of the digital marketing spectrum, so it raises an important question: to which should you be devoting your digital marketing budget?

PPC marketing – for fast results

With a properly crafted campaign, a good PPC agency will ensure your ad or digital content reaches a targeted audience in terms of interests, buying habits, demographics, and so on. PPC is almost impossible to beat for speed, and you will be able to demonstrate an immediate ROI to stakeholders. PPC is also highly measurable. It is easy to gauge the efficiency of the campaign and make adjustments as necessary.

The downside to PPC is that like more traditional advertising methods such as TV or radio ads, the spike in sales tends to only last as long as the campaign. In other words, for sustained returns, you need to be ready to continue to spend on PPC marketing.

SEO – for long term gains

SEO is a long-term investment. It helps to raise brand awareness and the results can deliver benefits that your business will enjoy for years. Furthermore, areas of on-page SEO, such as optimizing landing pages, making proper use of meta descriptions and so on only need to be done once.

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However, it can take months to really start to see the results of your investment and efforts, so be ready to argue your case to cynical stakeholders. Also, aspects of SEO like content marketing need to be sustained in the long term, so there will be ongoing costs.

Crafting your strategy

Clearly, SEO and PPC both deliver benefits, but each also has drawbacks. This is why the most successful campaigns will use both tools in combination. The real art is in getting that mix right, and it takes knowledge and experience.

Broadly speaking, however, it makes sense to focus more on PPC in the early stages to get your learn digital marketing efforts off to a flying start. You can always dial it down and concentrate more on SEO once you have some momentum.