The eternal battle – SEO v PPC

Over time there have been some epic battles, Google vs Bing, Apple vs Samsung, Utd vs City, cats vs dogs and in the digital marketing world for the past decade we have had SEO vs PPC!

Ok so maybe not in the same context but it is clearly a battle that many organisations struggle with and where to allocate their digital marketing budget.

SEO and PPC are the two key acronyms businesses hear when talking through their digital marketing strategies and how to improve their online presence as well as growing their online revenue. But where should the budget best be spent?

Which channel would give me the best return in terms of brand awareness, session growth and the best return on investment?

Well there are lots of arguments both of these channels.

SEO can be seen as the better channel by looking through –

  • SEO can provide more sustainable results – Obviously SEO is a long term investment that provides results that will last over a period of time, especially if your strategy is line with Google’s ever changing guidelines/algorithms and works with all the search engines as to avoid any performance drops in line with any algorithmic updates. PPC provides results as long as the campaign is running.
  • SEO is more cost effective – SEO is a more cost effective way to produce results, over the long term.
  • Provides better quality leads – Search engines are now adopting Machine Learning and will always try and provide their users with best possible results based on the terms searched. PPC you are basically paying for advertising space, SEO will bring users to your website that actually want to be there.

But then PPC also has its advantages over SEO, which is hard for me to say coming from an SEO background!

  • The results can be instant – PPC will provide you with almost instant return on investment. Once you have set up a fully structured campaign correctly, you will be able to measure exactly how much revenue is generated and how much it costs.
  • Narrow targeting – PPC lets you target specific user groups. You can target exact demographics of your audience as to ensure your ads are getting in front of the right converting audience.
  • Expand your reach – PPC lets you advertise on other websites through display marketing. This is a huge advantage since you can easily determine where your audience is at and serve them targeted ads in order to draw them to your own website. SEO is down to have Google perceives the site and returns the best results.

Both of these marketing channels have their own unique strengths but which should you choose.

The answer is simple.

Choose both!

There are many benefits of this collaboration such as cost effectiveness, as SEO will naturally build traffic while PPC directs it, doubling volume.

The keyword research and search query reports will assist for both the onsite copy and ads which can be targeted to your customers. Improving the content on landing pages with collaborative targeting can improve both SEO rankings and PPC quality score.

With engagement metrics like CTR becoming a bigger organic ranking factor, learnings from PPC ad testing can be applied to you SEO strategy, yes it can be that simple

So overall a combined approach will improve traffic, increase brand awareness and increase ROI – PPC more so in the short term and then more around SEO in the long term.

A good digital marketer/agency can utilise both of these channels and associated tactics to effectively improve the online performance of a business.

If you have a marketing strategy that does not already utilise the SEO and PPC channels and subsequent tactics, then why not?!?

A collaborative approach between the two will only lead to a successful digital marketing strategy leading to online growth moving forward.