If people can’t find you, you can’t make money. Optimizing for search engines and grabbing up as many visitors as possible is vital to your success, and there are a few ways you can get there. Many people trying to generate more traffic debate between SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay per click) when they’re trying to decide on the best strategy. In truth, there’s no need for this debate.

SEO and PPC are fundamentally different, but equally as valuable. Both come with unique advantages. One is not a substitute for the other. Understanding the differences and how to utilize SEO and PPC in conjunction with each other is the real key driving traffic.

The Strengths Of SEO

The overwhelming majority of traffic to any website is going to come from search results. In fact, nearly all traffic is the direct result of people looking for something on Google. If you aren’t implementing effective search engine optimization, you’re alienating what is undoubtedly your largest and most valuable avenue for driving traffic.

SEO is always necessary. It may not be the fastest way to drive conversions, but if you secure a top search engine spot and keep yourself there, you’ll find yourself bringing in customers who have never even been exposed to your advertising.

Maintaining And Sustaining

A strong SEO foundation takes a while to establish. You can spend months or even years trying to tackle a top spot on Google. After you get there, it’s just a matter of maintenance. If you can comfortably sit near the top, you’ll get more traffic naturally. The amount of visits you get won’t be directly correlated to an ad campaign, because people will simply stumble upon you. You just need to maintain your spot and sustain your momentum, and everything falls into place.

Becoming Competitive

You can use SEO to overtake your competitor. If Google feels as though your site is more established than theirs, you’re going to take a slot above them. Since people usually click on the first few relevant results, people will visit you before they visit your competitor. If they like you better, they’re more likely to shop with you. It’s only a matter of getting to people first.

Gaining Notoriety

SEO, particularly in the form of content marketing, can help you establish yourself as an authority. The more useful information a website contains, particularly if it all falls under one niche, the higher its perceived authority will be. This authority makes you incredibly easy to find through organic search, because you’re answering questions and providing information that people are seeking. They’ll develop a relationship with and an awareness of you based on this authority, and many of them will inevitably become customers.

What You Spend vs What You Get

SEO isn’t free – a lot of the time, you’ll be spending money outsourcing some of the work to professionals, because it’s too involved for one person to handle. It doesn’t deliver immediate results like PPC, but it does promise unlimited potential.

The Strengths Of PPC

Pay-per-click is instant gratification, but it comes at a price. Your ads are being pushed directly to your target audience, and they’re going to visit, but you’re paying every time someone follows the link. Paying for these clicks doesn’t necessarily lead to a visitor becoming a customer, so you’ll need to reinforce your efforts with an outstanding landing page and an amazing website. You don’t want to pay for someone to look for thirty seconds and leave.

Most people use Google AdWords for pay-per-click marketing, but almost every search engine offers something similar. Some websites with giant audiences also offer their own specific PPC arrangements, and these may be a better option for highly niche websites.

Time Is Of The Essence

If you’re running a promotion that’s going to expire in a relatively short period of time, you probably can’t wait for SEO to deliver the traffic you need. In this situation, PPC is the most efficient way to get people to act as soon as possible. PPC works even better when a time sensitive promotion is very close to ending, as the urgency will inspire people to become customers sooner.

You’re Looking For A Rare Breed Of Customer

If there aren’t a lot of people searching for what you’re offering, PPC might be the only reasonable way to draw in an audience. You won’t be paying for wasteful clicks, because people who aren’t interested are likely to ignore the ads. When you’re running a particularly niche website, make sure you have enough “about” and explainer information on your website. You might be able to create a stronger interest among people who were only casually interested.

You’re Feeling Impatient

The top spot in Google’s search results can theoretically be bought. This is because ads that look like natural search results sit above the actual search results, marked by a tiny box that says “ad” next to them. It’s very slightly deceptive, because most people aren’t looking for that little box. You can keep yourself at the top of the search results this way, but unless you’re generating as much cash as Elon Musk, you’re going to go bankrupt keeping yourself there.

What You Spend vs What You Get

Pay-per-click can be expensive, but if you have an outstanding conversion rate, it may be worthwhile to pursue a pay per click strategy to drive traffic to your website. Relying on PPC alone is an inefficient use of your advertising dollars and manpower, so you’ll need to balance it with other methods.

Combining Those Strengths

PPC and SEO strategies should be combined for maximum efficiency. If you’re overwhelmed by the idea of working both angles at once, just contact us. We have plenty of experience in search engine optimization and pay per click ad campaigns. Outsource it to us so you can spend more time running your website.