As a freshly minted e-commerce store or an expanding business, you are bound to ask yourself this question: should your digital marketing strategy be SEO-based or PPC-based advertising? There are no easy answers. However, you could think of the pros and cons of the two, and pick the one strategy that satisfies your business or marketing goals at a certain point in time. No two businesses are in the same position at the same time, and goals differ from one to another. Your path to meeting these goals, therefore, is bound to be different. Meanwhile, here’s a rundown on what SEO and PPC are all about, and their pros and cons.
Search engine optimisation or SEO is all about bringing in organic traffic via search engines like Google. Pay-per-click or PPC entails paying for ad space on the search result page. So, when you see a product or service listing on the top half of the page marked Ad, that is a PPC ad. The results on the search page, on the other hand, are organic and are listed on the basis of many factors including keyword relevance.
Pros of SEO:
• SEO is all about trust and a great amount of credibility. When a user looks for a product or service, he or she is more likely to trust organic results than PPC. Most users seem to have trained themselves to avoid clicking on anything that says ‘Ad’.
• SEO also helps you garner more traffic to your website and gives you an opportunity to engage with users. You can take them through your site and help them get to know you better.
• Search engine optimisation helps in providing visibility and creating brand awareness. Search engines can help create this visibility for targeted keywords you use.
• An important aspect of SEO is that it is cost-effective and sustainable. Your organic traffic will not stop if you don't spend or pay. On the other hand, PPC is all about paying and spending to sustain your efforts and campaigning.
• SEO takes time and a lot of effort, and only after a long campaign can you get organic traffic. This may be detrimental if you are a new e-commerce site and there are behemoths in the same game as yours.
• For SEO to do well, you may need very strong content development strategy and not all brands may have the wherewithal for it.
Let’s now shift our attention to PPC or pay-per-click advertising, which has its own set of pros and cons. Let’s see what the benefits of PPC are:
• Have you noticed how paid-search ads are always on top of the page? This positioning gives greater visibility to a brand and providers awareness to users even if they don’t always click on the ad.
• PPC ads provide you an opportunity to create great ads with the options provided such as pricing, location, and bullet points. A search engine such as Google also lets users see product images. If your PPC advertising uses this option, it is hugely beneficial. Imagine your branded shoes or dresses occupying pride of place on a search result page!
• PPC also helps you retarget ads. For instance, if a certain user has seen your ad on a search page but hasn’t done anything about it, the ad can be displayed on another site the user is seeing at another point in time.
• Also, PPC helps you kickstart your campaign and fetch you a wealth of traffic almost immediately. This is important for brands that are just starting out so as not to be snowed under by the competition.
• Pay-per-click can be quite expensive and if you don’t set up your campaign with care, chances are you will lose out on your resources rather quickly.
• You would also need to take up a lot of testing for your pay-per-click ad, which consumes time, effort and money. Constant optimisation is the need of the hour if you are into PPC advertising.
To sum it up, a one versus the other approach may not work. You may need PPC to kickstart your campaign and sustain it with SEO for the long-term growth.