How SEO and PPC Work Together and How They Are Different

SEO and PPC both play a critical role in business exposure to generate revenue for online only companies and location based businesses. Each one can be used strategically for branding and sales, and work together to drive business on the web and in-store. The question is how do you sell SEO and PPC? When is it necessary and what works the best?

Below we give a brief explanation of both SEO and PPC, and explain the benefits of both and how they are different.

Let’s start with SEO. 

SEO is Search Engine Optimization, so the key element in this service is “Search Engines”. Search engines are the platform you are optimizing and marketing for and to. Search engines are the platform that most people find answers to questions on, and those questions may be something like: “Is there a dentist nearby that offers financing?” or “Cheap gym memberships” or “Ways to cure lower back pain.” Each one of these queries is an opportunity for businesses to capture potential customers. Let’s look at 5 key benefits of SEO.

  1. Credibility
    Being on the first page of search results for a search term or long stem question is the #1 most credible position on the internet. The person searching automatically has a large amount of trust for a first page result on google (for example) when searching for an answer.
  2. Sustainability
    SEO is something earned over time and search engine ranking does not dissipate quickly. A trusted website on google will stay that way for a long time as long as the website continues to maintain the posture of a credible and valuable source for information online.
  3. Higher Conversion Rate
    Because search ranking is the most trusted position to hold online, website visits through organic search results tend to convert the best into form leads, phone calls and sales. Through our channel reporting software we can see that all visitors of a website through an organic search channel convert better than any other channel. There is no close second place. Organic search channels typically outperform other channels by 200-500%.
  4. Return on Investment
    Because SEO is sustainable over a long period of time the ROI is unbeatable in the long term. Once a website is ranked for keywords that their potential client is searching for the value is multiplied by what the typical cost of a paid search campaign would be and that new savings will offset the upfront cost of SEO.
  5. Website Traffic
    Being on the front page of the search engines for a particular keyword or phrase that people are searching for will be sure to bring along a large number of qualified website visitors eager to become customers. The best part of SEO is that once your rank is established you don’t have to pay the high cost per visitor that you would with paid search advertising.

Now let’s take a look at 5 benefits of PPC and how they compare to SEO

  1. Brand Visibility
    Starting a new presence online can be as simple as publishing a website. But putting your website in front of your target audience can be difficult and can overwhelm a new business owner. With PPC and an available ad budget any business owner, new or established can make their brand visible online within minutes. 
  2. Targeting
    Unlike the unpublished science of search engine algorithms, PPC can give you the advantage of targeting your potential customer based on what they are searching for or affinity group such as interests, location and age or sex. This can be a great tool if you want to limit the visibility of your product or service to a particular audience.
  3. Speed
    Paid ads can cost a lot of money to generate sales and leads but the counterweight is that you can start selling products and generating leads within minutes which can lessen the time gap between having a product and bringing it to market. The downside is that you are going to lose a large portion of your profit to the cost of the PPC ads.
  4. Testing
    PPC ads allow a business to test a new product or service in the market quickly without spending months trying to gain exposure through other branding avenues. This can help large and small companies find out if the market is reactive without losing precious time.
  5. Control
    PPC can give companies control over lead generation and sales. If the cost of ads is bringing in a positive return on investment then campaigns can be scaled upward to increase sales and leads by simply adding more money to the ad spend budget and increasing daily spend limits. This can give companies a way to plan overall business expansion over time.

Final Conclusion

SEO and PPC are both valuable forms of advertising and both have their advantages and disadvantages. As far as long term value, SEO is the biggest winner because of the trust level, conversion value, and overall brand exposure. PPC has value in the area of market testing and new business exposure but can be hard to maintain for long periods of time as a sole channel of advertising because the cost per lead vs the life value of a customer may not leave a lot of profit for the business.

Business can be vastly different and will also have competitive differences but overall a healthy combination of both SEO and PPC is typically the best plan of action for all businesses that have and need an online presence to scale. Without either of these a website is only a business card and not a true vehicle to automate and drive new customer acquisition and growth.

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