When it comes to online success for businesses, understanding search engine marketing is the key to thriving in the digital marketplace. While there are numerous strategies available to market your business online, a perennial debate exists between whether Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or Pay Per Click (PPC) is more effective.

SEO involves the analysis of keywords that people use when searching online and optimising your website to target those keywords, which should result in higher rankings in the search engines. With PPC, a website owner will create their own ads and bid on desirable keywords whose appearance in a query will make their ad appear. It’s called ‘pay per click’ because every time your ad is clicked on, you pay the approved bid amount. Depending on your brand, web content, and marketing strategy, both SEO and PPC have their pros and cons.

Exploring SEO Uses

SEO is considered to be more of a long-term solution that organically increases web traffic by ranking your target keywords on search engines, but primarily Google. SEO is known to take more time than PPC to establish, which is why its results are consistent over longer periods of time. Approximately 80 percent of website traffic can be attributed to effective SEO strategies. Websites that are regularly posting fresh, optimised content benefit the most from SEO. Over time, the site gets established as the go-to source on a given topic or service, thanks to its earned place on the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Exploring PPC Uses

When it comes to PPC, it is considered more of a short-term solution. If you are wanting to drive a lot of traffic to a site immediately, PPC is an effective means to that end. When the right search terms are targeted, PPC can generate quality clients. While SEO costs are fixed, PPC can be adjusted to suit your business growth; however, to ensure a site’s return on investment (ROI) is positive, PPC requires a fair amount of split testing. PPC is more about analysing the patterns of keywords, rather than the keywords themselves and choosing keywords to bid on that will give you a positive ROI. Statistically speaking, PPC is accountable for less than 25 percent of a website’s traffic. PPC also allows website owners to target a given demographic and penetrate their chosen niche.

Decision Time

When it comes time to establish an effective digital marketing campaign, deciding between SEO and PPC should be determined by your site’s goals. If your goal is a solid slowly-built reputation built on organically-generated web traffic, SEO will support your long-term goals. If you are looking for shorter-term results with time-sensitive launches, campaigns, or event pages, your needs will be better met by PPC strategies.

Want to Know What SEO will cost you? Use our SEO Cost Calculator to find out.