Why is it that when discussing organic traffic and paid traffic, it always seems like a “one or the other, but never both” situation? Yes, there are clear pros and cons to both (more on this later), but why should organizations have to choose the pros of one over the pros of the other? Can’t we have our cake and eat it too? Well, when it comes to SEO & PPC, Marketing Supply Co. thinks you can have it all.
Comparing SEO & PPC is like comparing apples to oranges. They are two completely different marketing tactics, with different goals. Like with most things, there are a million arguments for and against both SEO & PPC, but—in my opinion—not enough arguments defending the pairing of the two. Here’s where this post comes in.
They say good things come to those who wait, but who doesn’t love a little instant gratification? In this situation, PPC offers the instant gratification as a short-term solution to increased traffic. On the other hand, an SEO strategy is often a slow and steady process that garners amazing organic results overtime—if done right.
With a PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaign, ads for your site populate at the top of SERPs (above organic search listings), which, as you can imagine, will often garner many clicks to your site—especially if the keywords you’re targeting have a high search volume—at a cost.
– Your site is the first result users will see during their search
– Little effort is involved—just make sure you’ve done your research
– No wait time for your site to make it to the first page of SERPs
– Every click on your site will slightly deplete your budget
– People tend to view ads as less trustworthy/credible
– If you don’t do your research, you might mistakenly throw money in the wrong direction
When it comes to SEO, tedious might be an understatement, but hard work pays off. SEO and data-driven content can take a lot of research and a lot of time, but the rewards are plentiful, and you never know the impact good content can have along the way.
– Adds credibility and authority to your site/organization
– It technically doesn’t cost a thing, aside from manpower
– Content is evergreen. The longer it’s out there, the better the results
– Very time consuming
– A lot of research is involved
– No guarantee that your site will make it to the first SERP
If both SEO and PPC campaigns are done right, you are likely to see significant increases in traffic from beginning to end. Not to mention, your organization will benefit from the pros of both, and the cons tend to cancel each other out.
One of the biggest downfalls of PPC campaigns is that organizations tend to see high bounce rates once visitors click through to their site. Why is this? Well, the short—and most common—answer to this folly is that organizations focus more on their desire to increase traffic than they do on actually providing valuable information to visitors. What kind of backward logic is that? You might as well start a dumpster fire with your ad budget as a high bounce rate is essentially the same thing.
A good metaphor for a PPC campaign with no quality on-site content is like a hot girl who doesn’t know how to spell “orange”.
But wait, there is hope.
When your SEO and PPC campaigns function simultaneously, your PPC ads will benefit because organic (and well thought out) content will give your paid visitors a reason to stay on your site.
Last, but definitely not least, both PPC and SEO have been given the stamp of approval by the Hypebeast that is Google. What does this mean? As mentioned previously, people tend to find ads (a.k.a PPC campaigns) less trustworthy than organic search results, but just because the public feels that way it doesn’t mean that Google does. In short, Google won’t punish your site for running PPC campaigns, in fact, they encourage it because, frankly, paid search pays their bills. And it’s not just Google, other search engines like Bing, have their versions of Adwords, so you can rest assured that your site is not going to chastised for running paid campaigns. Note: Google and other search engines do have some pretty strict restrictions on PPC/paid search campaigns and not following those rules will lead to some negative outcomes for your site.
Similarly, SEO and data-driven content can only help your site increase both traffic and credibility. In fact, I’d go so far as saying that Google Analytics is Google’s version of Dumbledore revealing to Harry that the Gryffindor Sword only presents itself to true Gryffindors. Google makes it simple* to monitor the results and real-time data of SEO campaigns, so it is safe to say that the search engine won’t penalize your site for fighting the good fight (a.k.a trying to increase traffic organically). Again, there are a lot of best practices when it comes to SEO, so I’d advise following those to a tee in order to avoid being ostracized by Google’s army of bots #BeIndexedOrDie.
*Google’s definition of simple is vastly different from any other person’s definition of simple.