PPC vs. SEO: Uncovering the Pros and Cons of Each

ppc vs seo


Slow and steady wins the race” can’t always be true. And when we are talking about online businesses, it definitely can’t be. Because there are always new players entering the market while the previous ones haven’t yet set foot. That’s why you need a sudden boost at the start to get past the crowd and then build your online presence one brick at a time. 


For this to happen, you need a combination of two things – PPC and SEO. 


PPC, also known as pay-per-click, is for the sudden burst of pace in your growth. Meanwhile, SEO, also known as search engine optimization, is for the slow but long-lasting growth of your business. 


Both PPC and SEO go hand in hand. But the kind of business you have will have a final say in which of the two you should prioritize. 


So, to help you make your final decision and clear the air on whether you should hire an SEO services provider, we are going to talk about the pros and cons of each PPC and SEO. So, let the race begin.


What is PPC (Pay-Per-Click)?

PPC in marketing is like a virtual bidding war. The more valuable a keyword, the higher you will have to bid. Just like in traditional marketing, advertising costs money; similarly, in digital marketing, advertising requires you to pay for it. You can advertise on social media sites, websites, search engines, etc. But here is the catch: in traditional marketing, you had to pay in advance regardless of how your advertisement was performed. Meanwhile, in PPC advertising, you only pay when a user clicks on your ad and successfully lands on your landing page. 


Pros of PPC


  • Immediate Results: PPCs are green flags if you’re looking for an instant positive result. The moment you take your marketing campaigns live, your ad will start to show up to your target audience. 
  • Targeting Options: In PPC, you can zero in on your target audience. This will save you from unnecessary clicks and also save you if you’re on a tight budget. Targeting specific keywords means you are only targeting people who search for those keywords in their search queries. 
  • Control Over Spending: You can start, pause, and stop your campaigns whenever you want. You can keep track of your spending limit by breaking it into the overall campaign cost, ad set cost, and daily spend. This will allow you to keep track of the ads that worked well and those that did not. 


Cons of PPC


  • High Costs: Keywords with high competition can cost you more. If you don’t research your keyword properly, you might choose a generic keyword for the term, which may prove costly for your business. This is where it gets very tricky for startups and small businesses. 
  • Competition: There is very stiff competition in the PPC world. If you want to bid on a high-cost keyword, even if you get it, there is a high chance that your ad will not be able to reach the top. This happens because other established websites bid more than you while having a higher quality score governing ad placements. 
  • Dependency on Budget: PPC is like a running engine. The more coal you add for combustion, the more your train will run. So, the moment you pause or stop your ads, no one will be able to see them. 


What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?

SEO is the method of organically helping a website reach the top of search engine ranking. When a user types a query and looks for something, although the PPC bidding keywords rank among the top, the organic search is dominated by web pages with the help of SEO. It’s a time-consuming process, but always worth it in the long run.


Pros of SEO


  • Long-Term Sustainability: SEO is not like PPC when emptying your pockets. Once you put in enough effort, SEO will help you organically rank at the top of the search engine page results (SERPs). All this can happen without spending too much. 
  • Cost-Effectiveness: SEO requires an initial investment and then more in bits and pieces as the positive results become obvious. But in PPC, you have to consume money for each click constantly. 
  • Trust-Building: Users prioritize organic search results over paid ads. The reason is obvious. They also know that to rank so high in SERPs organically, a website must be credible and trustworthy in the eyes of Google.


Cons of SEO


  • Time-Consuming Nature: SEO is a long-term task. You need to invest heavily in quality content and backlinks and hire experts to devise result-oriented strategies for you. It’s highly likely that if you plan on doing everything yourself, you might falter and waste all your efforts and resources. Hiring an SEO services provider would cost less, given that you plan a long-term investment. 
  • Uncertainty of Results: SEO can not be guaranteed. Algorithms of search engines keep changing frequently. So, staying updated with the latest terms and changing your SEO strategies is crucial.


Making an Informed Decision


  • Do you want quick results? Or do you want long-lasting results? Or you can choose both and divide your budget if it is possible. 
  • If you are aware of your target audience, their likes and dislikes, and the platforms they spend most of their time on when they are on the lookout for similar products/services as yours, you can easily choose where you want to reach out to them. 
  • Keep a tab on your budget constraints. Allocate your resources accordingly. 
  • Don’t forget to track and analyze your data from past performance. You can also extract data from your competitors to learn about how to shape your campaigns. 
  • Whichever strategy you choose, remember to monitor and analyze the results. Adjust your approach based on performance data, making improvements as needed.


Key Takeaways:


It’s fair to say that for a startup to gain a meteoric rise, PPC would be helpful for a kickstart. Small businesses can also follow in the footsteps of startups. But you have to plan for a long-term strategy to sustain your business in the long run without having to spend too much on your SEO. And for this to happen effectively, the best thing you can do is hire an SEO services provider who has a team of experienced and talented individuals.

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