PPC or SEO?

How Natural Search Engine Optimisation Pays Off in the Long Run

SEO and PPC are search engine marketing techniques that are used to drive targeted traffic to your website. PPC, or Pay Per Click, ads are a way of buying visitors to your website by bidding on advertisement placements among the search engine results for specific keywords. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a natural way of achieving top search engine placement by creating a keyword rich website with a strong linking structure. But which method is best for your company?

While both PPC and SEO marketing tactics have advantages, natural search engine optimization tends to have a higher return on investment (ROI) over time. In fact, a JupiterResearch study found that companies who outsource both their SEO and PPC campaigns show a significantly higher ROI with natural search engine optimization. Users tend to trust natural search engine results to be relevant to the information they are seeking, and are more likely to click on a natural SEO result.

SEO vs. PPC

Although using an SEO firm to create high search engine positioning for your website requires a higher initial investment than starting a PPC campaign, natural search engine optimization pays off over time. After your initial investment, your SEO website will require little to no additional cost to keep bringing in highly qualified traffic. With a PPC campaign, however, as soon as you stop investing money, your traffic comes to a screeching halt.

It is a common misperception that PPC campaigns are easier to run than search engine optimization. Nothing could be further from the truth, however. In order to keep the ROI of a PPC campaign high, your company needs to invest significant time and effort into analyzing the campaign, managing bids, and writing new advertising creatives. SEO requires an investment of time and experience; PPC requires time, experience, and a constant flow of money.

Another disadvantage of PPC is that it is increasingly vulnerable to click fraud. Click fraud is an attack on a PPC campaign to destroy its profitability. One example of click fraud is a robotic script that clicks a competitor's PPC links over and over again, costing them money for each click with no real traffic coming to the site. Another type of click fraud involves repeatedly running a search without clicking on a PPC link, which can cause the advertisements to be disabled for having a click through rate that is too low. Although search engines do their best to hinder PPC click fraud, it is impossible to stop altogether. Natural SEO results are impervious to this kind of attack.

Where PPC campaigns can really shine is in conjunction with natural search engine optimization. PPC campaigns are quick to start, with advertisements online in as little as fifteen minutes. SEO, on the other hand, can take as long as three months to really kick in. PPC can start driving traffic to your site before your SEO takes effect. PPC is also an effective way to get exposure for highly competitive keywords. While it might be too costly to receive top search engine positioning for these search phrases with natural SEO, you can still get the benefit of targeted traffic using PPC. Finally, PPC can help emphasize your site's dominance for your main keywords. Search engine users who see results for the same site in the natural listings and in the PPC advertisements often feel that the site is more trustworthy than if it is found in one result alone.

To get in touch with an SEO expert who can help your company achieve natural search engine positioning in the top results for your most vital keywords, fill out our online form today.