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SEO Advertising vs PPC: Which Is Best for Your Website?

Google processes over 40,000 search queries per second.

Businesses everywhere can take advantage of this digital traffic by turning to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC).

Both SEO and PPC campaigns can boost a business’s visibility in search results and drive traffic to their site.

Sometimes, however, implementing both SEO and PPC may not be feasible. In some cases, one may be more effective than the other.

In this post, we’ll discuss which is best for your website: SEO advertising or PPC marketing. Read on for insight!

What is SEO Advertising?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) advertising targets search engine users. Its ultimate aim is to increase traffic to your website, which can be valuable for conversions, building an online reputation, and acquiring an audience.

People all over the world use search engines like Google or Bing to quickly locate information. In this sense, search engines are like a massive, unfiltered marketplace–ideal for marketers!

A typical Google search involves a brief query, usually a phrase or a keyword that approximates the searcher’s intent. A user may search for “women’s Italian clothing,” for example, or “how to get a passport.”

Google assembles results for these searches based off of authority. The best matches will appear on the first page of results, closest to the top of the screen.

Businesses with content appearing as close to the top of the first page of search results are far more likely to get a click from users. Searchers are less likely to click through additional results pages.

This is where SEO advertising comes in. An SEO campaign involves optimizing online content for searchable phrases a business’s ideal user is likely to enter into Google.

For example, a company specializing in website development may optimize its pages for “professional web developers” or “e-commerce web design.”

Google does have guidelines when it comes to SEO advertising. SEO is not just a matter of cramming relevant keywords into your blog posts and web pages.

Sites that comply with Google’s standards and have a high domain authority, for example, are more likely to be competitive in search results. Any that try to “cheat” the system will be penalized.

It’s possible to implement SEO advertising all on your own, although some businesses turn to SEO experts to launch a campaign. In many cases, SEO can be completely free, depending on how you implement it.

What is PPC Marketing?

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing uses many of the same principles that SEO advertising uses. Both are intended to boost the visibility of your online content in highly trafficked areas.

PPC marketers craft digital ads for specific content that surface in search results or social media.

If they are building ads through Google AdWords, Google’s PPC advertising, marketers bid for keywords they want to incorporate into these ads. Marketers thus pay a certain price per click each ad earns. More popular keywords will have higher bids.

Marketers can also build ads through social media platforms like Facebook. PPC ads here include images or even video, and can appear in users’ news feeds or messaging systems.

While PPC marketing does cost money, it has the potential to offer a high return on investment (ROI). Let’s say that a user clicks on a PPC ad, visits your website, and consequently makes a $500 purchase. Even if you paid $4 for that click, you still received a significant conversion!

Most PPC advertising includes multiple campaigns. Google AdWords walks marketers through the process of building many-tiered campaigns based off of different keywords, content, and target audience. It can be started and ended at any time.

Which is Best For Your Website?

At the end of the day, which is best for your website? PPC or SEO advertising?

In many cases, the answer to this question will depend on your marketing budget, target audience, industry, and other resources. We’ve broken some key points down below.

1. SEO Is Best For Websites Needing General Traffic

The beauty of SEO lies in its capacity to work in any industry. It’s not just for businesses looking for more conversions (i.e., profits).

It can be valuable for bloggers wanting more visitors to their site or artists wanting more eyes on their digital portfolio. Entrepreneurs, real estate agents, affiliate marketers and beyond can make use of SEO if they simply desire more traffic to their site.

For this reason, SEO may be best for your website if you are simply eager for more visibility. If you are starting out as a business or just trying to build your audience, SEO is a must.

It can also be useful for people who are still figuring out who their audience actually is! This is because SEO is designed to drive general traffic to your site.

2. PPC Can Leverage SEO and Generate Conversions Quickly

If you have SEO already in place, PPC can leverage your existing optimization efforts. Google ads, for example, often surface in the first page of search results, giving added emphasis to your other high ranking content.

PPC is thus ideal for sites wanting to give their SEO an added punch, address highly targeted users, and gain more conversions.

Because ads are highly crafted, they are often geared towards a call to action of some kind. Ads can have greater urgency, compelling faster conversions.

3. SEO is Ideal For Newbie Marketers (And Small Budgets)

PPC definitely requires a marketing budget of some kind. For marketers with fewer resources in this regard, PPC may not be the digital marketing solution at present.

For this reason, SEO is best for newbie marketers with small budgets; PPC is ideal for sites with the margins necessary to invest in the right kind of ad campaign.

SEO can be expensive, too, however, particularly if you outsource SEO services. However, most marketers begin by handling SEO themselves, which doesn’t cost a penny generally.

Final Thoughts: SEO Advertising Vs. PPC Marketing

SEO advertising and PPC marketing give all businesses a chance to boost the visibility of their online content quickly and effectively. SEO involves optimizing content for searchable keywords, while PPC is a form of paid digital advertising that crafts targeted ads.

In general, SEO advertising is good for all websites eager to play by Google’s rules and earn more traffic while they are at it. PPC can hone an existing SEO campaign and generate targeted conversions more easily than SEO, in most cases.

PPC is also suited for individuals with the cash to spare for a paid campaign.

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