SEO or PPC: Which is better to boost your digital presence?

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Small businesses looking to increase their online presence and attract more visitors to their websites often turn to digital marketing methods such as SEO and PPC. However, many business owners get confused when it comes to choosing what to do:

  • Should I only use SEO for my website?
  • How important is it to invest in PPC to grow my business?
  • Should I do SEO and PPC together? Or do only one? If so, which one?

Well, we’re here to dispel all your doubts. The short answer is that you need BOTH of these strategies. Combining them can provide even greater benefits for your website and online marketing efforts. But first you need to understand more about both.

What is the difference between SEO and PPC?

SEO and PPC are two different approaches of driving traffic to a website. SEO, or search engine optimisation, focuses on optimising the website to improve its organic search engine rankings. The important word here is organic ­– because of the sheer number of websites and the volume of content online, research often shows that more than 90% of content gets ZERO clicks on Google.1

But this doesn’t mean you HAVE to pay – this shocking result is also because a lot of content is just not optimised for search engines. Still, if you’re a brand in an overcrowded market and you want to quickly grab eyeballs, PPC is one way that’ll help – in the short term.

PPC, or pay-per-click advertising, is a method of buying traffic through paid search engine advertising. This is where you pay Google or Bing (or any search engine) to have your ads show up at the top of their search engine results pages (SERP) if users search for specific keywords.

To use PPC, you need to research the right keywords, and paying for these ads can be expensive. But with the right keywords, you can ensure that your target audience sees your ads and visits your website.

On the other hand, SEO does not require you to pay any platform monthly fees – all you need is the technical knowhow and expertise to optimise your website. This can help relieve some pressure to keep your overheads low.

SEO strategies still require effort and research, you won’t have to pay for clicks. A good SEO strategy takes time and involves creating quality content that can help your website rank higher on SERP.

With SEO, your website can gain more traffic without spending money on ads (we recently wrote a small primer on why SEO is important for small business – give that article a read for a quick understanding of the topic).

Choosing keywords for your small business: PPC vs. SEO

Choosing the right keywords is crucial for getting your business noticed online, but it can be confusing to know where to start. When it comes to PPC and SEO, the difference in keyword choice is obvious. For PPC, you need to focus on keywords that are most likely to lead to sales, but this can be costly. On the other hand, SEO is free and focuses on gaining traffic and visitors to your website.

To choose the right keywords for PPC, think about what your customers would search for when looking to make a purchase. For example, if you run a travel agency, it may be more effective to focus on specific destinations rather than just the word “travel.” With SEO, the goal is to figure out what keywords your target audience is searching for and tailor your content to fit those searches.

While PPC can lead to faster sales, the costs can add up quickly. It’s recommended to use PPC for a quick boost, but rely more heavily on SEO for long-term success. By focusing on SEO and creating quality content, you can improve your website’s search engine ranking and attract more visitors over time.

How does combining SEO and PPC help small businesses?

According to Google itself2:

If your goal is to drive traffic to your site in the short term, you might choose to focus on PPC ads. If you want to enhance your business’s online presence in the long run, SEO is the answer. Alternatively, invest your time and energy in both SEO and PPC for a well-rounded strategy.

Combining SEO and PPC efforts can help small businesses increase website traffic and attention in a number of ways. For instance, utilising SEO tactics can help boost organic search rankings and increase the chances of appearing in search results for relevant keywords. By targeting the right keywords, small businesses can attract more relevant traffic to their website, which can lead to increased conversions and sales.

On the other hand, PPC advertising can help small businesses get their website in front of a larger audience quickly, while waiting for SEO tactics to take effect. Using PPC in conjunction with SEO can provide an extra boost to website traffic, as well as help businesses test and refine their keyword strategies. Additionally, PPC can be especially useful for promoting seasonal products or services or for targeting specific geographic locations.

It’s important to note that while SEO and PPC are similar in that they are both search engine marketing methods, they require different skill sets and optimisation strategies. Small businesses should work with a trusted digital marketing agency or specialist to develop and implement an effective SEO and PPC strategy that is tailored to their specific needs and goals.

Mastering the skills: What it takes to excel in SEO and PPC

To make the most of SEO and PPC, it’s important to understand the necessary skills for each. While both rely on keyword research, they require different expertise to succeed. With SEO, you need to create content that resonates with your audience, understand SEO tools and management systems, and have a good understanding of how to optimise your website.

In contrast, with PPC, you need to be able to write effective copy, track analytics and conversions, and be proficient in the Google Ads platform. By developing these skills, small businesses can better execute their digital marketing strategy and drive traffic to their website.

How to grow your business with SEO, PPC, and keywords

SEO and PPC may seem like different methods, but they have a common goal of targeting the SERP, which makes careful keyword research crucial. By combining data from both SEO and PPC, you can find keywords that work for both methods and optimise your website content accordingly.

Although it may not always work, a successful combination of both strategies can lead to significant growth for your business. To achieve success, you need to constantly track your data, make appropriate changes, and use good strategies. By following these steps, you can achieve growth and boost your success.

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  1. Ahrefs, Search Traffic Study
  2. Google Ads, SEO vs. PPC
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