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SEO or Paid Ads (PPC) – Which One to Pick?

Iskra Evtimova

In the last few years, online marketing has become the preferred way of business advertising. New platforms and methods have appeared, but there are two main techniques for attracting fresh clients – SEO and paid ads on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.

You have probably heard many times that if a business doesn’t have enough online presence, it has no future. I agree with that unless of course, you don’t own a small local store, which is visited by the people in your neighbourhood just because it’s close and convenient.

And here is the big question – ” Good, I want to advertise my business online, but what to use – PPC (paid ads) or SEO (search engine optimization)?”

In this article, I will share my opinion with you as a person working with both marketing methods, and hopefully, it will aid you in your decision.

Comparison between SEO and PPC

SEO PPC
Needs time It can bring customers from day 1
The well-optimised site can attract clients even if you don’t actively work on it You pay – you have clients, you don’t pay – no clients
The conversion rate is 10-15% The conversion rate is 2-5%

These are the three essential factors you need to be familiar with for the two types of online marking we are talking about.

Often people are in a hurry to receive immediate results, and they choose to use only the paid ads without thinking that fewer visitors will convert into buyers as opposed to using SEO. It’s ok. After all, you can’t wait for 3-6-12 months until your site begins bringing free traffic from Google to start your business. But why completely ignore the optimisation?

COVID, Search Engine Optimization and Paid Ads

With the beginning of the 2020 pandemic, we were caught off guard by a disaster that harmed a lot of businesses. Sadly, some of them were forced into bankruptcy. Part of the reasons for this hides in the fact that many companies rely only on paid ads to promote themselves. So in a time of crisis, the budgets had to be tightened. But from where? From the advertisement, of course. However, these companies wrote their death sentences by stopping the ads without having a well-optimised site. If you don’t have a proper channel to attract potential clients, your business will perish.

What happened with the companies that have invested in SEO throughout the years?

They could allow themselves to skip paying for SEO for a couple of months without any negative backlash. Yes, the optimisation can take a while until it starts giving good results, but its effect is long-lasting. Therefore when the pandemic started the businesses with properly optimised sites stopped the paid aids, but their websites continued to attract clients.

The companies that decided to continue investing in SEO during the crisis have seen a steady increase in traffic because their competitors were giving themselves a break.

Just look at what happened with one of my clients, who didn’t stop the SEO. We used the time wisely and applied some of the best new practices, managed to rewrite the contents of their site, which we launched at the beginning of May 2020. See how the traffic starts to increase, and this result is stable. Even if my client decides to stop the optimization for a month or two, their site will still attract potential customers.

SEO traffic increase

You can see on the image above that until May 2020 the site had around 500 organic visits a month from Google. After the changes we did (the red arrow) the visits started to increase, and in June they were around 1000 (a 50% growth rate), in July -1200 and in August -1400, (a small decrease during Christmas but the website is for removal services so it was expected) and the growing trend continues till March 2021 (the month of this post) when the website has 3243 visits for the month. Compared with March 2020 this is a 548.6% increase. Who doesn’t want such a success and in the time of a pandemic nonetheless?

So, SEO or PPC?

Both!

Each has its pros and cons, but the important thing is they complete one and another. So my advice is to do them both. When your site starts to attract enough traffic organically, use the paid ads as a reinforcement on the occasion that you need more clients. These are two different techniques you can apply to bring more potential customers to your business. Use them well! Work smarter, not harder 😉

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