When to Optimize and When to Use PPC Ads for Traffic
- September 24, 2021
- Advertising, Pay Per Click, Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, SEO
Imagine you’ve just created a great new product and are excited to share your business with the world. Unfortunately, you have no idea how to share this revolutionary product with as many of your target users as possible. You’re not alone. Like you, many companies face a similar problem when it comes to presenting their products to potential customers. Most of the time, the solution to your problem comes down to choosing between two marketing strategies: search engine optimization (SEO) or pay-per-click (PPC ads) campaigns.
But which method is right for you? Is it better to go organic first and find consumers through search engine rankings, or is it better to invest in an ad at the top of a keyword results page?
In this article, we explore what you can hope to accomplish with each of these two acquisition strategies. We also provide some SEO and PPC pros and cons along with descriptive statistics and real-life examples to help you decide if your business is more suitable for SEO or PPC ads, or both.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization is the process of improving the visibility of your website so that it ranks for organic traffic from search engines.
Just as you turn to your favorite search engines like Google or Bing to find a new marketing acronym or where to get a good pizza, so do your consumers. When you invest in SEO, you increase the likelihood that your target audience will find you when they do a Google search for keywords related to your product or service.
For example, here Hubspot appears at the top of Google’s organic results page for the term “inbound marketing”, thanks to the SEO strategy we have in place.
Most SEO strategies focus on Google because it owns 92.24% of the search engine market share. As such, you will need to learn about Google’s 200 ranking factors, technical SEO, link building, content creation, and much more if you want to appear higher on the search engine results page.
Advantages of SEO
These are some of the advantages of SEO:
1. SEO is cheaper in the long run.
Although SEO can cost time and money, to pay for freelancers or agencies, and for SEO tools, it is still cheaper than PPC in the long run.
When you create content that ranks and drives traffic to your website, you no longer have to keep spending money to get your target customers to see it. And when these customers decide to click on your link, it comes at no cost, unlike a PPC campaign where you pay per click.
In the image below, you can see that according to Ahrefs, the value of Hub spot’s traffic is just over $ 22 million. Imagine that we had to pay for each click we receive.
Organic traffic is also very scalable and profitable.
2. You can target different stages of the funnel with SEO.
Not all of your audience is at the same stage of the sales funnel.
Some are just getting to know their brand at the top of the funnel. And others are already at the bottom of the funnel, ready to pull out their wallets.
With SEO, you can create different types of content (blog posts, guides, case studies) that fit each segment of your audience exactly where they are in the sales funnel.
3. Search traffic is more stable.
Once you rank in Google, you can be sure of free traffic to your website or web pages as long as you keep optimizing them.
There is also no on-off switch with SEO, unlike with PPC marketing, where your website stops showing up in search results once your marketing budget runs out.
4. Organic listings create brand authority.
Consistently appearing in search results for keywords related to your products and services helps build trust and brand authority with your target audience.
It also means to Google that you are an expert on that topic or topic.
Cons of SEO
Here are some reasons why you might not like SEO:
1. Search engine algorithms change.
Search engines, especially Google, have changed their algorithm many times over the years. These changes mean that you will have to keep a close eye on your marketing strategy and organic results.
2. You will need to optimize your website regularly.
Your work doesn’t end when you get your website to rank for your target keywords. Over time, you will need to regularly optimize your content and web pages so that it continues to rank.
Optimization can include updating old articles and removing old or expired links.
3. SEO takes time to show results.
If your website or domain is new, it is unlikely that you will enjoy immediate SEO results. The reason is that many factors affect the way Google ranks websites.
2. Require high-level skills and experience.
If you are not hiring a professional, you will need to be an excellent writer and SEO expert to optimize your site for search engines correctly.
To be sure, running a business is time-consuming and overwhelming while taking technical classes in SEO, copywriting, and link building.
What are Pay Per Click Ads (PPC Ads)?
PPC, or pay per click, is a form of search engine marketing (SEM) in which an advertiser pays a publisher (such as Google or Facebook) each time someone clicks on the ad. This model allows advertisers to pay only when consumers interact with their ads, which means that you attract people interested in your offer and ready to make a purchase.
This method is primarily associated with search engines, as advertisers bid on search keywords relevant to their target markets. You may have noticed that the top search results are tagged with an “Ad” marker.
The cost of PPC ads generally depends on your industry and the search volume of the keyword you are targeting.
PPC advertising can help your business stay competitive in a crowded marketplace and quickly get in front of your target consumers if you don’t have the domain authority to get your site to rank organically in search engines.
Advantages of PPC ads
1. PPC ads offers fast results.
While it can take months to see the results of your SEO strategy, it can take a few hours to see the results of your PPC campaign.
2. PPC ads appear above organic rankings.
When you run a PPC campaign for your target keyword, your website will appear first on the search engine results page. This ranking makes your audience notice you first before scrolling to see other results.
3. PPC ads allow you to identify your target audience.
When setting up a PPC campaign, you can choose who you want to target with your ads.
Do you want people from a specific geographic area? Or people of a certain age? Marital status? Or interest? If so, you should use PPC.
