Almost anyone with a website, especially businesses, would like to be at the top of Google for their area of expertise (or chosen search terms).

Two of the most popular techniques to getting to the top of Google are SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and PPC (Pay Per Click). In most cases Elevate Local adopts the Hybrid model where both methods are applied.

The case for PPC

We love PPC for two core reasons. It allows a client instant visibility and acts as a good testing ground for specific projects.

To bring this to life I have the following examples:

  • If a client launches a new website and requires instant exposure on search engines then PPC is the best route to market.
  • If a client lacks the confidence to commit to a long term SEO project and wants to test the ROI (return on investment) from search then PPC will provide a good testing ground.

PPC also allows for great data capture. Google inevitably provides easy ways to quantify ROI from PPC as it makes money from PPC. Therefore valuable data such as CTR’s (click through rates) are easier to gage using PPC.

PPC also has a strong case for extending the reach of a website. SEO projects are quite often not infinite. They do rely on the strength of the client’s website. Therefore each website can only be squeezed to a certain level. Once this is achieved PPC could be used as a mechanism to take peripheral traffic or target new markets.

Advocates of PPC will also tell you that it carries less risk and that SEO can risk your site getting banned by search engines. This argument is only true if unethical techniques are employed in the SEO practice and is not an argument that carries any weight.

The case for SEO

SEO when carried out correctly has a more holistic approach than PPC. An SEO engineer will often look at a website in its entirety and change its structure to improve usability, add content such as blogs, and carry out quality offsite work such as social media marketing. Therefore SEO is definitely an investment in the health of your website.

SEO is a better medium to long term strategy. An ethical SEO campaign may take time to achieve page one rankings but is a better medium/long term option for the following reasons:

  • Younger audiences understand what Google serves them and prefer organic listings to being fed advertisements. We have already seen this movement in other platforms such as Sky+ where viewers choose to fast forward adverts.
  • SEO does not suffer from click fraud. You can receive 100,000 clicks in a day and it doesn’t cost you any more. With PPC there is a chance your competitors will employ underhand tactics to decimate your budget.
  • PPC has suffered from highly inflated prices in certain markets – making SEO a better investment.
  • When you stop investing in PPC your listing disappears. With SEO it is an investment in your site and its positive effects can be felt for a long time.

So – SEO or PPC?

We believe in taking the best from both worlds adopting the hybrid method. We advise clients to use SEO for their heartland – their core market – and using PPC to sweep up peripheral traffic. This approach plans for the medium/long term health of your site and maximises any investment in PPC.