SEO vs PPC

SEO vs. PPC – 8 Benefits to Boost Long-Term Growth

By: Frank DePino | January 25, 2024

SEO vs. PPC: Which strategy is better for your business? In actuality, these two marketing strategies can work in tandem to generate leads and prompt website traffic.

SEO maximizes organic web traffic by incorporating keyword search, sitemap optimization, and link building. These optimization tactics communicate with search engines and prompt organic website traffic. PPC is a paid marketing strategy that includes purchasing ads to generate leads. PPC campaigns rely on popular ad platforms like Google ads. SEO and PPC differ because the latter generates paid traffic, whereas SEO delivers organic traffic.

No marketing strategy is complete without both SEO and PPC. Read on to learn how these two strategies help boost company growth.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization and focuses on generating organic traffic. An effective SEO strategy incorporates keyword search, sitemap optimization,and internal and external link building

So, what are these key tools—keyword search, sitemap optimization, and link building— and how do they factor into digital success?

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Keyword Research

Keyword research is one of the more important aspects of SEO. The process includes analyzing relevant search terms your target audience may enter into a search engine. These keywords typically vary in difficulty and include long-tail and short-tail keywords.

See how Mediaboom helped A&A Global optimize keywords and increase organic sales by 1,453%.

The XML Sitemap with index file contains five sitemaps generated by Yoast SEO.

Sitemap Optimization

Sitemap optimization acts as a website’s blueprint for search engines. It provides a hierarchy of the most important pages and translates this information to a search engine. In this hierarchy, the landing page is one of the most vital.

One of the Mediaboom articles with proper Internal links

Internal Link Building

Finally, internal link building in SEO vs. PPC connects internal content throughout a website with other relevant information via hyperlinks. External link building increases credibility and links to external resources for additional clarity on a topic.

These are only some of the players that impact SEO. So, how long does it take to optimize this strategy? While SEO takes a larger upfront investment—mainly time—a properly optimized strategy can deliver returns for years.

While organic web traffic is the crème de la crème, a marketing strategy wouldn’t be complete without PPC.

The company management PPC advertisement is sponsored.

What is PPC?

PPC stands for pay-per-click. It is a paid marketing strategy that generates traffic by running paid ads on Google, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

An advertiser sets a budget for each ad on each platform. When someone clicks on a paid ad, the advertiser pays a fee for the conversion rate.  That fee is deducted from the advertiser’s budget. Once the ad has met the set budget, it turns off.

Three popular PPC advertising forms include search engine marketing (SEM), remarketing ads, and social media advertising.

  • SEM: Features ads in search engine page results
  • Retargeting Advertising: Ads that use website cookies to serve users with specific ads based on their previous online actions. 
  • Social Media Advertising: Ad campaigns run on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn

While PPC requires a smaller lift upfront, the strategy requires greater financial resources.

What is the Difference Between SEO and PPC?

Both marketing strategies are on a mission to generate leads and maximize conversions. However, they both employ very different strategies to deliver these conversions.

SEO takes a larger time investment upfront; however, the benefits will generate returns for years to come. Therefore, it is a long-term strategy. It also accounts for website best practices like user-friendly navigation, linking strategy, and keyword usage.

Conversely, PPC campaigns are relatively easy to set up and require less time upfront. However, the returns from paid ads only last as long as you are financially feeding the ads. For this reason, it is a shorter-term strategy. While design elements play a role in maximizing the conversion rate, design plays less of a role in paid advertising.

Both of these digital marketing tools have pros and cons.

SEO metric traffic results with high impressions content.

Benefits of SEO

There are several benefits for your business when it comes to SEO.

Increased Organic Traffic

One of the strongest benefits of SEO vs. PPC is the increased organic traffic. Organic results are considered more credible and genuine than their paid advertising counterparts.

Improved Website Visibility

SEO helps to boost your online visibility. This is because these optimization tactics help a website rank higher in search engines. The higher the ranking, the more likely the website attracts attention.

Higher Search Engine Rankings

By incorporating keywords and optimized strategies, your website can soar to the top of search results. According to Ahrefs, 90% of pages don’t receive Google search traffic. While there is still ample competition, employing SEO strategies will help you be in the top 10%.

Enhanced Brand Credibility

SEO enhances brand credibility in a way that PPC cannot. For consumers, seeing a page organically ranked at the top offers authenticity. It also gives the impression that that company may offer the best solution to their query.

Cost-effective Marketing

Unlike PPC, SEO delivers cost-effective marketing opportunities. While generating organic search results by creating content takes time and sweat equity, the results pay dividends for years.

Ready to dive into your marketing strategy? Contact the digital media agency with experts in SEO vs. PPC.

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Targeted Traffic

Effective keywords allow you to acquire traffic from your target audience. Acquiring traffic from your target audience produces greater returns and maximizes conversions. 

Long-term Results

Although it takes patience upfront, investing in SEO delivers long-term results. In fact, according to Ahrefs, “the average page in the top 10 is over two years old.” This means the top 10 organic results generated on SERP have generated leads for years.

Competitive Advantage

A strong SEO strategy helps deliver a competitive advantage. Once a website ranks at the top of a search engine, it is difficult for competitors to outrank it. With paid advertising, you only stay on top for as long as you pay to play and outbid competitors.

The SEO specialists analyze the monthly results of their content.

Cons of SEO

While there are many benefits to SEO, there are also a few cons to remember.

Slow Results

Implementing an SEO strategy is a long-term investment. While it is an imperative piece of your marketing plan, it does take a while to see the results. It is important to remain patient and know that your sweat equity is worth the investment.