3. You can quickly run A / B tests on a PPC ad.
With a PPC campaign, you can run two different ads simultaneously to measure the one that converts the best.
All you have to do is change some elements of the ad, such as the ad copy, and allow them to run for a period of time. Depending on performance, you may decide to “remove” Google Ads or continue optimizing to improve your results.
Cons of PPC
1. PPC ads are expensive.
Without money, you cannot run a PPC campaign.
You have to pay for every link your audience clicks on, meaning once your budget runs out, so does your traffic.
Also, a PPC ad can get even more expensive (up to $ 40) when you are in a competitive industry like legal or insurance.
2. Lower profit margins.
While a PPC campaign can generate profit in the short term, it will generally result in lower profit margins. Because PPC is a “pay-to-play” system, your customer acquisition costs (CAC) would continue to rise without a significant increase in the prices of your products and services.
3. PPC ads become stale after a while.
You have limited control over your paid ad due to the rule set by advertising platforms like Google. As such, your copy can be wording similar to your competitors, making it easy for your audience to quickly skim through it.
SEO vs PPC Ads
Search engine optimization (SEO) can help your content rank high in search engines, increasing the chances that your audience will click and trust your content.
SEO is also more effective for local searches and can grow your online presence longer. Pay-per-click (PPC), on the other hand, is an acquisition strategy that requires you to spend money on advertising so that your content is in front of an audience when they search for specific keywords online.
SEO vs PPC: Which is better?
Asking which is better between SEO and PPC is like asking whether it is better to eat with a fork or a spoon, it depends.
Serving pasta? Sure, I’d love a fork. Soup? I’d rather have a spoon.
Similarly, there are different situations where SEO is better than PPC and vice versa.
Let’s now look at some of these situations.
Use SEO if…
- Your marketing budget is low.
- You want to build the authority of your brand.
- seek to maximize your return on investment (ROI) in the long term.
- You want to create content that reaches your audience at different stages of the sales funnel.
Use PPC ads if…
You will get better results with PPC in situations where:
- You want fast results.
- Your product is novel or one of a kind.
- You are promoting an urgent offer, such as a holiday sale.
- You want to direct your audience to a sales or landing page.
How to make SEO and PPC ads work for you
Instead of choosing between SEO or PPC, why not combine the two strategies and make them work for you?
Here’s how you can get the best of both worlds.
1. Create retargeting ads.
Did someone visit your site, probably the pricing or checkout page, without buying?
You can easily use a retargeting ad to entice these visitors, even after they’ve left your site, to come back and make a purchase.
2. Promote the content of the website with ads on social networks.
While you want your content to rank organically, you can give it a quick boost by promoting it on social media.
These types of ads not only help with content distribution but could also help you acquire essential backlinks that would improve your ranking.
Also, it will be a shame not to promote your latest blog post, guide, report, or case study after spending hours creating it.
3. Collect data from ads to improve your SEO strategy.
PPC campaigns give you access to a wealth of data: keyword search volumes, keywords your competitors are competing for, highest converting calls-to-action, etc.
With all this data, you will be able to create better SEO strategies with less effort.
SEO vs. PPC stats
- Google is responsible for more than 92% of global web traffic.
- 90.63% of online content receives no traffic from Google, and only 0.21% get more than 1000 visits per month.
- 46.40% of browser-based Google searches resulted in an organic click on the link.
- 99.2% of website pages have less than 100 backlinks.
- Google processes more than 7 billion searches per day (or 2.5 trillion searches per year).
- SEO generates almost 100% more traffic than paid traffic.
- 60% of smartphone users have contacted a business directly through search results (for example, the ‘click to call’ option).
- 64% of marketers actively invest in SEO.
- 76% of B2B search traffic is trackable.
- 18% of local smartphone searches led to a purchase in one day, while only 7% of non-local searches led to a sale.
- 390 out of 506 Clutch respondents say they recognize a paid search ad when they see it.
- The Google Display Network reaches 90% of Internet users worldwide.
- Search ad spending is expected to exceed $ 170 billion in 2021.
- More than 763 million devices use Ad block. As a consumer, Ad block is amazing. Stop all those eerily targeted ads from showing up on your Facebook feed. However, as a marketer, it can be frustrating to invest in PPC if a large number of your target consumers will never see your ad. Additionally, ad blocking has increased between 15% and 30% in the last four years.
- PPC ads can increase awareness by 80%. Despite ad blockers, PPC is still effective in increasing your brand awareness and reach.
- The highest average monthly cost per click (CPC) in Google Ads search advertising is in the insurance industry at $ 18.57 per click.
- The cheapest CPC in Google Ads search advertising is in the electronics industry at 83 cents per click.
- The average click-through rate for Facebook ads across all industries is 0.89%. The pet and animal industry has the highest CTR, while the lowest rates come from the science industry.
- The average cost per click (CPC) for Facebook ads is $ 1.68 across the industry. Advertisers in the financial industry have the highest average CPC ($ 3.89), while Food & Beverage has the lowest average CPC ($ 0.42)
- Google algorithm updates do not affect PPC …
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