SEO vs PPC: Which One Is Right For My Business?

Carrianne Dukes

Digital Marketing Executive
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SEO vs PPC: Which one is right for my business?

The never-ending debate, pay per click advertising (PPC) vs search engine optimisation (SEO). 

All you hear digital marketers talk about is the importance of having an SEO and PPC strategy to deliver results online, but what the hell does that mean?

Quite frankly, an SEO strategy is all about getting your website to the top position organically on Google for your chosen keywords (your brand name, product name or product category, to name a few). 

PPC is about getting your products and services seen by your desired audience by an ad, which then takes them to your website, from one single click. 

So, let’s delve a little bit deeper into the current buzzwords in digital marketing. 

What is SEO? 

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quality and quantity of traffic to your website by appearing as high as possible on the organic search results on Google for your chosen keywords.

So what is the main goal?

To appear in the first position of the search results!

How is this achieved?

Witchcraft..! What was once deemed magic, is a set of processes that optimise your website. 

Using relevant tools and processes allow you to improve the user experience and increase your rankings. 

Perform a website audit using tools such as, Screaming Frog or SEM Rush, which show you which technical elements on your website need to be fixed. 

It is super important to conduct in-depth keyword research and find what keywords your audience is searching for. You then put these keywords in your content to start appearing for these search terms, to drive traffic to your website. SEMRush is a fabulous tool for this. 

A few creative SEO tactics are:

  • Comprehensive content – answer the questions your AUDIENCE are searching for with blogs, vlogs, podcasts.
  • Google My Business Pages – optimise the features and keep it up to date 
  • Link building – through digital PR, outreach strategies or guest blogs, to name a few.
  • Unique, specific and relevant on-page meta. 

Achieving this increases the visibility of your website but it isn’t a quick fix, whereas, with PPC you see instant results.

Does PPC Really Deliver Results?

Pay per click advertising (PPC) is a form of advertising where business only pays for an ad when someone clicks on it. There are several types of PPC ads, which are:

  • Search Ads

Search Ads appear on the top of the Google search results page for your chosen keyword. As you can see below, Silkfred, Floryday, Wallis and Missguided are all bidding for the keyword “summer dresses for women”. 

As clothing is a low involvement product, the buying journey is often very short and impulsive, with little research. Therefore, you have more chances of your potential customer visiting your website and converting, the higher you are on Google. 

Couldn’t you just achieve this organically?

Yes…but it is incredibly hard, especially in the apparel and fashion market where it is very saturated and competitive. It would take a lot of content and time to achieve this, especially if you are not one of the market leaders. 

As we can see below, the companies that appear on the top of the organic results are not the same ones that are bidding successfully on those keywords…

  • Shopping Ads

Shopping ads appear either on the top of the page of Google or to the right. They are only the image, the title of the product, the company and the price. If a customer likes what they see, they are transported to that product page on that company’s website.

It is so important that the information on these ads directly match the information on your website, otherwise, it will have a bad impact on the customer experience and can ruin the credibility of your company.

  • Video Ads

Video ads are shown within a popular video either at the beginning, during or after it has played. 

Almost 5 billion videos are watched on youtube every single day, so if your target audience is watching specific videos, get a short 6-second ad on there to increase the awareness of your product or services. 

  • Display Ads

Display ads are primarily used to increase brand awareness. They are images of the products or services, with your brand being easily identifiable, placed on relevant 3rd party websites.

See an example below:

They are great for remarketing but can annoy your customers. For example, I was looking for train times a few months ago, and a clothing brand appeared there? It was not relevant nor appropriate so it can accrue a lot of wasted spend if not managed properly. 

  • Social Ads

Social ads are a type of PPC advertising, where ads are just shown on your selected social media platform (Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook). It allows businesses to target based on demographics, interests or remarketing. The ad is shown on someone’s “feed” or “timeline” and advertisers can pay per click, or per thousand impressions, depending on their objective of this campaign. 

If your target audience is on social media, these strategies are worth investing in as it creates a deeper engagement with your audience then other PPC advertisements. 

Social should be part of your wider strategy, as we are finding that users do not often convert in a straight line, they have many touch points with your brand which influence their purchasing decision. 

Social is likely to be the first interaction with the user, creating desire. Therefore, your organic listings, social media pages, email marketing strategy and PPC ads need to be active to achieve that conversion. 

So What Factors Determine Your Chosen Strategy?

Time and money. 

Do you want immediate results which are easily measured? PPC is for you.

PPC is easily measurable, you are provided with in-depth data to analyse the return on investment (ROI) of your PPC campaigns, on Google Ads and Google Analytics.

As soon as Google has approved your campaigns, you start appearing on the search results. If your bid and quality score are high enough, you will appear in the top results. However, you do have to remember that you have to pay for the ad spend, if it is not managed correctly or you are bidding on the wrong keywords, it can create a lot of wasted spend. 

PPC allows smaller businesses to compete with market leaders.

It can be months before you start seeing results with SEO and it needs to be continually improved and worked on. There seem to be new strategies all the time that increase your rankings, so be sure to keep up to date with the latest tips and tricks. 

Digital marketing is so much easier to measure than traditional marketing (print, TV ads) due to the volume of data it provides. The metrics allow you to understand what campaigns are working and delivering results. 

An integrated approach to digital marketing is critical for success in this competitive world. Social, PPC, SEO and email marketing. 

If you have any questions regarding a PPC or SEO strategy, feel free to reach out at hello@seotrafficlab.com.

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