SEO or PPC: Which Is Better?

Q: Which is better: a hammer or a saw?

A: It depends on the job!

If you need to pound in a nail, you grab a hammer. And if you need wood cut? You use a saw.

But while neither implement is inherently “better,” it’s important to choose the right tool for the job – and you need both a hammer and a saw to build a strong house.

In marketing, think of SEO as a hammer and PPC as a saw. Each is a valuable tool with specific applications – and you may need both to build a solid marketing strategy.

So, which is better: SEO or PPC?

Again, the answer is: It depends on the job! Let’s examine the advantages of each, so you can build a stronger marketing engine that drives the right visitors to your website:

SEO: A quick crash course.

Often referred to as “organic” or “natural” lead generation, SEO (search engine optimization) falls into two broad categories:

  • On-page SEO: the practice of optimizing individual pages on your site to rank higher in organic search.
  • Technical SEO: practices that ensure your website meets search algorithms’ expectations, so they find, interpret and correctly serve up your content to users.

PPC primer.

Every day, people are searching for the products and services you offer. Pay Per Click is a paid advertising strategy that serves online ads (on search engines like Google and sites like Facebook) to your ideal customers. Effective PPC can put you at the top of search results (above organic results) – and even above your competitors.

Advantages of SEO over PPC:

  1. SEO is cost-effective. Unlike PPC, SEO has no ongoing click charges once setup is complete.
  2. SEO lasts longer. Once a PPC campaign is turned off, so is your traffic from the campaign. A properly optimized site (i.e., one with good link authority, on-page optimization and well-written, relevant content), however, can keep your rankings high long after the work is performed.
  3. SEO is more stable. Whereas PPC ads are at the mercy of competitors’ continuously changing bidding tactics, search engine positioning is relatively stable – meaning your site can hold its position for weeks, even if you do nothing.

Advantages of PPC over SEO:

  1. PPC delivers faster results. While SEO can take months before you start seeing your rankings improve, a PPC campaign will immediately drive traffic to your site.
  2. PPC budgets are easy to control. With a PPC campaign you can determine how much you’ll likely need to spend to get the leads you need, which makes budgeting simpler. SEO results are tougher to forecast; it can take longer or more money to generate leads in more competitive industries or locations.
  3. PPC isn’t beholden to changing algorithms. Google continually updates its search engine, so the rules for ranking well are in a constant state of flux – making SEO a moving target. With PPC you’re bidding to show your ads, so organic ranking isn’t a factor.

Which is right for your business: SEO? PPC? Both?

Let BARQAR’s digital marketing experts help you develop the right strategy to increase visibility, drive more traffic, generate more inbound leads and sell more.

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