Two of the best digital marketing strategies widely used nowadays are SEO and PPC advertising, such as Google Ads. While some preach the use of Google Ads and others swear by SEO, the truth is that you can go further using both.
It’s no secret by now that these two methods are very different but can both crucially benefit your client’s business. The important question is how to utilize them effectively.
As the digitization of businesses gets more widespread, it has become vital for growing businesses and giant companies alike to understand SEO and PPC and how they should focus on each of them.
In this guide, we’ll discuss a detailed comparison between Google Ads and SEO – their similarities, differences, what to consider before using them, and best use cases.
After reading this post, you’ll gain a better understanding of these marketing strategies and how they can work for different businesses.
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” It is the process of improving a website’s visibility in search engines by applying different sets of practices to get traffic from organic search results.
Digital marketers focus their knowledge on Google as it is currently the most popular search engine nowadays. However, SEO applies to every other search engine online, such as Bing, Yandex, Baidu, Yahoo Search, and even Quora and Linkedin, among others.
Some of the most common optimization techniques used are:
By optimizing a website, you increase your chances of generating more organic traffic, as the search engine will match your content to users conducting related searches. In turn, these leads will help you guide users toward the bottom of the sales funnel.
A webpage’s ranking on search engines is determined by different factors, including:
PPC (pay-per-click) is a digital marketing strategy that involves paying a fee each time your ad is clicked.
There are different types of PPC that appear in different places on the web. One of the most common is the search ads such as Google Ads or Google Adwords. Other social media platforms such as Facebook Ads and Twitter Ads also offer PPC advertisements for brands.
Paid traffic is used to gain immediate results and traffic to your website. It is a powerful tool that lets you maintain full control of your budget. With PPC, marketers can allocate their money only to the specific keywords they want. You can also target a specific audience and show them relevant ads to make sure the aim of the campaigns is correctly implemented.
PPC works by letting advertisers bid for keywords they want to use for ads, thus making it a highly competitive industry. The bidding price will continue to go higher the more saturated your niche gets.
You also have to increase your marketing budget to continue paying for ads. If you only have paid traffic coming to your website, you will lose your spot on the search engine results once you stop paying for ads.
Bidding on a keyword means that when a user searches using that keyword, your ad will appear on top of the organic results. Once your ads are in place, you can track and test them.
Experiment and check which keywords drive more customers. Focus on what works. You can also gain an even better view of your campaign’s performance, generate reports, and analyze search results data effectively when using data analytics and Google Ads reporting tools.
SEO and PPC approach digital advertising in different ways. For one, the traffic SEO generates is organic and technically free, while PPC is paid. PPC adverts offer an instantaneous influx of users, while SEO takes time to kick start.
That said, we have listed some key considerations you should closely look at before you decide which one will work better for different businesses you manage.
Before jumping into building SEO for your next client, consider the following factors:
Organic search traffic is technically free. Once you have figured out the formula that works and consistently optimizes your page, you will generate traffic for a long time.
However, organic traffic takes a lot of work and resources to pay off and get the ball moving. It also creates a wide competition between websites wanting to rank on top of search queries.
Since traffic comes from organic search results, SEO does not have cost-per-click (CPC).
SEO is not cheap since it’s a long-term strategy. It will take months or even a year of spending to build a firm standing on the search engine results page and get ROI.
However, it is still more cost-effective than other marketing tactics in the long run since this takes time to build, but it is more cost-effective than other marketing tactics.
When you make a website more optimised to appear on top of search results to queries relevant to your brand, more people will get to know the business and increase brand awareness and visibility.
SEO requires rich, unique, and authentic content. A good byproduct of optimizing a website is that you get to build a brand and establish its reputation as a legitimate business as you build trust with your users and increase repeat visits.
The audience will also start to build trust in the brand, especially if the content brings value to the users.
