Every owner of a start-up website or e-shop solves one fundamental problem – how to bring a sufficient number of visitors to their site. The two most commonly used ways to achieve this goal are search engine optimization, known by the acronym SEO, pay-per-click advertising, or PPC.
Although website owners also have many other promotion methods at their disposal, such as email marketing, banner ads, or reaching customers on social networks, SEO and PPC are often used. This is because they can get the most significant number of visitors.
If you’re launching a new website and trying to get traffic and conversions as quickly as possible, you may be facing a decision about whether to start promoting your project with PPC or SEO. Each of these online marketing disciplines has both advantages and disadvantages. But is one of these strategies significantly better than the other? For example, some merchants don’t allow search engine optimization, while others use PPC advertising exclusively to get traffic. So what is the best option and why? We will try to answer this in this article.
How does Search Engine Optimization (SEO) work?
Search engine optimization, also known as SEO, is an online marketing method that uses Google Organic Search, Seznam, Bing, or other search engines to attract relevant visitors. This gives you targeted traffic from genuinely interested people in your product, as they actively search for it in search engines.
However, depending on what industry you are in and how intense competition you have to face, it can take quite a long time to achieve good optimization results. You may be investing significant amounts for several months to get quality content and relevant backlinks, but the desired results still don’t come.
It takes a lot of time, work, and investment to get to the top of your search results (depending on your competition). However, the indisputable advantage is that you tend to stay there for a while once you get to good search positions. If your competitors don’t invest more money in SEO than you do, you can stay in a high place for weeks or months to get many visitors.
Benefits of SEO
Search engine optimization doesn’t even have to be too expensive. If you have enough expertise to optimize your site yourself, then it won’t even cost you much money, just your time. However, if you do not have this knowledge and experience, it is better to leave it to a professional SEO agency.
In this case, you can spend several thousand a month optimizing your search engine site, but it usually pays off richly compared to the number of visits and conversions you get in this way.
How does pay-per-click (PPC) advertising work?
The pay-per-click ad, also known by the acronym PPC, is about getting relevant traffic through advertisements that appear at the very top of search engines, even above the natural search results. The main advantages of PPC advertising are that it will bring you, customers, almost instantly.
Once you’ve put together your ad and determined which keywords to display, potential customers will start pouring into your site in just a few minutes. But, unfortunately, the name PPC, or “pay per click” of advertising, also implies its most significant disadvantage. You’ll pay a certain amount for each click on your ad, which depends, among other things, on the competition of each keyword targeted by the ad.
The price of keywords is not the same; for some, you pay amounts up to several crowns; for others, their cost can climb up to tens of CZK or more. The search engine algorithm will then decide the location of your PPC ad on the principle of auction. The price per click determines where your ad will appear, among others.
If you offer less than your competitors who target the same keyword, your ad will appear below, but this typically means fewer impressions and a much lower click-through rate. On the other hand, the fact that you only pay when someone clicks on your ad gives you the ability to control how much you spend on PPC advertising entirely.
In addition to search engines, you can use PPC advertising on most social networks, such as Facebook or Instagram, where targeting is not based on keywords but on the information that social networks collect about their users.
Benefits of PPC advertising
Despite being paid for, PPC advertising enables a very efficient acquisition of new customers. By tracking statistics, you can determine exactly which keywords pay off the most to build a precisely targeted advertising strategy.
The advantage of PPC advertising is that you can target specific audiences in addition to keywords. For example, you can set your ad to only appear to people of a particular range of age, living in a specific city, people who have visited your Page in the past, and so on. Your ad will only be shown to people you think might be genuinely interested in your goods.
Is SEO or PPC better?
SEO is ideal for a long-term traffic acquisition strategy, which requires some time or financial investment initially, but is subsequently able to provide high-quality targeted traffic in the long term. Although you may have to wait a few weeks or months for the first results, you will then get a long-term and stable customer resource that is “almost free.”
On the other hand, Paid PPC advertising is the perfect way to get quality targeted traffic quickly. If you’re starting a new website, started selling a new type of product, or need to get more traffic, for example, you can’t afford to wait six months for search engine optimization effects to take effect in the run-up to Christmas. However, thanks to PPC, your ad will start running almost instantly, and within minutes of launch, you can already have your first customers.
The SEO versus PPC fight doesn’t have a clear winner. This means that you should not look at these marketing techniques in the style of either-or. So why not take advantage of both? By combining SEO for the Main Page of your website and PPC for each landing page or Page of individual products on the e-shop, you can get the best of both worlds.
If you’re launching a new website, PPC advertising will allow you to get the first few customers while investing in SEO, the effect of which will take longer to take effect. However, over time, visitors from search engines will start streaming into keywords that you wouldn’t even think of, while PPC will bring you super targeted traffic that is very likely to convert.