When faced with this marketing dilemma, many people evoke visions of two opposing forces clashing on the digital battlefield. Yet, these notions about the great divide are overblown at best. Strong organic search pays dividends for marketing and branding and improves the bottom line; then again, PPC also has some unique benefits to offer. So, how about a combination of both? We will make the case for such a sound tactic, which weighs pros and cons of various marketing tools and utilizes them accordingly and synergistically.
In two minds
Marketers often struggle to figure out whether they should focus on paid or organic search methods. The answer to the questions which one is better is not really clear-cut. There are many benefits of PPC campaigns one can reap and the same must be said about SEO ones. How these strategies will play out for you depends on your resources, objectives, and the marketplace. Likewise, how your target audience uses the internet has a profound impact on the ultimate decision.
A matter of cost-efficiency
Organic search significantly enhances traffic at excellent cost per lead. In this regard, it outmatches paid search. Namely, traffic from SEO comes free in a sense that you are not charged anything for all those clicks. Instead, you need to invest time and money to lay the groundwork and make it happen. Besides, the results do not fade away once you stop paying. That is why the ROI associated with SEO is higher than any form of paid media, including PPC.
More bang for your buck
With SEO, you get a chance to get your business in front of the customers and spread brand awareness using targeted keywords. Boosted visibility allows you to build credibility and trust with the audience and improve not only traffic and click-through rates (CTR) but also sales. Most users have confidence in search engines, unlike ads, which they tend to avoid. Hence, you can count on a higher amount of overall clicks and once you establish visibility, you make it hard for competition to buy their way in.
Problems in heaven
Still, new businesses struggle to get the ball rolling in the area of SEO and sometimes opt for PPC as a more straightforward tactic. Visibility in organic search neither comes quick nor easy. The task becomes borderline impossible in case you have to go for keywords that also targeted by behemoths such as Amazon or Apple. Moreover, to make the most of SEO, one has to employ content assets, build links, acquire listings, and use SEO crawler tool to see if the resources are allocated optimally towards boosting organic traffic.
Pay to play
Those who do not fancy the scattergun approach of SEO and like to target with laser-like precision lean towards PPC. Ads are targeted by keywords, but also geography, time, language, device, demographics, etc. Therefore, using this method, marketers can ensure they get noticed by the right people. What is more, they exercise more control and gain more space for the delivery of marketing messages. It helps also that Google gives you an opportunity to take advantage of visual shopping ads that are proven to increase CTR.
It must be mentioned that paid search is linked to some specific benefits as well. For instance, ads have a distinguished position on the page and dominate above-the-fold content. Users always see them, even when they decide to simply scroll past them. Furthermore, marketers are in a position to gather marketing intelligence and launch campaigns quickly. Finally, PPC may not be as cost-effective as SEO, but the ace up its sleeve is that you have a tight control over a budget: It is possible to set a fixed limit to how much you will spend per day.
The best of both worlds
SEO is the undisputed king when it comes to cost-effectiveness and click-through rates, but it is not a silver bullet that always does the trick. Done right, PPC delivers value and takes your marketing efforts to the next level. As it turns out, an integrated approach is the most fruitful strategy to achieve digital greatness in 2017 and beyond. To make the right call, see where these strategies fit within your overall marketing plan. Select channels that make sense considering your situation and you will be able to stand out in the crowded digital realm.