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SEO vs PPC: What Works Best in 2020?

If you’re a small business on a tight budget, you may feel like you have to weigh up the pros and cons of SEO vs PPC. With an ever-changing and highly competitive digital marketplace to contend with, navigating this field in-house can be tricky.

So, which approach works best in 2020? Let’s discuss the benefits and potential downsides of each.

The Pros of SEO vs PPC

Search engine optimisation is how you get your website to rank in the organic results of search engines such as Google. You don’t pay to be listed here. Instead, you work with the algorithm to boost your website higher up in the results by demonstrating its relevance and quality to specific keywords.

SEO, and by extension, content marketing, is certainly the current trend. Here are a couple of the main benefits of this approach:

  • If you rank highly, you’ll be generating consistent organic traffic even when your marketing budget runs out. Search engine optimisation is undisputedly the best approach for long-term scalable results.
  • In the long term, it can work out cheaper to use SEO vs PPC. Why? Because if our clients had to pay per click for the huge volume of search visitors they now receive every month thanks to our SEO efforts, it would really break the bank! By getting clients’ websites to rank for a large number of keywords in their niche, we save them a lot of money.

The Cons of SEO vs PPC

Search engine optimisation is highly effective, but it does have its downsides too.

  • Ranking takes time. Only around 5% of web pages rank in the top 10 for at least one keyword a year after they’re published—and out of that 5%, the majority took several months to get to that point.
  • Effective optimisation requires high-quality content. Your texts need to be unique, authoritative, helpful and professional. To really succeed, all your blog posts and copy need to be thoroughly researched and well written to properly demonstrate your industry expertise.

This can take up a lot of work hours if you try to tackle it on your own. That’s why small businesses often outsource this monumental but very important task to our experienced team here.

The Pros of PPC

Pay-per-click is a model of advertising where you are charged for every click to your website. It’s most commonly associated with search engine advertising such as Google Ads, or social media advertising on Facebook and Twitter.

  • PPC works quickly. All that needs to be done is to set up an ad on one of these advertising platforms, and people will start being directed to your website near instantly thanks to your new advertising campaign.
  • You can control the demographics of your web users. These ad campaigns allow you to play around with geographical location, age groups, education level, marital status, and all kinds of other qualities, such as the time of day your ad is shown.
  • It’s easy to run A/B tests. Because of its speedy results, in cases where our clients need to test their new website or sales copy to see if it has higher conversion rates, we would use pay-per-click advertising as a test ground. A short burst of paid-for traffic is perfect for getting quick answers to these questions. The results will allow us to see and resolve any issues, and form a clearer strategy for more long-term marketing investment decisions.

The Cons of PPC

  • It can get extremely expensive, especially for highly-competitive industries. The price per click in coveted ad space can become prohibitive, and we’ve observed businesses making the mistake of splashing out only to discover they’re losing money rather than making a good ROI.
  • The ads can lose their effectiveness over time as searchers become tired of seeing them. We’re constantly creating new copy and images to refresh the ads for our clients.

Using PPC to Augment SEO

Here at LeadGeneratorsDigital, our work has always been about using both approaches to fully complement each other. By implementing the best possible mix in a considered and integrated strategy, we make sure that one will pick up the slack where the other may lag.

In cases where our clients have clearance sales or special offers, we would use PPC as a way of gaining immediate exposure. We use it to run A/B tests and analyse how new content affects conversion. And when the volume of traffic organically being generated by Google starts to slow, we turn to pay-per-click advertising as a means of topping up page visits.

As you can see, it’s not a simple case of putting SEO vs PPC in a head to head battle where you’ll be left with just one victor in the arena. On the contrary, it’s all about finding the happy medium where long-term search engine optimisation work is properly complemented by pay-per-click advertising. Both are powerful weapons in our marketing arsenal here at LeadGeneratorsDigital, so get in touch with us to unleash our guns on behalf of your business.


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