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Kirk Thompson


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SEO vs PPC: Understanding Which is Better for Your Website

If you are looking to boost traffic to your website via online marketing then you currently have two main options Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising or Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). 

Pay-per-click advertising or PPC as it is often abbreviated is a form of advertising pioneered by Google through its Adwords product. Google Adwords works by placing small text adverts within its search results.

An advertisement is triggered only when someone is searching for a particular keyword or set of keywords. So for instance if you owned a business selling shoes you would set up your advertisement to be triggered when a user searched for ‘shoe sale’ on a search engine. If a user clicks on your advertisement this is registered as a click. As an advertiser you only pay when someone clicks on your advertisement. PPC is an extremely efficient form of marketing because it is both highly measurable and targeted.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the method by which a website or app is optimised to rank favorably on the major search engines (Google, Bing and Yahoo). SEO does not involve conventional paid advertising and it is based on your organic ranking or how relevant your website is to the search being performed. Search engines take into account several factors when determining your ranking, such as how a web page is structured, its content, what keywords a page contains, how many websites link to a page, if it has been shared through social networks and many more metrics.

SEO will not provide an instant traffic spike as it may take time to reach the top of the natural results, but the free, targeted traffic will prove well worth the investment. PPC will provide an instant traffic spike as your advert appears instantly.

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But which approach will suit you better? This depends on your needs and ultimately your budget. If you want instant traffic and are willing to pay for it, then PPC might be right for you. However if you’re operating on a smaller budget, it may make more sense to invest time in gaining high search engine rankings through SEO.

Below are 2 questions to consider when deciding wether SEO or PPC is best for your business:

1. What is your advertising budget for your website?

When choosing between SEO and PPC budget is going to be an important factor. You need to decide what size advertising budget your business can support. With PPC you can set your daily spending budget as low as you like, but we would recommend to start with a minimum of £10 per day.

If you have no money to spend on advertising, then you will need to stick to free SEO methods. There is a lot of information online about how to improve your SEO for free. My company KIJO offers a start-up SEO package if your budget doesn’t quite stretch to PPC levels but you still wish to invest some money.

2. How competitive is the PPC market for your industry?

In addition to setting your overall advertising budget, take a look at what other companies in your industry are paying for ads. PPC platforms typically allow users to bid what they’re willing to pay per click. However the cost of each of these individual clicks can vary greatly between the different PPC platforms and the different search terms.

For example the average cost per click for the search term “rug sale” is £0.27 but the average cost per click for the search term “car insurance online” is £1.97. Again depending on your budget if your PPC market is highly competitive then SEO might be a better choice.

It isn’t always necessary to make an “either-or” choice. When combined, PPC and SEO can be quite powerful. Ask yourself these two questions and determine the optimal mix of PPC and SEO for your website.

Hopefully this article gives you a better understanding of the choice between SEO and PPC. If you still have any questions then I’m here to help! Or read more about SEO and PPC here: Expertise – SEO

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