SEO VS. PPC – What Strategy Can Grow Your Business?

Businesses are always looking to learn the newest strategies and tactics that they can implement  to help grow their business.  As businesses transition into the online space, the opportunity for growth can be relatively attainable with the right digital marketing strategy.

SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay per click) are common marketing strategies that businesses might deploy to reach new potential customers and promote their product or service. Any business that has an online presence should be using these strategies together to grow their business.

Each strategy has a different approach, investment requirement (both financially and in time) and can have different results on your bottom line.

SEO VS PPC Differences

Generally, SEO is a long-term strategy that can take months to implement and see results from. It requires creating great content around the product and services that you offer in the form of video, images and written content. Although, SEO can take time to see results, it should definitely be part of your businesses long-term marketing strategy.

The end goal is to drive visitors to your website to take a desired action. An example action may include calling your business, filling out a contact form and/or buying your product or service.


Infographic: The Numbers Behind Google's Online Empire | Statista

Comparatively to SEO, PPC can be implemented quickly which means  you can see results relatively quickly. Similarly, to SEO, the goal is to bring visitors to your website to perform a desired action. The major difference is that you have to pay for the traffic and the quality of the traffic that is derived will also vary.

Two popular platforms include Facebook Advertising and Google Adwords. Each platform has its own pricing structure and different ways that ads can be configured and targeted to reach your audience.

The reason for their popularity is because of the quality of leads that can be generated and the reach of new audiences because of the amount of users on each platform.

What is Facebook Advertising?

Facebook advertising is paying for traffic on the Facebook platform to reach a targeted audience. Facebook is a very powerful platform to advertise on because it has very specific targeting abilities in regards to demographic and behavioral targeting.

As an example, if you are a local business owner that owns a local dog grooming business, you could run an ad that targets people that live within a certain radius of your business that are dog owners. The ad could be a promotional offer for a discount on your dog’s next dog grooming appointment. The targeting ability is very powerful.

Another major factor is Facebook’s huge user base. Facebook has had a steadily growing user population since its inception in 2004. As of June 2017, Facebook has 2 billion users globally.

This is an important factor because as more people use the platform and engage with Facebook content, the greater the audience that you have to reach with your ads.

Statistic: Number of monthly active Facebook users worldwide as of 2nd quarter 2017 (in millions) | Statista

What is Google Adwords Advertising?

Google is a search engine in which people all over the world use to find answers to queries that they are searching for. Many businesses will implement an SEO strategy to grow their businesses website traffic organically but this takes months to implement, optimize and see results from.

A complimentary approach to SEO is using Google Adwords. By using Google Adwords, you can start getting visibility for your products and services immediately.

The challenge to Google Adwords is that it takes time to optimize a campaign and identify keywords that are profitable for your business. The other obvious down-side is that it costs money to run a campaign on their platform.

In order to create a campaign you have to identify keywords that you bid on, like an auction. Once someone searches for those keywords, your ad will display in the results. You only pay when someone actually clicks on your ad.

The amount that you pay is dependent on many different variables such as the quality of the page (known as quality score) that the ad directs to, the ad copy (impacts CTR) and the dollar amount you are bidding for specific keywords (higher bids is not always better).

Essentially, every time someone performs a search on Google, there is an auction that happens in milliseconds that determines if your ad is displayed for that particular search and in what position it is displayed.

It is relatively easy to set-up a campaign but the ability to measure your results and get a positive return on your ad spend is why you should consider hiring an agency. Managing an account on your own can often lead to frustration and wasted ad spend.


What Is Search Engine Optimization?

Search Engine Optimization also known as SEO is often confused with other digital marketing channels such as pay per click or Google Adwords.

In simple terms, SEO is about creating great content for people searching for queries related to your business, products or service and generating traffic to your website from that content through search engines.

By creating great content and optimizing the content around targeted keywords, you can start to rank for those keywords organically in search engines. Once you start ranking for keywords then you can start driving traffic to your website and engaging with potential customers to perform a desired action.

Infographic: 1.17 Billion People Use Google Search | Statista

Since Google is the largest search engine in the world, people tend to focus their content and optimize content for the Google search engine.

Google has an algorithm that changes daily and has bots that crawl websites on the internet and determines how pages should be ranked in relationship to other pages that provide similar content.  There are over 200 ranking factors that contribute to how a page is ranked in Google.

Although, search engine optimization can take a long time to implement and optimize your content and website for, you can start by looking at a free SEO starter guide resource provided by Google that offers good tips to get your website SEO optimized.

What Strategy Is Best For My Business?

After looking at each strategy and understanding the advantages and disadvantages of SEO and PPC, I recommend that every business implement both strategies for their business.

A businesses ability to implement these strategies is going to largely depend on your business model, marketing budget, current digital presence and both short-term and long-term business goals.

Any business that wants to grow needs to invest in marketing and implementing these strategies is a great start. If you need help implementing these strategies or talking about how you can strategically maneuver the online space to help grow your business, please get in touch.

Nathan Vandermost

Hey there! I'm Nathan, the founder of Optin Digital. I have been working in the online space since 2013 and I am passionate about marketing and helping businesses grow. Thanks for visiting and I hope we can connect!