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Posted: 16 Dec

Should You Choose SEO Over PPC?

When beginning your marketing strategy, it is always important to know where to start especially if you have a limited budget to work with. Two of the most important aspects of a marketing strategy will be your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and your Pay-per-Click (PPC) advertising. Each of these processes provides you and your business with great benefits to drive website traffic and boost your sales. But if you have limited time and/or budget, which one should you prioritize over the other? The answer may not be as simple as you think.

What is SEO?

Before getting too far into the weeds regarding when it is a good time to choose SEO, the first thing to do is to look at some of the basic differences between the two. SEO, which is short for “Search Engine Optimization” is a marketing tool that is part of Search Engine Marketing (SEM). It is the art of using certain keywords or terms, for websites to get recognized and shown by search engine pages. The primary factor influencing a web site optimized for SEO is organic search results. Organic search means, websites following best SEO techniques will get displayed on the first or second page of the search engine result. It can only get ranked based on its own merit and it doesn’t cost you anything other than getting the help of SEO services, which is an indirect cost.

What is PPC?

PPC or Pay Per Click is the act of paying the search engine to get the website priority in search results. When a viewer searches for a product, and if you have a site that sells it, your PPC website will get priority in search results. However, if the viewer clicks on your webpage, you pay a fee. It is the Internet version of classified ads you see in newspapers and magazines. Think of it as chance to get ahead of the line for a price. You are paying whenever someone clicks on the website or ad, not for viewership. Like SEO, PPC is also part of SEM. Choosing which one to use will depend entirely on what you’re marketing goals and methods are. Even though they both fall under SEM, using it as a tool requires different methods and skills.

When Should You Choose SEO Over PPC?

Sure, ultimately you are trying to get your site ranked high on search results. However, if finances allow it, going with PPC first then with SEO, is an effective marketing campaign. As you get more viewership through the PPC campaign you will be able to see which keywords are producing better results. If you have a high converting product go with PPC, and if you have a limited advertising budget go with SEO. Since SEO is “organic” the results will last much longer on search engines. On the other hand, make sure proper keyword research is done when creating a site. Ultimately, the goal is to be on the first page and within the first six or seven listings, since they get the lion’s share of eyeballs. The right keyword can make or break a SEO campaign.

The key elements of SEO can be divided into off page and on page elements.

Off-Page

  • Back links
  • Social media
  • Online directories

On-Page

  • Keywords
  • Content
  • Meta Tags

SEO is a long-term process that if done correctly can yield positive results over time. Where PPC gives you direct lead generation, SEO boosts website traffic through on-site and blog content.

While it is easy to compare these two processes against one another, the real goal is to have both working together to provide maximum effectiveness for your marketing strategy. If you are considering implementing one or both of these processes into your strategy, give us a call today!

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**The digital landscape is everchanging. Contact us to discuss current industry standards.

Lynne Motkoski, CEO, Principal & Digital Marketing Strategist
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Specialty: Digital Marketing Strategies
Education: MACT and B.Comm from University of Alberta
Certifications: Google, HubSpot, Hootsuite
Lynne is a baby boomer passionate about digital marketing and helping local businesses succeed online. Effective digital marketing strategies are not one-size fits all. Lynne works with decision makers and creates effective solutions to generate measurable and transparent results and positive returns on your marketing investment (ROI).