PPC Internet Advertising Versus Search Engine Optimization

PPC Internet Advertising Versus Search Engine Optimization

If you are a business owner or marketing manager, there often comes a time where you need to re-assess the marketing budget for the company.  In that process, this often requires a decision to choose how to best promote and build traffic to your website.  The two most popular methods of Internet promotion today are Internet Advertising and Natural Organic Search Engine Optimization.  And often the question is, which method is superior?

The answer is….it depends….They BOTH have their strengths and weaknesses depending on your objective.

Just to be clear for those of you who don’t know, for example, when you do a Google search such as “cleaning company toronto” (As in the screenshot below).  Often results are broken down with a mixture of Internet Advertising (Known as Pay per Click.  PPC for short form) and organic results.  The PPC results are listed on the top and side of the page (Circled in green in the picture.  You can click the picture to expand your view).  And these listings are achieved by paying google a fee to appear favourably on the 1st, 2nd or 3rd page of google.  It’s another article in itself which we’ll outline how the Google Adwords PPC system works in detail.  Now the results circled in green are the natural organic results.  Meaning that a fee hasn’t been paid to Google.  But most likely an SEO company (Like us 🙂 nudge nudge, wink wink…shameless promotion, shameless promotion) was paid to achieve those favourable results.

There are some important facts to understand before making a decision as to which method is best to focus on for your marketing strategy.

Since marketing is a form of investment,  we invest in our business with the intention of getting a return on investment through more leads and sales;  The differences between the two strategies could be compared to stocks and bonds.  Whereas if PPC we’re an investment, it would be your stocks.  Which yields your potential for a faster return.  However it can also dry you out much quicker and is more volatile.  Whereas natural SEO are your bonds, which are more stable in nature and yield results in the long term.

As another metaphor, If PPC and SEO we’re athlete runners.  PPC would be your sprinter.  Who could achieve fast, explosive results.  And SEO would be your marathon runner, who would sustain over the longer period of time.

Keeping these metaphors in mind helps to categorize some of the individual attributes of these systems.  A comparison of the individual attributes include :

SHORT TERM COST

Winner : PPC

Why : PPC has leaner entry level cost.  Utilizing PPC networks such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads and Yahoo Ads you can start at an entry level budget of $31 per month.  Whereas with Natural Search Engine Optimization, you don’t have that same flexibility since it requires a more intensive effort and greater level of commitement.

LONG TERM COST

Winner : Natural Search Engine Optimization

Why : Since with PPC you are paying every time someone clicks on your site.  That can become a costly expense when calculated over the course of the year.  However, once you have obtained 1st, 2nd or 3rd page google ranking with natural Search Engine Optimization, you are not paying each time someone clicks.

TIME FRAME

Winner : PPC

Why : A PPC advertising campaign has great superiority over a Search Engine Optimization campaign in the timeframe which you can see results.  With a PPC campaign you can potentially see results within the same day.  As when you submit your advertisement, it gets checked by a moderator to see if there is no obcenities or anything illegal.  If it passes that basis, the PPC ad can appear within the same day and you can start receiving traffic.  Whereas for most businesses, you may not even start to see results of the Internet advertising campaign for 3-6 months.  As often there is a delay rate in which Google recognizes changes to your site.  This is known as the crawl or index rate.  This rate in which Google checks your site for updates, which differs for various websites.  For most average websites, a 1-2 month timeframe for visitation is normal.  Whereas bigger sites, like news websites may get checked every hour.  So all the optimization work in the world may not be realized until months after the fact.

PRICE FLUCTUATIONS

Winner : Natural Search Engine Optimization

Why : A PPC campaign can be more susceptible to price changes.  Since the PPC works on a bid system, it’s governed by supply and demand at that time.  As an example, in December many on-line retailers may ramp up their PPC advertising budgets to capture the Christmas shopping madness.  Therefore the business spending $300 per month on their Google Ads campaign may get less clicks for their dollar during that period since there is more competition.  Whereas with Natural Search Engine Optimization, because it is harder to do, and less people are doing it, it is a little less venerable to price changes (This is a general statement and doesn’t include Google algorithm/formula changes, which is another topic)

PRESTIGE / BRANDING

Winner : Natural Search Engine Optimization

Why : Most people know at least subconciously that PPC has a lower barrier of entry.  And seeing a given company on the first or second page of Google appear frequently in the natural results gives a better impression of your company image.  So it helps to enhance your brand and boost your credibility.  As consumers  still don’t fully trust advertising, in whatever form.

BEST INTERNET MARKETING COMPANY ON THE PLANET

Winner : Typhon Vision Incorporated!!!!!!!

Why : Sorry we we’re just wondering if you fell asleep at this point.  Or was speed reading the article.  If you caught this, you’ve won a prize.  You have won a rock.  That’s right, a rock, straight from Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  Give us your mailing address and we’ll send you your rock.  (Hey, some people call these things gratitude rocks).  Anyhow, we digress.

Now with all the strengths and weaknesses to consider.  The question still remains as a business owner/marketing manager which method do you choose?  The answer is BOTH!  Since PPC is your sprint, it should make up the early backbone of your Internet Marketing campaign.  Since it will allow you to achieve your short term goals quicker.  However, the aim should be then to substitute some of the areas which you are paying per click to achieve Natural search engine rankings.  To help lock you in for longer term results.  Also, using PPC allows you to experiment with what are your most profitable search terms.  And once those are determined, it makes good sense to try to achieve greater permanancy in your search engine rankings.

So to summarize, both PPC and Search Engine Optimization have their place in an Internet marketing strategy.  They are Yin and Yang and require co-existence with each other.  A PPC strategy is best used at the outset of a campaign with its biggest strength to obtain quick and fast results.  Whereas the Search Engine Optimization makes up the longer term strategy.  Marketing managers of today have a challenging task of utilizing the tools of technology to best achieve the company’s financial objectives.  However, an effective strategy is broken down into short term and long term goals to encompass the overall scope of your plan.

Happy Marketing!!!

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