With roughly 6 billion searches per day on Google, your business needs to show up near the top of search results, or risk losing out to the competitors who are. There are two ways to show up on Google’s first page: search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click advertising (PPC).
Which is better for your business?
Let’s take a practical look at SEO vs PPC.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)
SEO, short for “search engine optimization,” is the process of affecting the organic search engine results for a website.
Organic search engine results are the non-advertisement links that show up as results for a given search phrase. The more relevant Google considers a website to be for that phrase, the higher that website will rank.
Achieving high, organic search results is not automatic or easy. The process of search engine optimization takes time. You have to build a case for your relevance with your website, your content, and your off-page activities.
Do any search on Google. The reason that the businesses show up in the first page or two of results is that they are paying for SEO. Think of SEO as building a house. First you start with the foundation, then you build the walls, then the roof. After all the structural building, you continue to work on the house, adding furniture and sprucing things up.
The process takes a little while but once your website is fully optimized, you can start enjoying the benefits of improved search engine results. Once your house is built, you can enjoy it for years to come. However, just as a house requires ongoing maintenance, websites require ongoing SEO. Effort needs to be spent every month on off-page optimization activities, as well as continual reviewing and tweaking your on-page SEO strategies.
The more engaged and experienced your SEO team is, the more long-term success you will have. The ongoing results from a strong SEO program can be spectacular and well-worth the investment. Imagine how much more business you would generate if you regularly ranked on the top page or to of search results.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising links are the paid, or “sponsored” links that display either above, or to the side of the organic results.
Showing up in this section is much more immediate than results from SEO. You simply make bids on keywords and if your bids are the highest, you show up.
PPC advertising is a great way to get on page one of Google fast, but it costs money every time someone clicks on your ad.
Unlike building a house you can live in for years, think of PPC as renting a nicely furnished penthouse with a great view. You can move right in and as long as your rent is paid you can live there. However, the minute you don’t pay, you have to move out and someone else moves in. In short, you aren’t building up any good will. Once you stop paying for visitors, the visitors will stop coming.
Results from a well-run PPC campaign can be strong and immediate. We carefully measure the success of campaigns to ensure solid return on our clients’ investments.
SEO VS PPC
So which is better for your business? SEO or PPC?
After reading this, you might say that the obvious choice is to build for the long-term with search engine optimization. For most businesses, SEO is a crucial part of marketing for future. However, pay-per-click has the advantage of exposing you quickly while your search engine optimization process develops.
For most businesses the best solution isn’t choosing either SEO or PPC, but budgeting do to both together. At a minimum, it is usually wise to invest in PPC advertising while your SEO campaign is gaining traction.
One more bonus of doing both PPC and SEO at the same time? When both paid and organic results show up, then you get twice the exposure on Google. You may even get both listings on the same results page at the same time. Of course, it isn’t anything profound of us to say that you will get more business if you invest in both SEO and PPC.
Our position, however, is that investing wisely is more important than simply investing more. Our affordable SEO and PPC programs are designed to help you get the highest return on your investment, and we prove it to you each month with actionable reporting.
Request a free consultation to design the best strategy for your business.