SEO or PPC Ads: Which to Focus on?

SEO or PPC Ads Which to Focus on

Most businesses that are starting off with their digital marketing campaigns, often lack the resources (cash and personnel) and time to focus on both SEO and PPC. As a result, they must allocate their resources efficiently and prioritize one over the other.

Key Factors To Consider

To help you weigh your options between SEO or PPC, we have highlighted key differences between SEO and PPC ads:

  • SEO is a long-term and ongoing strategy of building your websites credibility and value to your target audience. As a result, financial reward will not be immediate.
  • PPC generates leads fairly quickly and requires a lot less effort. As a result, financial reward is immediate.
  • SEO has a larger return on investment and opportunity in the long run vs PPC, as most of the online traffic goes to organic search.
  • PPC can be highly competitive and costly, which can eat up your profit margins or cost per acquisition.
  • PPC is great to use to foreshadow SEO results by testing how users interact with your ads and landing page. Ultimately, it will curve the path to SEO.
  • SEO is slower and more difficult to rank in search results, while PPC ads can be a matter of how much u bid and how well your quality score is.

If you are still on the fence on what direction you want to take your digital marketing, then continue reading our blog post where we break down the specific pros and cons of SEO and PPC ads. By the end of this post, you should be able to make a well-informed decision on where to allocate your resources.

When You Should Consider SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the overall process of managing and developing your website to appeal to search engines (Google, Bing, and Yahoo). The more optimized your website is, the more credibility and trust is gained by the search engines. As a result, you will website will rank and receive traffic for relevant search queries entered on search engines.

SEO Strategy Plan

However, this is a lot easier said than done. SEO requires a lot of strategy, planning, testing, and results measuring. As a result, it can be quite expensive and time consuming to implement for results that will not have an immediate return.

Most marketers will tell you that you need to aim for the top 10 of the search results page. However, this can see quite overwhelming and discouraging. To get results and stay motivated you need to break down your goals, do market research, and only target your audience with your content.

Being specific will help you rank for more ideal target keywords, improve click through rates, conversions, and more. Research your audience and competitors to get a better feel on how to create content, select the right keywords, and gain a competitive advantage.

Be realistic with your goals and break them down. For example, aim for the top 40 at first, then 30, 20, 10, 1-3 spots on search results. This will make the journey of optimizing your website more manageable and tolerable.

How To Implement SEO

Depending on how well you strategically build and manage your website will determine how well your results will be. Here is a list of SEO activities you should focus on:

  • On Page SEO (Meta description, keywords, site speed, meta tags, etc.)
  • Keyword research
  • Content research and writing
  • Links (internal, external, and backlinks)
  • Results measuring and optimization
  • User experience

These are just some of the main SEO activities, however if you get these done correctly, then you can expect better results in your efforts.

Advantages & Disadvantages of SEO

SEO Advantages

SEO has many benefits which may help you lean towards focusing on it rather than PPC:

  • Improved customer lifetime value
  • More profitable than PPC in the long run
  • SEO is scalable
  • It’s always working
  • Higher credibility and authority to your audience
  • Higher visibility in search results
  • Improves quality of PPC ads

SEO Disadvantages

SEO does come at some cost, and you should way to tradeoffs of investing your time into SEO.

  • It takes long to get results; most companies do not see any results until 6 to 12 months
  • Search engine algorithms change, which can disrupt your SEO results
  • Instead of paying for cost per click, your cost will be accrued by labor, software, and research. Which may be more costly.

When You Should Consider PPC

Pay Per Click (PPC) ads are a quick way to get on top of the search results of Google via Google Ads, or Bing via Microsoft Ads. To get on top of the search results page, advertisers will bid for selected keywords to have their ads compete for spots in the search results. Advertisers will only pay once a user clicks on their ad.

Pay per click

Similar to SEO, advertisers must research keywords, their audience, and the competitive landscape. By doing so, a PPC advertiser can alleviate the risk of bidding for irrelevant keywords or the wrong audience. Furthermore, by understanding the competitive landscape, you can develop a better strategy to compete.

With PPC, advertisers are able to track data through their campaigns, ad groups, ads, keywords, audience, location, and more. Ultimately, it will paint a pretty precise picture on your results and where they are coming for. Unlike SEO, the data is much clearer and more precise on Ads, which enable you to pinpoint room for improvement or adjustments.

How To Implement PPC

If you are looking to implement PPC ads, then you will need a website. Your website or domain will have to be verified with whatever ad platform you wish to use. Usually this is by inserting a tag within your websites coding.

Once accomplished, you can begin setting up your ads. Ultimately, ads are very structured and well organized. Here is a quick guide on how to break down your ads.

  • Campaigns: should be assigned based off goals.
  • Ad groups: can be services, topics, or products you are offer.
  • Ad copy: should include your keywords and relate to your ad group.
  • Ad extensions: are complementary features that can boost value and relevancy to your ads.
  • Keywords: words that advertisers will bid for relevant to ad group.
  • Audience: demographics, location, and devices are features enabled in ads to break down your audience

Advantages & Disadvantages of PPC

PPC Advantages

Depending on your situation, PPC ads may be the right fit for you, here are some advantages you should consider:

  • Quick results
  • Can provide insights to SEO
  • It’s very controlled
  • Target specific audiences
  • Accurate date in real time

PPC Disadvantages

If you are considering PPC ads, then you should also know about the disadvantages that come with them:

  • Can be expensive
  • Risky and no guarantee of conversions
  • Potential to overspend is common
  • You need money to keep it going

Key Takeaways: SEO or PPC Ads

Ultimately, this answer will be subjective to your business and the situation that you are in. Ideally, you would want to use both to maximize the benefits of both and complement the weaknesses.

We recommend PPC ads over SEO if you are just starting off in your digital marketing. Ultimately, your SEO will not be strong or have any value to users or search engines. As a result, PPC ads can cut you in front of the line with real time results.

Your PPC ad results, can help direct your approach on SEO. As you continue to setup and optimize your PPC ads, overtime they should require less time to manage. Therefore, you allocate more of your resources to start building up your SEO.

The only time you should probably start with SEO, is when you are a startup, strapped for cash, and have time to dedicate towards building your site.

Ultimately you should use each of these marketing channels to build off each other. If you would like professional assistance with your SEO or PPC ads, then contact JMF Digital Marketing today.

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