PPC V SEO – Which Should I use?
When it comes to online advertising, besides social media your 2 main options are PPC and SEO. PPC or pay per click as it’s known is the process where you choose what keywords to bid on and you then set up adverts that appear as sponsored ads on Google, Bing, MSN etc.
SEO or search engine optimisation is the process where you get free rankings in search engines by making your website search engine friendly and optimised for your keywords, this is done by a multitude of small tweaks and tasks and by having good content.
Question is what’s the difference between the 2 and which should you use. Below we try help you decide, though there is no reason you should not use both options and if you want to do a full and comprehensive online marketing campaign then both should be considered at the same time.
Let’s start with PPC (Pay per click).
PPC For & Against:
• Instant traffic in less than an hour.
• Can target any area you want down to postcode.
• Total control on your spend and when you advertise.
• You can update adverts instantly with any text you like.
• You can target any keywords you want.
• Ability to not show adverts to certain ages, areas as well as for keywords you don’t want.
• You can send them to any page of your site direct.
• You can track conversions and what keywords and clicks created sales.
• You can have telephone numbers with a click to call function.
• You pay per click so you do need a daily budget.
• You compete against other companies in your industry.
• You need to set up the account in the first place.
• You can get wasted clicks if not set up correctly.
You can spend as much or as little as you want with PPC. Obviously the more you spend the more traffic you will have come to your website. Your budget and success does depend on the industry you are in. If you are for example in the loans or finance industry you could be competing against hundreds of other websites and some pretty big companies who have thousands at their disposal every day. This does not mean you can’t still have a slice of the pie as you can always find niche areas to target and use longtail keywords (3 or 4 word phrases) rather then 1 or 2 words like “loan” or “loan application”.
How much you spend is totally up to you and you are in control all the time. You can set daily budgets and limits so you never spend more then you want. You can always increase your budget if you are doing well. Cost per click will depend on your industry, if you are in a competitive industry like finance or insurance you would expect to spend pounds per click. If you are a local company in a niche area then you could only spend a few pence per click.
SEO For & Against:
• Free traffic once rankings achieved.
• Traffic volume could be huge.
• Great brand awareness.
• Nationwide exposure.
• Cheaper then PPC potentially.
• Cost to hire someone if you need a professional.
• Time it takes to get the free rankings in search engines.
• If doing it yourself time it takes to learn the techniques.
• Might need to slightly tweak your websites look and text.
• You need to keep working on it to make sure you don’t lose your free rankings.
• You are competing against large companies with large budgets.
The major downfall of SEO is the varied range of pricing. This depends on firstly the industry you are in and secondly the state of your website. Some websites require more work then others and this could be represented in the costings. The other factor is the industry you are in. £100 a week will not get you anywhere near the first page for industries like finance or insurance, large companies have entire departments working day and night to get free rankings.
You need to be clever and target niche areas if your industry is quite a competitive one. However if you are in a less competitive industry then SEO will cost less. Always get a few quotes as you tend to find the prices vary from one SEO company to another. Always ask to see genuine examples of rankings the company has achieved for other clients too. When it comes to SEO if it seems too cheap it probably is. Also companies making promises we would avoid as for SEO you can’t guarantee anything.
When it comes to SEO the success or failure could depend on your budget and remember it could be months before you see any free rankings appear. If you need a more quicker approach then PPC may be more suitable for you.