Algorithm Changes

Digital marketing is an ever-evolving landscape that should be consistently monitored or updated. Algorithm changes occur frequently and are an inevitable part of the game.

Thankfully, a digital marketing agency with experts in SEO vs. PPC can help your business succeed.

Technical Complexities

Additionally, SEO presents several technical complexities. Keyword research, linking strategies, and site architecture are all a part of an effective SEO strategy.

However, this is only half of the battle. You then need to know where to place these keywords to maximize impact.

The metrics of PPC with total clicks and high Impressions results

Benefits of PPC

Now, let’s pivot to PPC. Here are some of the benefits of paid advertising.

Immediate Results

PPC advertising can deliver near-immediate results. However, you will only see powerful results if your ads are properly optimized. That is why a general rule of thumb is to account for a three to six-month learning curve.

Precise Targeting

Paid campaigns deliver immediate, in-depth data—making precise targeting a breeze. This data allows you to cater direct ads to specific ad groups to address customer pain points. Precise targeting also allows you to develop customer segments for email marketing.

Ready to dive into a PPC strategy? Contact the digital media agency to determine what this means for your business.

Control Over Ad Spend

By setting a campaign budget with a fixed limit, you have control over the ad spend with PPC vs. SEO. It is important to set a reasonable daily budget. If your daily budget exhausts within a few hours, you may need to narrow your reach or increase your budget.

The PPC management manager checks the total spend and ROI for GARDIANJET Aircraft advertisement.

Measurable ROI

Return on investment (ROI) or return on ad spend (ROAS) helps paint a picture of a campaign’s performance. Calculate ROAS by subtracting the PPC revenue from the cost, divided by the cost. The final number should be a percentage.  

See how Guardian Jet’s website development and redesign increased web traffic by 1,409%.

A/B Testing Opportunities

A/B testing is a powerful tool to see what performs best with your target audience. It allows marketers to make data-driven decisions to improve conversions and ROI. Think of A/B testing as the ultimate science experiment. Set a hypothesis, select independent variables, and analyze the results.

Increased Brand Exposure

PPC campaigns generate increased brand exposure. This is because paid ad typically appears at the top of the search engine page. Therefore, it is more likely to be seen by users before the organic results.

Ready to increase your brand exposure? Connect with the digital marketing experts in SEO vs. PPC at Mediaboom today.

Flexibility in Campaign Management

Paid ad campaigns can be paused and tweaked at any time. This provides unmatched flexibility to adjust ads that may be underperforming. Additionally, it allows you to incorporate new data in real-time.

Quick Scalability

Knowledge is power. Especially when competitors are around every corner. PPC delivers results within days. In turn, this allows companies to act swiftly and utilize this data to quickly scale. Being able to employ quick scalability is a game-changer for your business.

The PPC management members are analyzing PPC metric results for their company.

Cons of PPC

Likewise, there are also several cons when it comes to PPC campaigns.

Costly Advertising

You have to pay to play. One of the biggest downsides of PPC is that digital advertising can become quite costly. Since you are paying per action—in industries with more competition—the bid per action can be expensive.

Utilize tools like the Google Ads Cost Calculator to determine a budget and outline expectations.

Limited Long-term Benefits

PPC campaigns only generate leads for as long as your marketing budget allows. For this reason, paid advertising is a short-term strategy. When it comes to SEO vs. PPC, utilizing both in tandem maximizes both long-term and short-term benefits.

Dependence on Ad Platforms

Dependence on ad platforms goes hand-in-hand with costly advertising and limited long-term benefits. PPC campaigns require an ad platform like Google, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook.

SEO vs. PPC Compared

Here are a few things to remember when making an SEO vs. PPC decision for your business.

ComparisonSEOPPC
TimeResults within months to yearsResults within days to weeks
CostsLarger upfront investment, but “free” leads over time.Set a daily budget.
Credibility and trustSEO is typically viewed as trustworthy, credible, and authentic.PPC is typically not seen as trustworthy since you pay to play
ControlWith SEO, there is less in your control.There is more in your control with PPC
CompetitionHighly competitiveIf you have a larger budget, you can outbid competition.
Cost per conversionDoes not applyWith PPC, you pay per conversion.
Technical requirementsSEO requires a website, keyword expertise, and a time commitment.PPC requires an ad platform, budget, and keyword knowledge.
RisksSince SEO requires a time commitment, the risk includes a loss of time.Since PPC is a paid strategy, financial risks apply.

FAQs About SEO vs. PPC

With SEO vs. PPC, here are several FAQs to keep in mind.

How is the Ranking Different When Comparing PPC vs. SEO?

Generally speaking, PPC is more measurable and quantifiable. This is simply because it takes place over a short-term period and has fewer variables associated.

In terms of search engine results, PPC does not impact organic search results. On the flip side, SEO impacts organic search engine results.

Can SEO and PPC Work Together?

An effective marketing plan utilizes both SEO and PPC in tandem. Employing a marketing approach with both these components ensures you cast a broad net and capture more prospects.

Is SEO Harder than PPC?

While the complex nature of SEO typically requires more in-depth knowledge, both require expertise. Once set up, PPC drives traffic until the ad spend dries up. Whereas the former requires constant hands-on attention.

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Schedule Your Free Consultation

Looking to take your business to the next level? Mediaboom is here to help. Sign up for a free consultation with one of our digital experts.

Conclusion

While SEO vs. PPC may seem like competing strategies, it’s easy to see how both are necessary for success. Hire a digital marketing agency to learn what this means for your business. 

By: Frank DePino

Frank DePino is Principal and Founder of Mediaboom. Since 2002, Frank has led Mediaboom’s award-winning staff of creative and technical professionals, building the most effective marketing and advertising solutions for its clients.

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