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SEO Vs PPC: Comparison, Future, Merger & Much More…

15/01/2014
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Why do you use SEO or PPC? I mean what is your objective behind doing these kinds of marketing?

It is certainly the same and that is to increase potential traffic to your website that converts into potential leads and eventually in to sales. Both these modes of marketing i.e. SEO and PPC help you accomplish these goals in somewhat different ways with a few pros and cons. Now whether you should be using SEO or PPC, entirely depends upon your Business, such as where does it stand in the online market place, what key phrases you are using and so on.

It can be really very complicated to figure out as to which channel you would be using for your business. This is why we have come up with a detailed comparison between the two to help you settle on which one will go well with your business or would you be requiring the merger of two.

1) Return on Investment (ROI)

SEO: SEO could be slow but it gives long term results when it comes to ROI. If you are successful in gaining the first page ranking and staying there, you are sure to witness a more consistent revenue generation and even more durability within the search engines.

PPC: However, when it comes to PPC, you can of course get immediate and better return on investment and if you can play well with Adwords by mastering its enhanced campaign you can certainly boost conversion with minimum spend.
Besides, the frequent algorithm updates, scarcity of data, need for the ultimate content and new competition has made SEO more complicated and expensive.


2) Conversions

SEO: If you have optimized your website well for search engines and have a good ranking on Serp (search engine ranking pages), it will certainly bring traffic to your website however when it comes to the conversion rate, it is usually higher for PPC. Besides, you might have optimized your site correctly for Google, but it is Google at the end of the day that decides about its ranking based on its relevancy.

PPC: With the help of PPC, you can easily target a range of commercial keywords and create ads with compelling calls-to-action. Besides, social media, email marketing, reviews and phone number help you convert traffic immediately, resulting into a better conversion rate for PPC.
Not just that, PPC allows you to split test multiple landing pages for the same keyword and helps you figure out which one performs better.
Besides, remarketing in PPC marketing helps you target those who are more likely to convert.

3) Short -Term Results

SEO: Certainly, if it is about short term results, then PPC wins as it gives you an instant visibility. But then, here is a condition that applies. PPC is undoubtedly good if you are starting from scratch but if you have a website that is already well-established and you are targeting an uncompetitive unexploited keyword then SEO is likely to win the day.
Besides, if circulated well, good content created for SEO can really make you win even in short period of time, in terms of visitors and social exposure.

PPC: As talked above, PPC is better for short term results. You simply need to put the switch on and results start coming immediately whereas an SEO campaign will need hours of planning and that too months in advance.
PPC allows you a lot of flexibility in targeting a particular section of the audience. For instance, you can even get your ads displayed to people during their lunch time and that too on specific days.

4) Brand Building

SEO: Although, it takes time but SEO provide you with more coverage when compared to PPC. In fact, through SEO you can even dominate the entire first page while PPC will only give you a maximum of one listing per search.
SEO not only increases brand awareness for you but also promotes your brand and builds its reputation. It gives you knowledge graph information which PPC doesn’t.

PPC: When it comes to brand building, even PPC does not lag behind. Banner advertising and remarketing on the Google Display Network are amazing platforms to help build a brand. Besides, you can target audiences by demographic.

5) High competition

SEO: You can certainly compete in a competitive niche with SEO by being relevant and visible. A lot of things to be considered here, such as your site should be technically working correctly with its entire element in place, content should be unique ,engaging and sharable, a blog on your site will make you authority in your niche, linking your site with authority sites will add to it and so on. Going SoLoMo, i.e. going social, local, mobile will do the trick.

PPC: PPC will require good quality scores if you want to compete effectively in your competitive niche. For which, you can create specific landing pages for all the top converting keywords, practice remarketing and test various campaigns to figure out which achieves better click-through rate.

6) Budget

SEO: In SEO, you need to figure out where you should be investing your money more, is it content marketing, in making a responsive web design, social media or whatever.

PPC: In PPC, the money goes straight into the campaign however; you need to decide about a lot of things such as whether you would be putting more emphasis on product listing ads or the others, whether you would be biding more for mobile devices or so, whether you would be investing the left amount on landing page creation, and so on.

7) Measurability

SEO: There are three key performance indicators (KPIs) that are considered while measuring an SEO campaign’s effectiveness. These are Rankings, Traffic and conversions.

PPC: it is easy to measure PPC when compared to SEO. Five key metrics that are considered while measuring PPC campaign’s effectiveness are quality scores, click-through rate, conversion rate, cost per conversion and wasted spend. Besides, you can run reports on time of day, user location, sitelinks, reach, geographical data, devices, destination URLs and much more.


8) Compatibility with Social Media

SEO: Ideally speaking, SEO and social media are made for each other. You are bound to be using social if using SEO. For instance, you have posted an article on blog and you naturally promote it socially, you create a profile on social media and you of course link it to your site. So, it’s an obvious connection between SEO and social media. Besides, according to the new updates, social media accounts for your ranking on Serp as well.

PPC: Although SEO is more compatible with social still it can be extremely useful for PPC as well. For instance, if you link your Google+ account to your Adwords account, social annotations will be automatically shown in your ads and as per a report by Google, there was a 20% increase in CTR through these social extensions last year.

9) The Future

SEO: Although, things change week on week in SEO and Google tends to keep you on toes with its frequent updates and algorithm change but it is for sure that SEO is never going to be dead. It will however be changing with time. The future of SEO as per the current trends is Social, Local and Mobile as results are getting more and more personal and location based. Besides, the way people are getting on mobile devices, it is high time that businesses should have a mobile compatible website or say a responsive website.

PPC: The future of PPC is as bright as it is today. 2013 has exhibited a significant amount of changes in PPC which continues to be in 2014 as well. You will need to know how to manage cross-device campaigns and enhanced bid adjustments will be crucial. If you have command over Adwords Script, it will help you save time and stay ahead in the competition.
Besides, Dynamic remarketing, product listing ads and you tube advertising are expected to grow in 2014. Perhaps, Google will be rolling out new ad extensions to help improve CTR the way it has done in 2013.


The Merger of SEO and PPC

If you are looking for an instant visibility for your website and at the same time wanting to build up the relevance of your site organically, the merger of the two will be the best for you.
If the competition is high, ranking organically is likely to take time, in such case you can use PPC to bring traffic to your website, in the mean time while it does organically.

SEO and PPC can wonderfully complement each other for so many reasons. While SEO professionals can use Adwords to get the keyword data, PPC can make use of SEO traffic to build up the remarketing lists.

So, if you have both long term and short term goals, you can use them both together.

Afterword

I think it is evident from the above discussion that both SEO and PPC are equally important depending on the kind and level of your business. You just need to figure out the level of your business if it is a start up, a mediocre or an extremely flourishing one, and work accordingly. As far as the kind business is concerned, you are very well aware of, I don’t need to tell you that, for it is your business and you should know better. So do your home work, figure out facts and gear up for a better future for your business.

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