PPC or SEO: Which is the Better Investment?

It’s one of the most commonly asked questions among those working with digital marketing agencies:
Should I invest in PPC or SEO?
Particularly for smaller businesses and those with limited marketing budgets, it’s also an extremely important question. Nevertheless, it’s a question that doesn’t have a particularly straightforward answer.

The Value of PPC

As far as pay-per-click advertising is concerned, the value of PPC lies in its immediacy and potential for delivering extraordinary exposure. The basic idea with PPC being that you agree to pay a certain amount for every successful click you earn, in return for your ad being placed right at the top of the SERP rankings. Needless to say, pull it off with a popular search term and you could be looking at a massive exposure and huge quantities of traffic in next to no time.

On the downside, scoring big with PPC if targeting competitive keywords can be extremely expensive. In fact, search terms as broad and competitive as ‘car insurance’ for example could see you paying more than £50 for every single click. As such, you could be looking at a relatively hefty initial expense, before recouping your investment over time.

In addition, PPC campaigns are typically considered finite, rather than ongoing.  Potentially fantastic for an immediate boost to your exposure and traffic, but not necessarily the kind of thing you can rely on long-term.

The Value of SEO

In a sense, SEO approaches things from a somewhat opposite perspective. In this case, an investment in SEO means putting the necessary measures and strategies in place to gradually build exposure and traffic over time.

With SEO, there are no guarantees of prominent exposure whatsoever.  Likewise, it can take a considerable amount of time for an SEO strategy to begin returning any real value. However, get it right with an SEO campaign and you could be looking at ongoing value on an indefinite basis.

SEO provides businesses of all sizes with the opportunity to climb the rankings and retain their positions, without having to pay excessive amounts for the privilege. The SEO landscape is extremely competitive, but it is also accessible for small and large businesses at every level.

The Obvious Approach?

Referring back to the initial question therefore, it’s impossible to recommend one of the options over the other. They both have distinct advantages and disadvantages, delivering results in entirely different ways.

However, by weighing up the pros and cons of both PPC and SEO, it should become relatively clear as to what represents the best possible investment:

An investment in both.

PPC marketing can be brilliant for providing your website with priceless exposure and an influx of traffic in no time at all. By contrast, SEO can help you slowly but surely build prominence with the major search engines, taking care of things on a more long-term basis.

While it’s perfectly possible to generate a strong ROI with either, diversification is the key to making things work today, tomorrow and for the foreseeable future.