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SEO VS PPC (SEM) – THE BETTER CHOICE

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The road to creating a website that continuously maintains traction that pulls in traffic is filled with more than 200 ranking factors used by Google’s Algorithm. Upholding visibility on SERP is no joke. It takes a smart SEO Team to understand the game let alone coming out victorious. Optimizing a website involves a good understanding of the content, indexing it and ensuring that search engines are able to crawl your website. 

Winning at SEO includes some of these basic steps –

  1. Technical SEO
  2. On-Page SEO
  3. Link Building
  4. Content Marketing
  5. UX

The Pros of SEO

The first advantage of going organic that comes to mind off-the-top is the cost-effectiveness of it. Organic clicks are free. Not to undermine the investment of time and resources, but the clicks generated are a product of the investment of that effort.  

Sustained results can be achieved if the team remains consistent. Sticking to an SEO strategy requires patience. However, the dividends paid are usually more stable. There is no drastic drop in rankings contrary to PPC where positions can fluctuate depending on your competition’s bidding strategy. 

Budget decides the spending capacity. A limited budget would mean spending on middle or bottom-of-the-funnel keywords to make quick conversions. This decides the content that usually targets different stages of the funnel to eliminate the need to pay for every click.

The Cons of SEO

SEO takes time to show results. It is even truer for newer businesses. Competitive keywords do slow down the process of acquiring top spots. PPC will yield results as soon as the campaign goes live.      

It is important to take time to invest in an in-house dedicated team lined up with specialists who are technically sound or hiring a specialist agency to do the same job.

SEO is an ongoing process that requires continued investment. There may be tweaks and improvements to make all the time. The team has to be ever-ready for challenges and accept that your site will never be completely optimized. From content creation to link building and ongoing technical SEO audits, there will always be work to be done.

SEO is time-consuming. It can be overwhelmingly difficult at times to stay updated given the hundreds of changes rolled out by Google pertaining to its algorithm every year. Staying ahead of your competitors will require constant improvements and updating. 

It does not come with a safety net. There are no guarantees. There is no one definitive way to outrank yours competitors. It is an imperfect science that requires perseverance and patience.

The Pros of PPC

PPC yields instant result the moment the campaign goes live. You will get to see progress in clicks, traffic and conversions.

PPC Ads are placed at the top of SERP always. The results are evident.

Paid Ad Listing vs Organic Listing

Be it mobile or desktop searches, PPC Ads are preferred to any other search results. PPC Ads will always be prioritized over all other results. Achieving such results just by relying solely on SEO is almost next to impossible. 

You have the room to target a searcher’s attention to your ad by phone numbers, callouts, and expanded site links and expand your business presence. 

Running a PPC campaign requires calling on the services of a seasoned paid search specialist and a skilled copywriter who will write enticing Ads and create tempting landing pages that will capture the visitor’s imagination. This means that having a relatively smaller team will suffice mostly.

PPC enables you to run ads on multiple categories – search ads, shopping ads, video Ads, Gmail Ads and so on. You have the option of tailoring your ads in a way that targets a niche, a specific portion of your audience that will eventually intrigue them to the point where they would feel encouraged to make an inquiry.

Take shopping ads, for instance. Google has begun to roll out (again) free listings, these only show on the shopping tab and not the Sponsored display right on the SERPs. However, organic listings do not have the same luxury of options to reach your audience.

PPC ushers in better optimization and an improved ROAS (Return On Ad Spent). The wealth of data on clicks, keywords and bounce rate will foster quick changes and the workflow will become faster as well.

You can take a laser-targeted approach to serve ads to your specific customers. Whether you want to target searchers based on their location, the time of day, the device they use, or other factors, you can sculpt a PPC campaign to reach only the people who you know are more likely to buy.

With PPC, you don’t have to monitor Google’s algorithm updates as closely. When you are vying for the top spot, your organic rankings stop mattering to a great extent. 

The Cons of PPC

Unlike SEO, traffic from PPC advertising is not free. For PPC ads, you have to spend money to get the results. And the more you invest, the better the results will be in terms of the number of clicks and conversions. Your conversion rate is an important metric to watch because if your traffic is not converting, it is likely that your bounce rate is high which means there is a loophole in the campaign and the money spent is getting wasted.

As new competitors start to advertise, click costs can continue to rise.

Besides click costs, you will need to consider people-costs. You’ll need to pay for an agency, a freelancer, or employ someone on your team to manage your campaigns.

Once you turn ads off, your traffic stops. If you have to turn your PPC campaigns off, you need to think if your site will survive without those leads.

The Better Choice?

It can be easy to become excessively reliant on PPC alone to make your website a success, but a well-balanced approach to strategy can ensure you have no issues in the future. However, there is a middle ground. We can take a hybrid approach to digital marketing. The two integrate well. You can bid on your own brand name. This could help with the organic results. Valuable insights from your PPC activity can feed straight into your SEO strategy. This real-time data can be used to your advantage by creating more tailored ads. Using Shopping Ads to augment the organic is an effective way. You can run your ads on relevant e-commerce websites that will redirect the traffic to your website organically. The fact that of the matter is, you do not need to choose between your parents. A balanced combination can fetch faster results than relying on any one mode of marketing.

I am a passionate blogger who like to share information and make the community.

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