As mentioned, SEO is not an overnight success strategy. It needs consistent work, plenty of time, money, and patience. But once you attain strong rankings via SEO, it is more guaranteed to last.
SEO is great for promoting informational content and building authority in a niche. It informs the development of site content that will rank high and meet the needs of visitors.
Using SEO, you can target users within the different stages of the buyer journey, such as initial interest or buying stage.
Search behaviour is continuously changing, and the volume of keywords/search queries continues to grow. It may pose a challenge but also opens up opportunities for brand expansion and content improvement.
While SEO is a useful tool, there are still downsides to using it. Here are some of them:
Before starting a new PPC campaign, you should consider the following factors that could affect its outcome:
PPC advertising campaigns will bring leads to your website much faster than using SEO.
Keyword identification and selection enable PPC campaigns to specifically target aspects of search user intent, such as purchase intent.
The PPC model provides the freedom to customize your ads and show them to users who have already viewed specific pages of your website before.
PPC is all about the ads and keywords. With a direct and descriptive CTA, you can guide users on what you want them to do with your ads. Additionally, attractive and engaging ads help businesses get the desired attention from customers.
PPC allows specific targeting of keywords relevant to a brand or product. Once you place ads with the proper keywords, it will help raise brand awareness as they are displayed when users make the corresponding searches.
Despite being costly, especially in the first few months of setting up, PPC campaigns can be efficient and cost-effective. It can act as a traffic light switch that can generate leads within the day of publishing and can deliver excellent ROI.
However, you also have to constantly invest in your ads to continue profiting from them.
With PPC, you get to have control over what keywords you will spend your budget on. You will know what exactly you’re paying for. You can easily stop paying for keywords that don’t generate many clicks and focus on the ones that work.
PPC advertising comes in different forms, like visual ads that are far more engaging than text-based search results.
PPC campaigns, ads, landing pages, etc., can all be honed and optimised using A/B testing.
Some downsides of Google Ads/PPC include the following:
It is important to remember that every situation is unique. There is no one approach that will work for every business, so it’s not possible to simply say whether SEO is better than PPC.
It is always best to get to know your client and their needs. Additionally, consider the following factors that will affect the marketing strategy you can use for a business or brand:
SEO and PPCs can actually work hand in hand to give your client a better chance of achieving its goals better than only applying PPC advertisements or building SEO.
Note also how the combination of both approaches can deliver far more than the sum of the parts.
One of the most common ways that Google Ads can help boost SEO is through the improvement of keywords. Use PPC ads to test out and monitor which keywords work best to drive customers into the business. Then, apply them organically to the website as you restructure it to be more SEO-friendly.
You can also monitor other essential insights and data collected using PPC campaigns and apply them to SEO efforts.
Some of the key benefits of using both SEO and PPC include the following.
Aside from important insights on PPC campaigns, gaining organic rankings for high PPC cost keywords saves money.
Improving PPC and SEO together will make your website as visible as possible on SERPs.
Ad copy and landing page performance analysis can be used to further optimise SEO attributes.
Using both PPC and SEO will make your website more resilient. For example, if Google issues a huge update on its search algorithms and your SEO performance suffers, PPC will maintain traffic to your page.
Once you have maxed out your SEO rankings, PPC ads can take over to drive even more traffic to your website.
With different businesses having unique needs, you should always customize digital marketing strategies so they can put their best foot forward and know how to effectively market their brands.
Google Adwords and SEO are two distinct approaches to improve website visibility and drive potential users to your page. While they work great on their own, implementing both and letting them work together will not only boost your search engine ranking. It will also help you understand what keywords drive more customers, know more about your visitors through reporting tools, and simultaneously work on short-term and long-term marketing strategies.
However, implementing these methods is only the first step. Tracking and monitoring performances are also crucial to keep them running seamlessly. Using Google ads and Google analytics reporting tools from Reporting Ninja will make it much easier to monitor campaigns and synchronize them with SEO.
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