SEO or PPC? What's the Best Option for Your Small Business?
The digital marketing space is continuing to grow at a rapid pace, with the constant development of new solutions and technologies to improve business marketing performance. In the arena of these new technologies, many marketers and small business owners may be asking themselves which solution is best fitted to their company. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s always great to try and experiment with the latest and greatest advent in marketing. However, it’s been observed that traditional and more reliable methods consistently produce better results for businesses over time.
SEO and PPC are two examples of digital marketing strategies that can help your business stand out amongst the crowd in the search engine algorithm. Both provide their own unique set of advantages, and both hold certain drawbacks. Therefore, we’ve decided to comprehensively break the two down and to help you decide which one is the most suitable addition to your digital marketing strategy to optimise search engine marketing efforts.
SEO – SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is the act of enhancing the content on your website to consolidate your position in the search engine rank. Typically being referred to as a more natural and organic form of lead generation, SEO ensures your web pages consistently outperform your competition over time.
SEO is a dynamic and rapidly evolving undertaking, requiring a significant degree of effort to align with the trends and algorithms of major search engines. Nevertheless, 53.3% of website traffic comes from organic searches, making SEO a must-have in your marketing arsenal.
There are several best practices to adopt into your SEO strategy to maximise your results. The wording on your website should be readable, clear, and descriptive directly relating back to what your business does. Including relevant keywords in your content can further influence your success by selecting words and phrases that are often searched by your target audience.
PPC – Purchasing ads to generate leads for your website from search engines is known as PPC (pay-per-click). Keywords on google have a certain value and depending on how much a key word is searched, the value of the keyword changes accordingly. For instance, if you search ‘boat shoes’ as your chosen keyword, these will be worth significantly less than ‘legal services Los Angeles’. The value of keywords is determined both by how often the keywords are searched and by bids placed by other companies.
Essentially, PPC provides you with greater control over how your ads appear and the range in which they connect to consumers. Ads displayed on the Google Display Network do help achieve a number of marketing objectives, reaching up to 90% of internet users worldwide. Therefore, enlisting the help of a PPC search ad software such as Google ads can help direct more traffic to your website.
However, this is a costly strategy to implement, as each click that is generated from a PPC ad is money coming out of your ad spend budget. Furthermore, using PPC doesn’t help improve your search results in the long run and once you stop paying for ads you will no longer appear in the top results.
Which is better for your business?
SEO versus PPC is a choice many marketers are forced to grapple with. Deciding on which method to apply to your business can be a difficult choice to make. There are a range of independent factors that vary between different businesses. The industry you operate in, your budget, and the size and scale of your business all play a significant role in deciding whether to choose an SEO or PPC strategy for your business.
For most small businesses SEO is the most effective method to select. Though the results are more long-term, this method is the most cost-effective for smaller businesses and can be carried out with little knowledge in the technology field. However, the amount of time invested into creating content, optimising your website, and running events mean that SEO is a more intensive investment for your company to add to its digital marketing strategy.
Alternatively, small businesses operating with a higher margin may have a further incentive to adopt PPC into their strategy. For example, businesses operating in the livestock and farming sector typically see a greater ROI with higher conversions than other businesses as they aren’t as reliant on a high number of sales to make a profit.
Larger businesses may reap the benefits from investing in PPC to receive immediate results and hold the capability of maintaining this method in the long term. However, a downside to this method is that results do not improve over time, meaning the only way to improve your traffic is to spend more money on ads. Therefore, when aiming for long-term results, SEO is still the most effective method to adopt into your strategy, providing you with organic results that will continue to grow and position your business favourably against the competition.
Utilising an integrated approach:
Adopting an integrated approach can serve your business with the benefits of both. You can see the immediate results of adopting PPC whilst your SEO efforts run in the background. Over time your hard work will pay off as you begin to achieve a greater level of organic traffic and generate natural leads on your site.
Developing a well-structured digital marketing plan can combine the two approaches to ensure you have your bases covered, leading to a well-balanced outcome.
Ultimately, SEO and PPC both offer unique value to your business and when adopted effectively allow you to achieve more rich and meaningful leads through search engines. If you’re on a shoestring budget and only can invest in one, then SEO is certainly the option for you. Generating long-term results for your business at a much lower cost provides your business the best chance to stand out amongst the rest of the competition scrambling in the algorithm.
However, like all things in life balance is key.
For more information about how you can adopt SEO into your marketing strategy, contact our team of experienced marketing consultants.