In this digital era, establishing an online presence is imperative for businesses looking to attract leads, engage with prospects, and win customers. That’s where digital marketing comes in.
According to Research and Markets, the global digital advertising and marketing market could reach $786.2 billion by 2026, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.9%. This means that more and more businesses will continue to invest in online marketing and advertising.
But when it comes to digital marketing, two pillars stand out for online visibility and website traffic: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising.
However, the biggest question is: which is better for your long-term investment? Read on to find out.
The Difference between SEO and PPC
Before we get into the pros and cons of SEO vs PPC, let’s discuss how they are both different.
While SEO primarily aims to boost your online visibility and drive traffic to your website organically, PPC focuses on selling products or services through paid ads. Here’re the main differences:
- SEO: This online marketing strategy is the practice of optimizing your website or building internal links (technical SEO), producing keyword-integrated content (on-page SEO), and building links (off-page SEO). The goal is to rank high in the search engine results pages (SERP) or at least appear on the first page. Search engine ranking translates to a boost in online visibility and website traffic.
- PPC: This digital advertising model allows you to display your business ads on SERP; however, you have to pay for every successful click on your ads. Prior to that, you bid on specific keywords relevant to your business, allowing your ads to appear at the top or bottom of the SERP. PPC advertising is an easy yet costly way to buy SERP appearances and visits to your website.
However, due to the pay-per-click nature of PPC, SEO often works out to be a better long-term investment for businesses. Here’s why.
5 Practical Reasons To Choose SEO over PPC for Your Long-term Marketing Investment
1. SEO is more cost-effective than PPC
SEO marketing is generally more cost-effective than PPC in the long term. You can even run an SEO campaign for free using online tools and resources as long as you have the knowledge and skills. You’ll only shell out money if you work with SEO experts, but this strategy will work for you in the long run.
On the other hand, PPC can be expensive. It requires ongoing investments to establish your online presence and maintain site traffic. As soon as you stop pouring in the money, the results will stop. Therefore, this online advertising campaign is only effective for a quick boost in traffic.
2. SEO delivers long-term results compared to PPC
SEO is a long-term investment that provides results over time. Conversely, PPC is a short-term investment that delivers immediate results. That’s the main difference between the two strategies.
While it can provide immediate traffic, PPC advertising is only temporary. The SERP display and site traffic stops when your advertising budget runs out. Meanwhile, SEO marketing can maintain your SERP ranking and deliver sustainable traffic for years. Even if you stop working with SEO experts, it will continue.
3. SEO engages with customers better than PPC
Both SEO and PPC strategies let you reach potential and regular customers. But the question is: which of these engages with your customers long-term? The answer is SEO. Why? PPC only promotes your business and sells your products or services through ads.
First, SEO entails optimizing your website, meaning a better user experience (UX) for your site visitor. It also involves creating relevant and valuable content that resonates with your target audience. Lastly, it connects you with prospects outside your website through journalist outreach, guest blogging, and social media.
4. SEO increases brand awareness and provides value better than PPC
Appearing on the SERP right before the relevant users’ eyes is a way to boost your brand recognition. Both SEO and PPC strategies allow you to achieve this business objective. But which one provides real value to users or customers?
PPC advertising only focuses on promoting your business and products or services. Users most likely see your ads, click on them, and, if lucky enough, avail of your offers. Meanwhile, SEO helps your business build customer relationships through an optimized website and engaging content. That translates to customer trust and loyalty over time.
5. SEO generates higher ROI than PPC long-term
It’s safe to say that both SEO and PPC campaigns provide ROIs as long as you strategically implement them. Paid ads can double your earnings almost immediately. Meanwhile, organic SEO can result in sales conversion or customer acquisition in the long term.
But as mentioned, your earnings end when you stop your PPC investment. On the other hand, your SEO efforts will continue to bring more customers and generate more money for your business. And that draws the line between the two.
Final Words: Striking a Balance Between SEO and PPC
It’s clear to see that SEO is a more sustainable investment for your business, it is:
- Delivers long-term results
- Boosts customer engagement
- Increases brand awareness and builds customer trust
- Generates high ROI
But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should neglect or discard your PPC advertising altogether. It is still ideal for instant marketing results like sure-fire SERP display, guaranteed ad clicks, high site traffic, and even sales conversion.
Better yet, balance the two: PPC for short-term and SEO for long-term investment. With this in place, your digital marketing campaign will work wonders for your business!
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