SEO or PPC – Which Is Better?

So you want to get more traffic to your home page? Two key ways of doing this is through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC). You may be questioning which one you should invest your time and money into – SEO or PPC or both?

Of course, both have their pros and cons, but is one better than the other?

Let’s take a look.

Is SEO Better?

SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is the process whereby you optimise a website to rank as high in the search engine results pages (SERPS) as possible, ideally on page one for a number of keywords.

A massive part of this process is knowing what the search engines want, what your successful competitors are doing and then optimising your web site and the individual pages that make up your site accordingly.

Pros of SEO:

  1. Organic traffic has staying power. Once you’re able to get your website to rank highly in the search engines, chances are good that you’ll be able to generate consistent traffic. Even if you stop SEO temporarily (which you shouldn’t because it is ongoing for the life of the site) you will still rank for some keywords for some time.
  2. SEO is often a less expensive option than PPC. When you compare the two traffic sources, SEO comes out the winner of the two when looking at traffic generated, as long as you’re looking at the traffic that comes once you’ve attained high rankings in the search engines.

Cons of SEO:

  1. SEO takes time. It can take many months for your hard work to show any rewards. If you don’t have the time to wait for your website and content to rank, then SEO may not be the best option for you. PPC may be better. Whilst we commonly see some movement within 3 months, allowing 6 – 12 months is ideal to see the results.
  2. You need unique and quality content. When it comes to content, people want to read the best content available. This a strategy in itself. It takes research, planning, creativity and writing skills. If you don’t have these skills yourself, then hiring an expert SEO copywriter will be of enormous benefit.
  3. SEO is a lot of work. There is no one easy factor that you can focus on. There are many factors or ranking signals that the Google algorithm looks at on a web page. And these need constant updating, testing and refinement every month ongoing. (A burst of updates doesn’t look “natural” to Google.)

Is PPC Better?

PPC, or Pay-Per-Click Advertising, is a technique that allows you to advertise in search engines or on social media where you pay when someone clicks on your ad. This brings immediate, targeted traffic to your website. Two common options are Google Ads and Facebook Ads.

Pros of PPC:

  1. Quick results. Unlike SEO, where you may have to wait months to see results, PPC is fast. You can start getting substantial traffic to your website within a few hours of your PPC campaign going live.
  2. You can accurately target different demographics. When you use PPC, you will be able to target different types of people. For example, if you want to target women in her 50s who lives in Australia and is interested in camping, you can target this demographic with your ads (depending on the platform – social media ads are great at this!) SEO does not give you this option as you are targeting a keyword, not a demographic.
  3. You can experiment quickly and easily. With PPC, you can set up a campaign and run A/B tests so that you can monitor what works and what doesn’t very quickly. SEO is a slower process, so it will take time to come to any conclusion regarding the success of an SEO technique.

Cons of PPC:

  1. It can be expensive. If you are in a competitive niche, PPC can be expensive and your return on investment (ROI) in the first couple of months may be low while you are working out which messages in your ads and landing pages work and which ones don’t.
  2. Ads can become less effective. Using the same ads with every campaign will result in them becoming stale and less effective (this is particularly true with social media ads). To avoid this, swap out the copy and images in the ads regularly to keep them working long-term.

Which is Better for You?

Whether SEO or PPC is better for your business, depends on your goals. Both are reasonable sources of traffic.

If you need urgent leads or sales, then you will want faster results. In this case PPC will be the better option, because SEO will take longer to work.

If you have a smaller budget, SEO might be the better option, as paid ads can be expensive, especially if you don’t have experience with them. SEO is foundational. Realistically most business owners want their website to be found in Google and this means ongoing SEO.

In an ideal world, use both SEO and PPC in tandem. This is exactly what large firms do to maximise their website traffic and to help keep them known as household names. When using SEO and PPC together, you can seriously grow the amount of traffic to your website and scale your business!

Both SEO and PPC are part of our complete digital strategy package which includes strategy, traffic generation, funnel management, conversion rate optimisation and content creation. Alternatively you can opt for a simple SEO or PPC campaign to stimulate traffic to your website. For more information, please contact Blue Platypus.