Online marketers always have to struggle between choosing SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC (Pay per Click) for their marketing campaigns. Though different in approach, they both serve a common goal, which is to drive as much visitors as possible to your website through search engine traffic. But which is more worth investing, which will give a better result and which is more cost effective?
I must say that there is no real winner here, since both have their own pros and cons, and it also depends on which type of website you are running (non-profit or for profit) and which type of visitors that you are targeting. Although there are many new and viable options of online advertising constantly popping out in the market such as social networking, pay-per-listen, pay-per-call, blogs and so forth, search engines still remain dominant in the online market so it is where you should be investing your time and money in.
Now let's compare both SEO and PPC in terms of:
Time and Efficiency
The internet market is always moving at a very fast pace, so it is important for us to be time-sensitive in order to stay ahead. PPC obviously has its advantage here because it is the quickest way to drive traffic. It is easy and quick to setup, changes are almost immediate, you gain control over the entire campaign and above all, you don't have to work your way up the search results like in SEO.
SEO on the other hand, certainly takes time, sometimes even up to months before you can see any obvious changes but the outcome is definitely more favorable because visitors originate from natural search results (organic traffic), they are free traffic and are more targeted. Though adjustments must be made from time to time to keep up with the latest search engine algorithms, SEO brings longer lasting traffic so it is worth the time spent.
SEO is an ongoing effort and often requires constant monitoring and adjustment in order to maintain a good result. Thus you can see a lot of companies out there who hire long term expert SEO services from local agencies to help them handle the job. Well it might sound expensive but it actually pays out pretty well in the long run, consider the quality of the traffic that it brings.
PPC can provide faster results so you can expect it to be slightly more expensive and the more campaigns you do, the more you spend your money. PPC system requires you to bid on keywords of your choice that you think are relevant to your website and that is how your ads get displayed on the sponsored listing, when search engine users make searches using those particular keywords. If the competition of the keyword is high, you will have to set a higher bid in order to increase the frequency of your ads being displayed. If you fail to target the right keywords to bid, you may very likely be getting a less favorable result and ending up spending even more money. So if possible, you should let an experienced digital web agency to help you manage your PPC campaigns.
All in all, it is very important to make as much research as possible before engaging in any sort of marketing strategy as to avoid any negative outcomes. The SEO infographic below might just help you understand better about this whole concept: