When it comes to your marketing budget you may have trouble deciding which digital marketing to fund, do you go with SEO or PPC. Let’s take a quick look and determine which is better for you. PPC is often a business owners’ first choice. Quick impact, low maintenance time and easy-to-understand all sound like great benefits. They are, but is the price worth it?

Before you nod your head, let me stop you.

Yes, fast results and low time consumption are ideal for business, even more so if your ads are generating sales. PPC comes with a constant ad spend. It’s like Scooby and Shaggy at an all-you-can-eat buffet. You’re always feeding it and when you stop it stops.

If you’re selling a limited supply or advertising a time-sensitive offer, it’s not as much of a deal breaker. Unless you already have a steady stream of profit, is it sustainable?

Let’s shift and look at SEO.

Like PPC, SEO strategy involves keywords. Beyond that similarity, it takes time and effort. Imagine you sell a product or service that uses a considered buying process. Today’s consumers are savvy. They ask questions and want to know more before they make a purchase that will affect them. Your customer is going to go online, do research, compare offers, think about it and finally make a decision.

Optimizing your web and blog pages can help you show up in more relevant searches that customer performs. If you keep showing up, you become an authority, and that customer starts trusting you.

But, what if that same customer sees your ad once and doesn’t click? What if they see your ad multiple times and they don’t click? Before you think no big deal, if they don’t click I don’t pay. It is a big deal; you need your customer to click to get to your website or landing page!

What to Compare

Sam Hurley from Midas Media wrote a great piece on SEO vs. PPC. In it he included a look at three metrics to help measure ccost-effectiveness

  • Cost per visitor
  • Cost per Conversion
  • Total average

From these metrics, he suggests it will become clear what channel needs reigning in and which is a more worthy investment for your business.

On average, organic search leads have a 14.6% close rate, compared to 1.7% for outbound marketing leads. (NewsCred, 2014)

So What Works?

In short, both.

Every business owner would like to have the highest conversion rate possible. SEO can win the battle time and time again. Research and strategy are critical to successful results.

Taking a look at our stats, over three months we turned 5 keywords into #1 organic results utilizing strategy in keyword selection and optimizing blog posts. Three of these are highly competitve keywords, the cost-per-click would have exceeded our budget. In the long run our SEO strategy works and helps build page authority on our blog.

keyword results

Remember when we said today’s consumers are savvy? They’re taking to search, in fact the highest spenders are more likely to turn to organic search for information. (Marketing Pilgrim, 2014). Ranking well in search allow those consumers to find you, and they are happy because they can do their own research.

If you have been relying heavily on PPC, consider breaking the habit and building your SEO strategy. The good news it’s never too late to start. Over time you can reduce your PPC spend and continue to generate traffic.