The internet is full of debates on which marketing strategy is more effective- SEO or PPC. Unfortunately, there’s no sure answer to this question. It all depends on your business goals and how you define success. Most people will only consider the advantages of either one of them, but not both together.
To compare apples with oranges, it doesn’t make any sense unless you know what each one brings to the table. If you were to ask me which one I would choose between SEO and PPC, my answer would be “both!” Why? Because if it works for you, then why not try doing both?
If you are still undecided whether to invest in SEO or go PPC, here are some things that can help you decide which one to choose:
Budget And ROI
What’s your budget? How much do you want to spend on marketing? If SEO meets your target return of investment (ROI), then go for it. In this case, the more time and effort you put into SEO, the better results you will get as long as it is done right. If not, then choose PPC since it requires minimal efforts from your end. Although there is a guaranteed monthly budget for PPC ads, keep in mind that if you don’t optimize or improve them regularly, they will not yield any result.
What are your goals with Google Ads? Do you want to build brand awareness? Drive traffic? Demolish your competitors in search rankings? Or all the above is what you’re aiming for? If yes, then SEO can help you achieve all of them. On the other hand, PPC only focuses on two things- building brand awareness and increasing website traffic.
What type of people are you targeting to buy your products or services? Is it local customers or global users? For local businesses that want to target a specific area such as malls and supermarkets, Google AdWords (a product of Google) is recommended since they already know where their target audience resides geographically. On the other hand, if you want to reach more potential customers within a specific country or worldwide, SEO is the most suitable choice.
What type of ads do you want to show on search engine result pages? Is it text ad or image/video ads? With PPC accounts, you can upload your own image and customize with the help of their customer service experts. You can also create animated videos using free online video editing software like Video.
On the other hand, there are limited formatting options for organic listings in Google SERP’s. However, with SEO, you have more control over what keywords you want to rank for and with easier access to back links compared to PPC campaigns.
When starting a new campaign in both platforms, you need to do some work beforehand. For instance, if you will create a PPC account, make sure all the specifics like phone number, physical address and website URLs are filled up correctly. If you want to rank higher for specific keywords in organic listings, make sure they are relevant to your business and content strategy is followed accordingly.
Now that you know more about SEO and PPC, it’s time to choose what works best for your product or service. Although it depends on how much effort the owner wants to spend on marketing his/her business online, I would personally recommend doing both strategies at the same time! This way you have nothing to lose plus there is more room for growth without changing platforms or switching between two different formats.