What Gets The Best Return On Investment – SEO Or PPC?
The great SEO vs PPC debate has been around almost as long as the internet itself with supporters firmly in one camp or the other. Research results also differ quite considerably depending on who undertook the research and what criteria were used. One point most experts do seem to agree on is that SEO and PPC can be used to support each other. Both PPC and SEO have their advantages and disadvantages that any business should be aware of no matter what their size.
Advantages of PPC
PPC has the ability to quickly bring in traffic and as such is an ideal choice for quick campaigns. It is also relatively simple to keep track of return on investment (ROI) with any campaign while attracting a highly targeted audience. PPC can also be used to scout new keywords with easily measurable results. Some researchers have found that up to half of those who land on a site through PPC are considering buying which logically should lead to higher conversion rates. However, other research has found that half of browsers do not know they are clicking on an advertisement. Click-to-call ads that enable mobile users are being hailed as an effective marketing tool. PPC is a very controllable method of driving traffic for those who understand what they are doing.
Disadvantages of PPC
The biggest disadvantage of PPC is that it is all too easy to use up your budget with little return, particularly for new users. When a budget is gone and the ad has gone, so too is the traffic. Depending on the product or service you are advertising, competition can be steep driving up the price of your advertising campaign. It takes a confident, and competent, operator to handle PPC in a way that ensures on-going positive results.
Advantages of SEO
Organic SEO traffic is still considered to be the most positive and rewarding way to build a business site. It offers the lowest cost per lead, and has the largest volume of leads including quality leads. Once a good ranking is achieved it has a long term value, unlike PPC which simply stops, although ongoing maintenance will be required to ensure rankings stay high. The cost of SEO is relatively fixed as compared to the fluctuating prices of PPC. SEO is a long term strategy that by its very nature demands building a quality site for a business to grow on. While it is recommended for most people to hire an SEO specialist, it is not impossible for a company or individual to learn SEO which cuts down costs even further, although time spent on SEO should be incorporated into calculating your ROI.
Disadvantages of SEO
The main disadvantage of SEO is that it takes time to begin seeing returns. Some marketers decide to start with a PPC campaign while they wait for the SEO strategies to come into play – the trick here is knowing when to pull back from the PPC. Some marketers have shown concern with Google’s tendency to release a variety of animals to upset their SEO strategies but experienced ‘SEOer’s’ quickly adapt.
In an ideal set up PPC and SEO work together and many marketers work to cut out the PPC once their SEO is bringing in the desired traffic. This assumes of course that you have the budget available to invest in both. For those on a tight budget the choice is harder- put your money into PPC to earn quickly or spend next to nothing and wait for the results.
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Daniel Hutson created this fascinating read for SEO Brighton, a content marketing, seo company in Brighton. Daniel enjoys all things techy and internet and has a passion for blogging and retro console games. He can be followed here on twitter.