Yes, there are still people asking the question, which is better for me, SEO or PPC? If you are new to online marketing or if you have only tried one of these options and are unable to, or scared to try the other, then I will give you a pass. However, if you are not new and have no real fear issues, then you need to break out of your shell and try some new stuff, it’s a big world out there and you never know what you might find.
First, the issue at hand, which is better?
SEO – The costs of building an SEO marketing campaign, while often higher up front (in cost or time) have normally produced higher ROI over time. Conventional wisdom was to do the heavy lifting upfront then maintain and make money. Also, 85% of the links clicked from search results are organic, not paid links. In the past it was the slow and steady way to build a business, always reminded me of a farmer, planting the fields and hoping for rain so the crops would grow and he could make money.
PPC – The benefits include instant traffic, better tracking and easier testing as well as the ability to focus on customer intent more closely and build your business through targeted campaigns. It just seems like you have better control.
Next question, who cares?
Answer – While this question is relevant because both options are legitimate, there are huge considerations around this that could have a much bigger impact than these and if you don’t have those answered, you might be missing the boat.
1. Social is the new SEO. Ruck has said it a million times and we’ve discussed it in the private forums. With all of the search engine updates, anyone who was relying on SEO sites for income was basically up a stream without a paddle. Good luck. I’m not even going to get into the discussion of “manipulating” search results. Bottom line is this, with the growth of social traffic and the importance of social signals in search results, anyone remotely interested in SEO should be focused on social (its traffic) and its impact on search.
2. PPC (on search engines) is great and the intent of customers who search for something is excellent, but the costs are high and the search engines still hold a pretty big hammer when it comes to what you advertise and how you write ads.
How about trying both and also trying some other stuff? Build lots of useful, valuable content and share it socially. You will get traffic from the social sharing and your organic rankings will grow because of the valuable information and social signals. Work on PPC to get your costs down, tighten your focus, test and improve your ROI. Then advertise on social networks, try direct site buys with banners. How about contextual advertising? Ever thought of mobile? If you are not hearing the roar of that method, you must be living under a rock.There are tons of ways to promote and advertise online and new opportunities are popping up every day it seems.
Bottom line Don’t just focus on SEO or PPC, try everything, diversify. DO not put all of your eggs in one basket. The online landscape is littered with failed online marketers who found a little success with one method and then failed because they did not diversify and were unable to cope when the world changed. Don’t be like them. In the Private Forum (<-click here) we have dedicated discussions to tons of different traffic/advertising options and some really solid information on how to benefit from them. Check it out if you have not done so.
Below is a great infographic from the Unbounce blog that started this discussion, check it out.