The perfect summary is described in the Inbound Marketing steps:
The first part involves a very challenging job. Only a good traffic generation system can attract a good many people with the profile you want to attract. There are several ways to generate qualified traffic to fuel your sales funnel and make your marketing strategy a success. Among the best known are SEO and PPC.
But how do each of these options work? And most importantly, which one is better? In this article, we'll show you everything to decide when it is best to use SEO or PPC for the best results.
What is SEO?
SEO is a set of techniques that help make your site easier to find by Google and other search engines. If you have a well-structured strategy, potential customers are likely to find your site. Otherwise, they will see a competing company's page and buy their products. For example, a local business that sells online activated nuts can create content, like recipes, to post on their website. With that, users interested in recipes using specifics ingredients will be able to find the company’s website.
In SEO the keywords play an important role. An e-commerce website needs to be organised in a way the user will find what they are looking for straight away. For example, Brass Gifts is a website which sells wholesale brass animal figurines/souvenirs. It needs to be clear as soon as the user lands on its page.
As you can see, despite the name the concept is simple. The practice is a little more complex because it encompasses several actions that only work well when used together. We can split an SEO strategy into two parts: On and Off-Page. SEO On Page is basically about all the elements you can keep under control, meaning it's up to you to perform and see the results.
The good news is that SEO On-Page represents the bulk of strategy. Thus, your chances of success depend largely on your planning and execution and rely much less on external factors.
And what would SEO Off-Page be? As its name implies, it is the part of the work that involves off-page elements and therefore beyond your absolute control. The best example of this is the backlinks from other pages to your site.
Nonetheless, you can still (and should) plan link building actions well to get backlinks, as they are very relevant to ranking.
What is PPC?
The term PPC means "Pay Per Click". Out of context, the name may sound strange, but we're talking about a sponsored link type.
Sponsored links are nothing more than text ads, the kind you find at the top of Google search pages. Unlike SEO, which consists of ranking a page organically (without paying for ads) to the top of search pages, sponsored links are a way to cut through. Where does PPC come into all this? Simple: It's one way to pay for ads. In this payment method, the advertiser pays for each click on the ad.
The idea is good because you only pay for those who are interested in your message to the point of clicking. After that, it's your job to send the person to a Landing Page captivating enough to convert them.
When is it best to use SEO in your digital strategy?
There are at least two situations in which SEO stands out from PPC ads as the best option for your marketing strategy.
Create a sustainable sales flow
As we said at the beginning of the article, generating traffic is the first step to selling a lot in the digital environment, and SEO is one of the best ways to achieve this. You are wrong if you think SEO only applies to content pages, because it also affects capture and, of course, sales pages.
Strengthen the brand in the long run
SEO may be the best way to build a reputable brand in the long run, as the content is the entry point of the customer journey. As an example of that, Adco Industries Australia, a wholesale safety knives supplier, which has been in the market for more than 30 years and are bringing the reputation that the company has offline to online channels.
Google often rewards brands that focus their SEO efforts on relevant content, as it shows the searcher real commitment to visitors.
While it takes a few months for an SEO and content strategy to start paying off, it usually lasts a long time. So if your goal is to stay in business for a long time, invest in organic optimization right now.
When is it best to use PPC in your digital strategy?
There is no doubt that organic search is relevant to any long term strategy. But there are times when it is best to invest in PPC to leverage results. See when to do this.
SEO's great asset is organic traffic generation, which makes it possible to sell long to the same audience without reinvesting the same amount every time.
It turns out that this takes much longer than using sponsored links. So if you want to sell right away, PPC is the best way. Payback doesn't have the same sustainability as SEO, but nothing keeps you from following this path until organic strategies start taking effect.
Strengthen brand in the short term
As we have seen, PPC ads can increase brand awareness by up to 80%. So the same principle of immediate selling goes here. If you need to build credibility and recognition quickly to start a project from scratch, betting only on organic content may not be the best way out. Just the fact that the public sees your brand all the time will create an impression that it represents a strong player in the market and, at the very least, will attract initial attention.
What is clear here is that there is not necessarily a fight between SEO or PPC. The key is knowing how much to use each to extract the best of both worlds.