SEO vs PPC: which is more effective?
SEO and PPC are the two main branches of search engine marketing or SEM. One focuses on fine-tuning and creating quality content to drive organic growth, while the other focuses on paying per clicks on ads displayed on results pages and banners through services like Google Ads and the Google Display Network.
PPC has the advantage of offering immediate, constant and guaranteed results, but when you exhaust the campaign budget, you will disappear again. On the other hand, SEO is more expensive, and takes longer to bear fruit, but well managed, it offers exponential growth and a greater return on investment in the long term.
- 1 SEO: costs, advantages and disadvantages
- 1.1 Why invest in SEO? Advantages of organic growth
- 2 PPC Advertising: Costs, Advantages and Disadvantages
- 2.1 PPC: A significant downside
- 3 Statistics: SEO vs PPC
- 3.1 SEO vs. Google Adwords: Figures
- 4 Can I include PPC in an inbound marketing strategy?
- 5 Conclusion
SEO: Costs, Advantages and Disadvantages
As we already mentioned, SEO has to do with creating content and making your website as attractive as possible both for search engines and for Internet users – especially for the latter. The objective is to occupy the first position in Google when someone is consulting something that has to do with what you offer.
The key is to appear in front of a potential consumer just at the moment that he is interested in what you sell .
For this we must position ourselves with the keywords of our industry on the first page of Google, and it is certainly not easy, it is a long and expensive process that requires constant monitoring. An SEO project can cost between $ 2,000 and $ 5,000 USD. But after positioning yourself you will be able to achieve a huge amount of traffic, with a great opportunity to convert to prospects and eventually sales.
For more detailed information on the costs of an SEO project, consult our article: How much does it cost to position your website in Google?
Why invest in SEO? Advantages of organic growth
Paying for advertising is like renting an apartment , while creating content is making a machine that, over time, will not stop building buildings. Content never sleeps, doesn’t get sick, and always works.
The articles you write, the videos you edit and the audios you record will be the best employees your business has.
Why? Because they will work as advertisers, public relations and salespeople for your brand. You will no longer have to tell the story about why your products are the best or why your services meet the requirements of your customers. There will be the content pieces to do that job for you.
And even if the road is a little longer ( you will not reach the first page of Google overnight ) the return on investment is much much higher.
PPC Advertising: Costs, Advantages and Disadvantages
The PPC process consists of paying the search engine to place your products or services in a certain place, it can be the top of the results pages or on banners within websites similar to yours.
The advantage of PPC consists mainly in its immediacy, the security it offers, and the reduced costs compared to an SEO project. Of course, when the budget is exhausted, you will return to anonymity, which creates a relationship of dependency.
The costs of each click vary by industry. In the following table, you can find the average costs for each one:
|Industry||Average price per click|
|Customer service||$ 0.81|
|Employee services||$ 0.78|
|Finance and insurance||$ 0.86|
|Health and medicine||$ 0.63|
|Industrial services||$ 0.54|
|Real estate||$ 0.75|
|Travel and hospitality||$ 0.44|
PPC: A significant downside
Advertising on the Internet, although it acts fast and allows you to reach a lot of people, has a very low conversion rate. This means that although it can generate traffic, a very low percentage is the one that ends up buying. Less than 4% of users who did a search clicked on an ad.
We have also mentioned that you need 10,000 users to see your ad to get 100 clicks and close a single purchase.
For this and other reasons, we have declared that advertising is dead .
In addition to this, millions of users around the world have extensions (tools) that allow them to block any intrusive advertising or banner.
For all the aforementioned, in today’s world, outbound marketing has lost a lot of strength .
Statistics: SEO vs PPC
Businesses that publish articles regularly have 97% more inbound links than companies that don’t blog.
What does this mean?
That companies that strive to write texts related to their industry, products and services (part of a good SEO service) have a much greater reach potential than those that do not.
In a study involving 6,200 respondents from 99 countries, HubSpot, one of the most recognized brands in the global marketing industry, reached the following conclusions:
- For 61% of inbound professionals, the number one priority is to improve the SEO of the companies they work for, to grow their organic presence in search engines (2018).
- Only 18% of marketers interviewed stated that outbound marketing (where PPC comes in) produced the best quality of leads for a potential sale.
The same company, on its website, collects other interesting statistics:
SEO vs. Google Adwords: Figures
- Between 70-80% of users only focus on organic search engine results. That is, they ignore advertising (MarTech, 2018).
- SEO generates almost 6 times better results than advertisements in search engines (New Media Campaigns, 2018).
- Content marketing achieves 3 times more prospects than search engine advertising (Content Marketing Institute, 2017).
- 70% of people reject mobile ads and ad blockers on those devices have increased 90% year over year (HubSpot, 2016).
Can I include PPC in an inbound marketing strategy?
Yes, you can add Google PPC advertising to your inbound marketing strategy. You would be mixing outbound with inbound , hoping to get the best of both worlds.
1.- Outbound can be more powerful and atomic in the short term: if you have the money, it allows you to hit a very large number of people. Your application works instantly: just activate an online advertisement to see results.
Using this branch of marketing, your company will be crossed to the amount of people you want, depending on the amount of money you have.
2.- With inbound, as time goes by, your brand and your campaign are gaining strength.
The more profits you are reaping with your content marketing efforts , the less time and money you have to invest.
The content you write today will help you sell tomorrow, the day after tomorrow and the day after the day after tomorrow.
If we make an analogy with the world of finance, we could say that each piece you publish will be an asset that will appreciate over time.
The same difference that exists between SEO and Pay Per Click is the fundamental turning point that divided marketing a few years ago to establish two mother currents, inbound marketing and outbound marketing. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. However, in our opinion and taking the numbers as a basis, SEO far exceeds PPC.
However, this does not mean that PPC ceases to be useful in various cases and circumstances, such as a reduced budget, or the need to get traffic quickly. For example, it can be very useful if you have a limited-time promotion that you want to publicize. Everything will depend on your needs, projections and budget.