SEO vs. PPC – Which one is better?

When it comes to boosting traffic to your website, you have two basic options, namely SEO and PPC advertising. Many companies are faced with the dilemma of not knowing which one to choose from or which one will work better for their site as each site has its individual needs. Before we dive into this topic and hopefully help you in realising which one is better suited for your website. For the few people who do not know, let’s provide definitions for these two terms.

What is SEO?

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the process of improving traffic to a given site by increasing the site’s visibility in search engine results. Among other things, this can be done by making sure pages can be indexed properly, improving content as well as making sure it’s unique. If done well, this process leads to more traffic for the site because the site will appear higher in search results for information that pertains to the site’s offerings.

What is PPC?

PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising is paying for traffic using the PPC advertising programs provided by Google Adwords, Yahoo Search Marketing and others. These enable you to display ads in the sponsored results section of each search engine’s results page. Then, you pay a fee based on how competitive your chosen keyword is – whenever a viewer clicks through from your ad to your website.

Now, let’s put these two options against each other and see which is better

Pro’s and cons of SEO

  • Content optimisation is free if you do it yourself, but SEO requires a technical setup to make your CMS search engine friendly.
  • Benefits will be seen even when budget stops
  • High volume of free traffic can be achieved
  • Works great to increase your footprint in conjunction with doing Pay-Per-Click ads
  • Requires ongoing attention (and preferably new content) to continue improving
  • Requires a level of expertise to do keyword research and link profiling
  • Takes time to for the “time value input” to reflect

Pro’s and cons of PPC

  • Requires budget (for ad spend)
  • Requires a qualified expert for your setup (if you want to optimise how your budget is spent)
  • Requires ongoing management (and optimisation of your campaigns)
  • After setup, results are almost instant
  • Highly measurable and trackable
  • Minimal development time required
  • Once budget stops, results stop
  • Can be expensive, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing
  • Cost per click can vary depending on multiple factors

Still confused?

Let’s hear what our Senior Campaign Manager Kyle Pretorius had to say?

“Being a PPC expert it would be easy for me to say that PPC is, was and always will be the greatest. However, the fact of the matter is that SEO and PPC combined will usually generate the best results.

When a site ranks naturally on a search result and is accompanied with a PPC ad that also contains various ad extensions, rating, map location etc, the real estate that you are now taking up on that search page increases dramatically. The increased real estate now increases the chances of a user clicking to your site through an ad or a search ranking, but also gives your brand more authority and users are more likely to be drawn to a brand that appears to have dominance on a search result.”

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