While you’re struggling with your digital marketing strategy, there’s this huge debate about what you should be focusing on-SEO or PPC for your business.
There is no first amongst these as it entirely depends on your business goals, current situation, and market dynamics. This is a critical concern to be kept mind while formulating your Digital Marketing Strategy. Identifying your target audience and how they use the internet will determine whether PPC or SEO or their combination will work for you.
Let us first explore the two options.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO is the organic way to rank in search results. A minimum of 6-9 months is the waiting time for results to come through.
SEO creates Brand Awareness and visibility of your product. It increases credibility with your customer and helps you build a loyal following. It has been often observed that the users skip the ads and view the organic search results.
The biggest advantage of using an SEO is that it is more cost-effective. With Keyword-level experimentation, you may maximise visibility and clicks. You can expect an improved ROI over a period of time. With a dynamic environment and new queries coming up every day you may not want to invest in PPC every time. Often organic traffic comes with informational or pre-purchase queries.
There are many ways to optimize your organic traffic: on-page optimization, blogging and back-linking.
Having said all of the above there are certain shortcomings with SEO approach too. For instance, organic traffic comes slowly. Also, content development is the key to organic traffic which again may not every company’s cup of tea. Here they may need some expert assistance. In case of new business, start-ups you have to be careful of the keywords you pick; in case those are the same as other giants like Amazon then the top results would be dominated by them.
Pay Per Click or PPC is an instant approach to get you on the first page of search result. Your ad will be positioned right at the top of the search page. While users may choose to scroll down the page they will still see your ad.
PPC ads provide you with the options to create compelling marketing messages for your product/service. You may include options for calls, locations, site-links, pricing etc. PPC enables you to even showcase Visual Ads (the option not available using SEO). It provides a more targeted and focussed approach for your target customers. In terms of results, a PPC campaign puts you right across the customer in a shorter span of time.
PPC is a great tool for Market Intelligence. Using Google Analytics software, it is easy to determine which keywords convert and at what percentage and cost. You may split-test ads, landing pages and call-to-action buttons too. The findings may be incorporated into other marketing strategies (digital or otherwise).
PPC has its own shortcomings. For instance, it is an expensive approach and requires constant investment. The ad campaigns need consistent tracking and progress-monitoring. Also the ads are easier to copy.
Best bet- SEO or PPC or Both?
There’s no single answer to this debate as the answer varies depending on the company’s situation. Like for a local business, SEO may suffice while for an e-commerce store may struggle for traffic using only an SEO.
So what is required is a clearly defined Digital Marketing strategy, long-term and short-term goals.
Generally, a combination of both would work wonders for your business. For instance data from PPC may be fed into Organic research; keyword strategy may be tested through PPC before committing to SEO strategy; A/B testing of ad copy and landing pages may be applied into organic listing and landing pages. Also high-cost/high-volume/low-converting keywords may be moved from PPC to organic search.
Keep alternating between SEO and PPC and use these wisely to outshine your competitors!