When Should You Opt for SEO over PPC?

Online marketing is a major key to the long-term stability of a modern business. Now that markets are online, investing in ways to reach out to digital savvy consumers is crucial if you want to maximize web visibility and presence while increasing your returns. A lot of business owners forgo practicing due diligence when it comes to online marketing. The result, all too often, is a half-baked campaign that isn’t even the best approach for the company’s current needs. Don’t make the same mistake.

Whether you require SEO or PPC is a question of what your current online marketing goals are. However, one thing is for sure: Every website requires search engine optimization as an on-going web marketing strategy and every website will require pay-per-click optimization at least at one point in their online marketing timeline. A better question to ask is probably when you should implement PPC alongside search engine optimization.

An SEO campaign takes months to years to display consistent results. In fact, Google suggests half a year to a year. However, returns from a PPC campaign are instant. Prioritizing SEO at the start of your online campaign promises high returns on investment, although results typically have to wait. SEO therefore offers an excellent way to boost your company’s competitive advantage. PPC, on the other hand, is more of a pay-to-play tactic that allows you to create buzz over for a very specific period of time.

There are certain cases, however, when you may want to prioritize PPC over SEO, such as when you are operating business within a smaller geographic area. Spending too much time on SEO and not enough on a strategy that brings in more immediate returns can be counterproductive to what you are trying to achieve with your campaign. A business operating within a city of less than 50,000, for instance, will benefit so much more from a PPC campaign for immediate marketing needs.

The worst approach to determining which area of online optimization to focus on is to blindly follow in the footsteps of your competitor. Just because your industry rival is doing well with a PPC campaign at the moment doesn’t mean you will, too. The key is knowing what your goals are, as every operation is unique and therefore has very different requirements when it comes to search marketing and web optimization.

PPC has the power to target and focus on a wider or smaller geography by a mere change of setting, plain and simple. In rural and oftentimes underserved markets, cost-per-click is usually much lower and comes at a substantial discount.

For highly volatile business areas, SEO is usually a safer choice as it allows you a consistent strategy regardless of the market climate. Conversely, practice or business areas that aren’t as volatile could benefit from PPC, provided that there is huge potential for attracting business therewith.

There are also many different situations when pay-per-click is a poor choice, particularly when your website isn’t PPC-ready. Don’t do PPC if:

  • Your site is overly generic and unable to build a personal and emotional link to your business
  • Your site is not yet mobile friendly
  • Your website design is dated
  • Your content is sparse and/or does not offer solutions to your target audience’s problems and needs.

Hence, PPC is not recommended for website that doesn’t offer much of any real value.

Understanding how the different mechanisms of online marketing operates is crucial to deciding which aspect of optimization you should pay more attention to at a certain point in your business’ progression. It’s best to get a website audit from SEO professionals to understand your options. Contact SEOValley today.