PPC or SEO? When to Optimize and When to Pay

When it comes to PPC and SEO, it’s not always an either-or situation. Oftentimes, both of these tactics work holistically to help you gain traffic for your website. Let’s take a look at a scenario many small business owners face. 

You have an amazing new product: software that recommends the perfect meal based on personality. You’re excited to finally share your business with the world. However, you don’t really know how to reach your target audience. 

Small business owners often find themselves in similar situations. It doesn’t matter how amazing your products and services are when people can’t find you. Two popular strategies address this problem: 

How do you know which method is right for you? Is it more important to push organic traffic to your website by climbing the ranks of search engine results pages (SERPs)? Should you invest in advertising at the top of a page for your hottest keyword? 

In this post, we explore these two acquisition strategies and provide some insight to help you decide whether your business should pursue an SEO strategy or a PPC campaign. 

So, What Is SEO? 

Do you know how you turn to your preferred search engine when you need to look up an acronym or find a new restaurant? Your target audience does the same thing. When you invest in search engine optimization (SEO), you increase the chances of your target audience finding you when they search for keywords related to your product or service. 

SEO is important because it helps you build a Google presence. In turn, this is crucial when your want your business to succeed because increasing your rank on SERPs improves your online visibility and domain authority. 

In other words, you can build up the content on your site and optimize for keywords so that Google sees your site as relevant. When it does, it pushes your site higher up the results pages. 

What About PPC? 

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is an aspect of search engine marketing, where you pay a publisher such as Facebook or Google every time someone clicks on your ad. Through this model, you only pay when someone interacts with your advertisement, meaning you’re more likely to attract visitors interested in your offer. 

Oftentimes, PPC is associated with search engines when companies bid on specific keywords to trigger their ads. You may have noticed that ads appear at the top of search results and are tagged with an “Ad” marker. The cost of PPC is typically based on search volume. When the search volume is high for a particular keyword, you can expect to pay more per click. 

PPC helps businesses stay competitive when they don’t have the domain authority or SEO strategy to compete with higher ranking businesses. It can be especially useful in crowded markets that go after the same target audience. 

PPC campaigns can involve both display ads and text ads. They typically lead to landing pages on your site that will have a call to action specific to the people you want to reach. A high-quality PPC campaign looks to match types and search queries to craft ads with solid quality scores. 

PPC and SEO by the Numbers 

While both of these tactics involve some keyword research and should consider the user experience, they have very different ROI factors. Let’s take a look at some of the numbers and see whether it’s worth that cost per click. 

  • PPC. On average, businesses make $3 in revenue for every $1.60 they spend on Google Ads. This means there is often a solid ROI for paid search ads. They also offer valuable insight into testing what phrases your audience connects with the most. 
  • SEO. SEO drives 30% of traffic and 20% of revenue. The ROI of SEO grows over time as your website establishes authority and visibility. People often visit a website multiple times before they make a purchase or even fill out a form, so improving your rank for relevant keywords increases the odds of a conversion over time. 
  • PPC. Google’s updates don’t affect PPC campaigns. While these aren’t numbers, it is a benefit of PPC. When Google makes a significant change to their algorithm, SEO practices and rankings will shift. However, your PPC ads may not need to change at all. 
  • SEO. Organic SEO is 5.66 times better than PPC ads. Many believe that an organic-first strategy is better in the long-term because it leads to a stronger conversion rate over time. Some believe that paid ads interrupt audiences with outreach that they do not want while organic SEO draws them in with content they love. 
  • PPC. 63% of people report that they would click on a paid search ad. A higher CTR is the goal of both PPC and SEO. 
  • SEO. Nearly 80% of users say they ignore paid results in SERPs. People tend to prefer organic links over paid results. 

So…Is It PPC or SEO? 

As a small business owner, you probably just want a straight answer. Whether you’ve read the above statistics or skipped straight to the end, we can help you out. At Chaos Theory, we believe in the power of optimization. SEO values about longevity over immediacy, meaning that the ROI grows over time. 

While PPC offers a short-term boost to your traffic, it isn’t always sustainable. At times, it also draws traffic that you don’t want. However, a sound SEO strategy can work in harmony with a PPC campaign to boost your business in the short-term as your search engine optimization strategy grows over time. 

In this situation, you want to slowly reduce your PPC campaigns as you replace it with organic traffic. You’ll invest more upfront as you develop a stronger foundation for the future. 

Houston SEO Experts Who Know Pay-Per-Click 

Our digital marketing agency knows a thing or two about PPC campaigns. We know how and when to leverage them so that your business sees stronger, faster growth while we work on the backend and lay the groundwork for a brighter future with SEO. 

When you’re ready to cut through the noise of the digital landscape, our team of search engine marketing experts can help you grow. After all, we are only as successful as you are. Call us today for a free consultation, and let us show you the power of optimization.