SEO or PPC? How do you determine which should come first?
This sometimes is a million dollar question and for most businesses, it is usually difficult to determine which comes first?
If you are thinking of growing your business, then you must have learnt that digital marketing, no strike that out, online marketing is the way to go.
Online marketing gained a new popularity with the penetration of the Internet despite the fact these marketing channels has existed for long.
“Let us drive your SEO or PPC campaign so you can get the maximum ROI. Click to get started here“
What we didn’t have was the widespread acceptance of the fact that this medium has the ability to influence user behaviours when it comes to purchasing.
Online marketing has come to stay and so it comes also with it own challenges- how to use it to grow your business.
A lot of other channels seems well cut out. Social, Email marketing etc have their place, purpose and it is easy to know when and why you should use them as part of your marketing arsenal.
But one particular channel that continues to prove difficult but yet is sometimes the most prefer search engine marketing is search engine optimization and Google paid advertisement.
The SEO vs PPC debate has been on for a long time and often times this debate reminds me of the egg and chicken conundrum.
Even though scientist have proven that the chicken likely came first, there is still the argument that defers to the egg might have come before the chicken.
This is the same thing with determining which tactics to use for search marketing. Should SEO take precedence over PPC or should it be vice versa.
Before we begin to make a case for or against, let us clarify what the term SEO or PPC means.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization is the method of affecting the visibility of a website in search engine result page often referred to as organic or natural result. When SEO is done, you are attempting to get “free” traffic from organic source.
What is PPC?
Google Pay per Click or PPC as it is widely known is the process of influencing the visibility of a website by paying for inclusion in search engine result page. The result of a PPC in search engine result page is usually grayed out.
With the two definitions now out of the way, let us see if we can get a right answer to the SEO vs PPC debate.
When should SEO come before PPC?
High conversion rate?
Free consistent traffic even while you do nothing again?
Trust and authority building?
Then SEO might be for you. SEO is usually seen to be the best method of getting free traffic. Unfortunately, this would have been true years ago before google got more intelligent.
Just a few years ago, you can rank high in Google with all manners of strategies and get away with it.
In present day SEO, with updates like penguin, hummingbirds and panda, ranking top of Google within a short period of time is no longer true.
The landscape has changed and such changes also mean today’s SEO is much more difficult than before even though the strategies remains the same.
SEO as a means of driving traffic takes time. It will depend on the level of your expertise, skill and the preparedness to invest in the production of tools and contents that your audience will like, love, share and recommend.
Present day SEO involves building trust by positioning your brand as the go-to authority in your niche.
It involves of course the basic. This means technical implementation of the right on-page optimization and earning the right backlinks to rank for the right keyword that can grow your website online.
Getting this done will not happen over-night and with Google’s constantly changing algorithm and business model, it will take a much more than keyword or backlink to rank for your target keywords.
When should PPC come before SEO?
Immediate brand awareness for a product?
Buying up space for competitive keywords so that your competitors compete for the remaining free search engine landscape?
First-page visibility no matter the keyword?
Then PPC might be good for you.
PPC is fast. With a budget, you can get the right people to see your product faster. But that is where the advantage stopped.
Because PPC rely heavily on budget, once your money drives up, the source of your traffic also stops.
And so the debate continues. Did the chicken come before the egg or did the egg come before the chicken?
If you want to push a new product or start making sales while waiting for your organic investment to start yielding fruits, then PPC is the best to go.
If you can’t afford to wait and rely on organic traffic because you have a competitive advantage? Then SEO is the way to go.
Want to get the best of both worlds?
Then you need to think about your business goal. The best online marketing strategy involves a proper analysis of the landscape and knowing how to compete favorably.