The digital marketing community receives and sends a number of opinions at any given moment.
In 2018 there is a litany of theories and concepts that are circulated and given the rise and evolution of online technologies, that is a scenario that should be expected.
What will commonly present itself in this environment is the search engine optimization vs. pay-per-click battle, or SEO vs. PPC for short.
On one hand you have the organic movement that attempts to play the long game, seeing clever strategy and subtle alterations used over the course of weeks, months and years.
Then you have the pure advertisement purchase, a simple and quick transaction that buys space immediately for a short period of time.
Professionals and amateurs alike debate the credentials of either strategy as there is often a preconception about one method being more effective over the other.
Here we will step back and analyse these two campaigns to judge which of SEO or PPC should be used and in what manner.
Requiring Outsourced Assistance
The first topic that should be discussed when looking at the SEO vs. PPC digital marketing divide is the need to acquire outsourced help. To obtain a paid advert, there is very little expertise necessary. Outside of the essential and condensed information with a name, URL, description, targeted audience and budget, the project is completed.
This dynamic can change in respect of a web management SEO endeavor. Embracing this model will see an operator having to implement keywords in select locations, build a network of peers, include multimedia, integrate social media accounts among other techniques over an initial period of 3-6 months before results emerge. That task is generally utilized by a third party if there is not an expert on hand with that background, as it is a specified and unique role to carry out.
When viewing the SEO vs. PPC conflict through the prism of cost, many operators will take the face value position that optimizing for a search engine result is free and organic, whilst a paid commercial spot hurts the hip pocket. As with anything in digital marketing, the answer is never that simple.
The costs involved in PPC are entirely controlled around your own parameters, so the expenditure will be commiserate with the length of the post and the reach you are attempting to garner. SEO will end up costing money in hours spent and content inclusion created, but that could escalate if a third party is introduced. Optimization can be run on a budget at next to no cost, but those instances are rare.
Short-Term Gain vs. Long-Term Reward
A central question that must be asked for a business or online brand looking at the SEO vs. PPC setting is this – what is your timeframe and how quickly do you need to earn online sales? Digital marketing is broken down at its core between these two fields because there is an immediate need in many circles to bypass the long game and earn bang for buck with a quick transaction. Should there be an acceptance and understanding that a quality SEO campaign can deliver the goods, then those resources could be allocated for building a strong foundation.
The User Trust Factor
The increase in trust for a user for an organic search result over a paid advertisement is not just anecdotal because extensive studies have supported the theory. This changes the dynamic in the SEO vs. PPC conflict as digital marketing professionals continue to advocate for an authentic reach to consumers in an attempt to win their trust over. Paying to get clicks will score impressions, but there will be a void of qualitative clicks from interested parties if the brand is not already established.
There will always two sides to any debate if you look hard enough, but on the philosophical divide with SEO vs. PPC, the digital marketing community is torn. The best advice companies can receive in this domain is to combine both facets as part of their campaign, even if a PPC endeavour is turned off and on during scheduled projects.