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Should I focus on SEO or PPC?

Posted by: Jason Sirotin / November 8, 2018

Site traffic is the name of the game, so what’s the best way to make it happen? The choice is simple: Focus on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and go after organic search; or go the PPC (Pay Per Click) route and make sure your ads are being seen.

Let’s do a quick breakdown of both options before I get to the answer.

The benefits of SEO

The benefits of great SEO should be clear. 2017 studies showed that 18% of organic search clicks on Google went to the first position, 10% to the second, and 7% to the third (Slingshot SEO). Not only that, but leads from SEO have a relatively high conversion rate compared to other forms of lead generation. Being at the top of organic search is so important for so many reasons.

 

  • Your site gets noticed. This is just obvious. It’s true for PPC, too. Getting noticed is the reason we even bother with content. When your site answers questions and helps users, you gain domain authority. That’s what you want.

 

  • It builds trust. This is what separates SEO and PPC. PPC is great for getting to the top, but if you get there purely based on the merits of your site, then users are more likely to click on your link. Do you click on the paid ads at the top of search? Chances are you scroll down, looking for a site that you know is relevant to your needs.

 

  • It reflects good work. If you’re near the top of organic search, it means Google rates your site highly based on the keywords people are looking for. You’re doing your job, you just need to keep doing it.

 

So what’s the question here? SEO is great, we should focus on that and leave the untrustworthy PPC stuff alone.

But here’s the thing; having great SEO is freaking hard. Getting good domain authority takes a while. You have to pay constant attention to UI/UX, and search trends, and always be putting out more quality content. The upside is that when you do those things well over time, you’re rewarded.

 

The benefits of PPC

Pay Per Click has evolved. It used to just mean Google AdWords, now it’s social as well. There are definite pluses to putting targeted ads in front of the right audience. As far as Google searches are concerned, PPC is a double-edged sword. On one hand, your ad, your site, is just there. Everyone sees it. All it cost you was money.

On the other hand, people don’t really trust PPC ads. They’re way more likely to pass them over and click on the first, second, or third organic link. What’s more, even if you get people to your site, they won’t stay unless your UI/UX is on point.

Still, your name is out there. For an agency without the power of reputation in their favor, sometimes that’s the most important thing.

 

SO, JASON, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

There are benefits to SEO and PPC. You may have guessed that I’m going to take the coward’s way out and avoid the choice. You’re half right. The answer to the question I posed in this article is, of course, you need to focus on both. SEO and PPC are a brother and sister pair and your agency won’t reach its maximum potential without them together.

But, I put a question to you. Is that the way of a coward? I say the coward chooses one option and neglects the other. Why? Because doing both is more work, that’s why.

SEO is a long game. Yes, people are more likely to trust your site when they see it in organic search. But if you only invest in organic search, it might be awhile before you are recognized as a domain authority. How long can you afford to wait?

Afford, you say. Isn’t that the point of SEO? I don’t want to spend money on PPC. Well, tough shit. Guess what happens when people see your company’s name at the top of the page by PPC and organic search? They feed off each other. It increases the trust clients have in your brand even more.

And, by doing both, you actually save money on PPC. Google charges less money in the PPC arena to sites that have good SEO, too. If you neglect SEO and invest only in PPC, you’re paying more to Google for that top spot, AND people will still leave your site the second they don’t find the content they’re looking for. You’re throwing money away.

To be successful at PPC, it helps to do well in organic. To achieve a high rank in organic search, you need to get your name out there and be trusted and paid can help you get there.


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