PPC or SEO – what do you need for effective promotion?

For years, marketing departments were and still are considering the question whether it is more profitable to invest in SEO efforts or perhaps PPC campaigns like Adwords, Google Shopping or Amazon Shopping. In practice, there is no single and universal solution for all customers, which can be best presented on specific examples.

Theory First

SEO is a course of action designed to promote website as high as possible in organic search engine results. The main advantage of this kind of action is that there is no charges for clicks, at the same time a very large potential traffic on site (taking into account the highest positions in the search results).
On the other hand, in the last few years it became a lot harder to gain top positions in Google, which is associated with subsequent algorithms updates. When implementing SEO activities you should first of all be prepared for long-term action, there is no safe way to quickly promote a new online store. Financial expenditure incurred during these kind of actions will benefit in a much longer term.

This does not mean that you should give up SEO. These are absolutely necessary actions for everyone who wants to get a lot of traffic from various sources. Being displayed on the first page of unpaid search results is not only a chance to increase sales (in the case of online shops), but also a great prestige. On the other hand, in case of not paying attention to SEO and Google’s webmaster guidelines can result in high probability to expose yourself to punishment from the search giant and exclude the site from the search results.
SEO can be compared to building a decent foundation – often time-consuming and costly, but in the event of earth quake like algorithms updates it will protect us against disaster.

PPC campaigns (remember, it’s not just Adwords) are a powerful way to quickly and reliably reach the specific recipient with an advertising message. Campaigns of this kind can be started at any time and instantly achieve the effect in the form of ad exposure. We also have control over the messages we want to convey to potential visitors and thus greatly increase the chance to win a new user and conversion.

You can also simultaneously run many different types of PPC campaign and show up in several places at the same time on the search results (eg. Moreover, it is possible to display advertising on a huge number of sites through contextual campaigns AdWords remarketing or dynamic retargeting RTB model. As a result, we reach the users with various attractive ad formats and clearly improving chance of achieving conversion.

The advantages of PPC campaign are variety of forms and methods of reaching the user. You can use text ads, static and animated graphics, advertising films on YouTube or interactive adverts displaying products. Google proposes a huge variety of PPC advertising and further more there are more and more other companies on the market that offer advertising in the RTB model contextually targeted to the external sites or by retargeting.

These were only a few examples of how we can use PPC campaigns. To every customer you can individually adjust the most interesting formats and ways of advertising to meet its business objectives. As a marketing tool, PPC campaigns allow so much more than SEO. However, even in their case, there are some shortcomings, mostly associated with the mismanagement of campaigning.

First of all, despite the fact that in many cases the CPC starts from few pennies, there are some industries (IT especially), where the stakes for any single click can reach a value of up to Ł10 or more. A constant observation of results and professional campaign optimization is needed and that will reduce costs, for example by removing phrases which do not convert, by appropriately adjusting keywords and rates or by limitating ads geolocation.
The most important part is gathering analytical data, preparation of appropriate structure and its constant campaign optimization, which however requires considerable knowledge and experience. We have met clients who resent these type of campaigns because in the past they have not been optimised properly and were not bringing any profits.
Another problem is the fact that in certain industries (eg. Internet pharmacies) promotion through PPC campaigns can not be carried out. Then a strong emphasis needs to be put on SEO efforts.

Sometimes you may find that the most competitive phrases will prove that SEO efforts will be cheaper, especially if the site is well optimized and has already dealt with relatively high rankings in the search engine. So the question arises – in this type of situation, is it better to focus just on SEO? Not necessarily.

Why not marry the two?

Extremely effective solution is a combination of different types of SEO and PPC campaigns. First of all, we will increase the chance of conversion through the use of various marketing channels. Simply because there are still web users who resent text or banner ads and will visit your site only through free links. Other people prefer adverts because of the clear display of the content the the services offered. The more channels the better chance to attract the customer.
With this strategy, you can occupy several spaces on the search results page – organic search, text ads and Google Shopping. This is not to be underestimated, because on the one hand, we increase our visibility and on the other restrict our competitors.

Of course, in such circumstances the cost of the entire project will increase, thats why constant observation and analysis of results is so important, along with systematical optimization. With a well conducted multiple operations it often turns out that more funding brings higher conversions, but also a decrease in the cost of conversion.
For example one of our clients – thanks to increasing the costs by 19% we have increased the convertion by 38% and the convertion cost was lowered by 14%.
The benefits of merging the two described forms of promotion are obvious, but you should expect an increase in costs allocated to promotion. Combining SEO and PPC works great and translates into increased conversion. When there is a possibility of increasing the budget, I strongly recommend such action.

Martin Black
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Pogo Digital

Digital Marketing Services at Pogo Digital Marketing

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