Quite often, we are asked this very question, the answer to which, depends on a few factors. First, however, let’s define exactly what each are.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO is the practice of optimizing website pages (on page and off page) to improve the likelihood that they will rank in a higher position within organic search engine results. Many SEO professionals focus their SEO efforts on Google’s organic search results since it is the most popularly used search engine in the world.
Pros of SEO
- Long term strategy for long term results
- Does not require any paid advertising
- Most clicks are from organic search results
- Builds Trust/Credibility
- Increases the Value of your Website
Cons of SEO
- Results are not guaranteed
- Results take time to gain traction
- Can be penalized by the search engines
PPC is a type of advertising which enables advertisers (website owners or their marketing agencies) to display an online “paid ad” within the search engine results. Once the paid ad is clicked by someone using that search engine, the advertiser pays the search engine a fee (cost per click or CPC). In general, CPC is determined through an auction where advertisers “bid” on the maximum amount they are willing to pay for a click on their ad. The placement/positioning of their ad depends upon 3 factors:
- Your bid
- The quality of your Ad
- The expected impact from your ad extensions and other ad formats
Google pioneered PPC advertising (Google Ads, but formerly known as Adwords) as a way to “monetize” their search engine. As a result of Google’s success, Bing and Yahoo had followed suit.
Pros of PPC
- Fast Placement in search engine results
- Easy to set up and manage
- Results are easy to measure and track.
- Cost effective compared to traditional types of advertising
Cons of PPC
- Does not build your organic search rankings
- Temporary Listing Results
- PPC cost have been increasing over time
- Costs can quickly add up if you are not monitoring your CPC
- Clicks and visits don’t always lead to sales
So which is best for you, SEO or PPC?
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, that really depends upon a few factors. Do you need immediate visibility in the search engine results or can you afford to wait? How much money have you allocated to improving your website’s visibility in the search engines? Are you willing pay for online search engine visibility on an ongoing basis?