SEO and PPC are two different methods for driving traffic to your website. Search engine optimisation (SEO) focuses on organically improving your website's visibility on Google and other search engines, whereas pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platforms like Google Ads and Microsoft Ads allow you to pay for a prominent spot on the search engine results page (SERP).
Both SEO and PPC have their individual benefits, but depending on the context and your business needs, it may make sense to prioritise one over the other.
SEO for businesses
Search engine optimisation is all about building your website in the right way and optimising your content for relevant search queries. This is a continuous process that, if done right, will help your website traffic to grow steadily over time.
There are many different ways to optimise your website for search, so if you are focusing on SEO, it's a good idea to prioritise the changes that will have the biggest impact. For more information, see SEO in 2022: Which Ranking Factors Are Most Important?
Here's an example of what an organic Google result looks like - this website appears on the first page of Google results for 'step ladders' because the page has been optimised for that keyword using a variety of SEO techniques.
SEO is an incredibly effective long-term solution for growing your website traffic. And while it does take time, effort and dedication, there is no monetary cost.
Compared to PPC advertising, SEO takes much longer to deliver noticeable results, but once your pages start gaining traction, you've got a good chance of remaining on the first page of search results for a long time because you got there organically.
It can be a slow-burner, but it is an extremely sustainable way to get more visitors to your website. If you're looking for a long-term solution, then SEO is 100% the way to go!
PPC for businesses
Sometimes it's worth paying extra to get results, and this is where pay-per-click advertising comes in. PPC ads typically appear at the very top of the SERP, above all of the organic listings. Every time your PPC ad gets clicked, you are charged a fee for the click. Hence the name 'pay-per-click'!
PPC ads bring immediate results. There's no waiting around, because as soon as you set an ad to go live, it is out there for the world to see, often at the very top of page one! (If your bid is high enough, that is.)
Here is one of the top PPC results for 'step ladders' - note that the word 'Ad' appears in bold alongside Google's paid listings to distinguish them from the organic results:
PPC is excellent if you want quick and easy traffic, but the rewards will only last as long as you're willing to keep paying for them. Pay-per-click advertising can become very expensive indeed - you'll need deep pockets to hang on to the top spot, especially if you're targeting a competitive keyword with a high cost per click (CPC).
As a business owner, you will have to weigh up the cost and the potential benefits. With PPC, you should expect a proportional return; the traffic and conversions you receive from your ad will depend on the amount you're willing to spend. Once you've exhausted your budget, the ad will automatically be pulled from the SERP.
How to choose between SEO and PPC
So which is better: SEO or PPC? Ultimately, the answer depends on what you want for your business, and what you're trying to achieve.
To sum up: PPC is an excellent short-term solution that will bring you guaranteed (but possibly not sustainable) traffic for a price. In contrast, SEO is a steady and continuous process that requires effort and monitoring, but delivers sustainable results when done properly.
Ask yourself the following questions when deciding whether SEO or PPC is the best solution for your business:
- Do you need instant leads and traffic?
- Can you afford to wait for results?
- How big is your budget?
- Have you conducted in-depth competitor research?
- How competitive is your industry / niche?
By answering these questions, you should be able to determine which option is better suited to your business goals.
Why not both?
At Designer Websites, we specialise in both SEO and PPC best practices for your business. We believe that a combination of the two can lead to incredible business growth and success. Both methods have the ability to deliver outstanding results when managed and monitored correctly and effectively.
If you're interested and would like to hear more about our SEO and PPC services, do not hesitate to get in touch today!
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