SEO vs PPC – Which is The Best Method For Gathering Leads?

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SEO vs PPC – Which is The Best Method For Gathering Leads?

In digital marketing, there are two main methods for driving traffic to your website, pay per click advertising (PPC) and search engine optimisation (SEO). These can work in tandem, but if you have a limited budget, it can be difficult to choose which one to invest in.  

In this article, we’re going to compare PPC and SEO and look at why some businesses have more success with one rather than the other. Hopefully by the end, you’ll have a better idea about how your business would benefit from each.

What Is PPC? 
PPC stands for pay per click advertising. Normally, these are ads on search engine results, but can also include ads on social media. PPC search ads target specific search terms which your target audience may be researching. For example, if your business is plumbing, you might target “plumber near me” and “local plumber” as search terms which would trigger your ads. You pay every time a user clicks on your ad, so it’s important to only target search terms which are relevant. 

Benefits of PPC 
Pay per click is the quickest way to get relevant traffic to your website, unlike SEO, which can take weeks or even months to demonstrate its full effect. You can start getting clicks on your ads and traffic to your website in the first 24 hours of your campaign running. Over time, providing the ad campaign is continually refined, the traffic will only be more relevant. 

PPC has the benefit of targeting your ad spend to people who are already searching for services like yours. Results can also be accurately tracked. So, unlike most marketing channels, you’ll know exactly how many sales or leads have been generated as a result of your ad spend. You can also easily adjust the maximum amount you want to spend on your ads, from as low as £1 a day to multiple thousands. 

Once a campaign is successful, it can easily be scaled. If you are consistently getting five sales every day at a £20 daily budget, doubling your budget to £40 would likely bring in ten sales a day. The cost to obtain each lead (Cost Per Acquisition – CPA) remains the same. 

Which Businesses Would PPC Be A Good Choice For? 
Businesses which have a large profit margin or who have a high customer lifetime value are best suited to PPC advertising as a method for gaining web traffic. Customer lifetime value (CLV) is the average amount of revenue generated by a customer throughout their relationship with a company. 

The higher your CLV, the more a customer is worth to your business and the more you can justify spending to acquire them. However, it is important to keep a close eye on the amount you are spending to ensure that your cost per acquisition (CPA) is not exceeding the total lifetime value of that acquisition. 

Websites like e-commerce stores, which are low on written content, are well suited to PPC. This is because there is very little existing content to optimise, and their site may have thousands of individual pages for each of their products. Ranking those pages with SEO would be far too complex and time-consuming to be profitable, but targeted PPC advertising can more easily direct a customer to their desired product. 

What is SEO? 
SEO stands for search engine optimisation. Search engines like Google use proprietary algorithms to determine which websites to display to a user after they search a keyword. Search engine optimisation refers to actions taken to improve a website’s chances of ranking #1 for a set of target keywords. This includes technical changes like improving the website speed, as well as on-page changes like writing new content which is informative and features the keywords you wish to target. 

Benefits of SEO 
Winning the #1 spot for your target search terms almost always leads to a large spike in website traffic. While using PPC can allow you to jump to the top of the search results, savvier internet users tend to trust organic search results more than sponsored results. 

While SEO takes longer to start showing results compared to pay per click advertising, the effects also last longer. PPC campaigns only benefit you while you’re paying for them, but SEO improvements will benefit your website and search rankings for years to come. 

However, unlike PPC, the results of SEO can be harder to track. Although you can see general trends in your search traffic, you won’t know exactly which updates caused which increases or decreases. This is one reason why it makes sense to partner with a digital marketing provider like Carden Digital. We have experience working on SEO campaigns for websites in a variety of industries. Using our expertise and experience, we can make more informed deductions about which changes are causing your traffic to increase. 

Which Businesses Would SEO Be A Good Choice For? 
Business with a physical location like restaurants or florists can master local SEO. This ensures they show up first for users in their local area making mobile searches while on-the-go. This can be an excellent way of driving footfall to a physical location. 

The other businesses which would benefit from SEO are those with more complex service offerings. Whereas PPC works brilliantly when there is a quick conversion action you can target (sign up for a call back, purchase an item, etc), SEO works well for companies where potential customers will do a lot of research before committing. For example, legal firms, healthcare providers, pet sitting services, etc. Because of the amount of research potential customers will do, these websites need to be full of informative, professionally written, SEO-optimised content. 

How Carden Digital Can Help 
At Carden Digital, we’ve worked with businesses of all sizes to create effective SEO and PPC campaigns. Our ads team monitors multiple clients’ accounts daily to ensure that they are targeting only the most relevant keywords and maximising the return on their investment. 

Our SEO team includes web developers who can work on improving the speed and usability of your website, as well as content writers who can craft informative, engaging, keyword-rich content for your pages. 

If you’re still not sure whether SEO or PPC would be better for your website, or perhaps think you need a combination of both, speak to our team today. We can help analyse your existing web traffic, search ranking and marketing ROI and create a bespoke digital marketing plan to meet your goals and budget. 

Dave King

Dave King is the Co-Founder and Director of Carden Digital and the wider Carden IT Group. Dave’s background is in IT services, but he has experience across the online space. His love of all things digital lead him to create a digital marketing branch of the business, with a focus on paid advertising, SEO, web development, social media, graphic design and content writing.