seo-vs-ppcIf you’re contemplating your next online marketing requirements and can’t decide whether to commit to SEO or PPC then the short answer is: use both.

It all depends on what works for you however, bear in mind that SEO should be an on-going strategy and PPC should be used on a temporary basis.

A well-structured PPC campaign can complement and enhance your SEO work and grab some of the traffic that’s being missed through organic search alone. It can also help you find out what keywords lead to the most conversions and give you almost immediate results whilst enforcing your brand’s exposure against some of your industries ‘big players’.

PPC is an excellent method of working with offline projects where timing is everything. Seasonality, specific events, current trends and product launches are all perfect for PPC as they’re only temporarily relevant and thus you can structure your campaign accordingly.

It’s all about the keywords and as PPC enables you to see what words work better than others then it’s also an excellent means of testing prior to building the words into your on-going SEO structure.

The Cost

Of course, PPC can become quite an expensive habit so make sure you use your budget wisely and don’t get too carried away. Try highlighting long-tail keywords as they won’t be too costly and will ultimately lead to customers who are closer to the point of buying rather than if they’d organically found your site through shorter, more generic, terms.

Check out your competition to see what they’re doing and if you’ve got no chance of competing in SERPS through organic methods then PPC maybe a better option.

As mentioned, it’s all about what works for you and if your products or services require the user to make a long and well-researched decision then PPC probably isn’t going to be as effective as browsers are going to be doing just that and wasting your Adwords budget in the meantime.

Combining SEO and PPC

It’s worth bearing in mind that Google have a vested interested in PPC campaigns and as such they’re less likely to monkey with the basic principles of what works and what doesn’t. Changes in the algorithms can smash a website in the twinkling of an eye so just beware that you’re sticking to the standard Google mantra of ‘quality, aka: relevance, is king’ and you should be ok.

So, aside from complementing time specific campaigns, ranking in competitive SERPS and providing key words that actually work, what has PPC done for us?

If we have the money then we may consider PPC to be a time efficient means of acquiring customers and perhaps all of that SEO work is a bit of a waste of time.

But, of course, we’d be wrong. SEO is a long term, on-going and sustainable strategy whereas PPC isn’t or shouldn’t be thought of as such.

Organic rankings are considered a more trustworthy source of information and savvy customers often ignore paid advertising campaigns purely because they know that they’re paid for. Really competitive short-term keywords are very expensive however, over time, a well-considered SEO strategy will allow a site to rank for them without the costs.

Finally, if you’re thinking of jacking it all in and getting out of the online game then SEO will form part of your business’s infrastructure and will be considered a valuable asset if you’re thinking of selling up.

So, in summary: both SEO and PPC deserve some of your marketing spend however, in the long term, SEO should have the lion’s share and PPC should be used as a side dish as opposed to the main course.