SEO vs PPC – How to Choose?

Both techniques – SEO and PPC (Pay per Click) are part of Search Engine Marketing. SEM is one of the many techniques / tools used by marketers in marketing campaigns via the internet. While both SEO and PPC may be part of a single marketing technique, there are some major differences between the two. There is really no wrong or right method – each has its own ‘traits’.

The main point of difference between SEO vs PPC is that while traffic coming through is not free PPC (as the name suggests – PAY per click), the SEO traffic is free. Given this basic difference, SEO is sometimes referred to as organic search engine listing, while PPC is referred to as paid search engine listings. However, what must be remembered is that even though SEO traffic is free, a lot of effort, time, and work would go into directing traffic towards your online presence through search engines. Every keyword, irrespective of how unique it may seem, has high competition and in order for search engines to ‘pick up’ your website, the quality must be great coupled with a robust SEO plan. Free yes – but there are no shortcuts for SEO.

PPC or Pay per Click, costs on the other hand, are dependent on a number of factors. The popularity of a keyword, the number of people using that particular keyword, the number of sites that use it, and a number of other such factors, would determine whether someone would like to use this method.

SEO Benefits:

  • SEO results do not happen overnight and the growth period is fairly long but the results are consistent once someone is able to get to the top of the SERPs. The traffic that a website enjoys through SEO is usually sustainable once it reaches the ‘top of the heap’. Dedication and consistency in effort towards SEO will not only help maintain but also improve search results, ensuring that you stay at the top and reap the many long-term benefits of being ‘found’ repeatedly.
  • Through SEO efforts, you can establish your website as the ‘go to’ place and the ‘authority’ on certain niche subjects. Being able to establish this position of influence, will enable your site to generate loads of traffic and this traffic would happen through engaging, clever, and useful content that is SEO focused.
  •  A website is the digital face of a company. Before trying to sell your website for a good price, ensure that you have been able to increase its value. Many factors go into increasing the value of a website – the traffic it generates, the consistency by which that happens, SERP ranking, popularity, and other such factors. All these are part of the whole SEO gamut.

While SEO may be ‘free’ – it really is not free of a great deal of work both, in terms of creating awesome content and promoting it.

PPC Benefits:

  • While PPC is expensive, it is also more conclusive. Your website can be placed before people immediately through an appropriate advertisement strategy. The wait time is nil to spread awareness.
  • The costs are easier to measure since there is a fixed price per click

It cannot be conclusively said as to which is better to use. If one has proper funding, it would be a great option to invest in both SEO and PPC. While PPC might gain instant recognition, the returns on SEO, once it plays up, are a lot higher and sustainable.

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