On the wider internet, there are some key differences between SEO and PPC. Unfortunately, for many business owners, this question doesn’t have a general, straightforward answer. While both marketing tactics are effective, they serve different purposes and often have different results.

Depending on your business’s needs, there are many reasons why you might choose one over the other. However, if you’re not sure which will suit you best, there are a few things you should keep in mind when formulating your digital strategy.

PPC can get you quick, short-term results

If you’re looking for laser-focused visibility of your brand, there’s a strong case to be made for PPC. Depending on your ad types, you may miss out on some bells and whistles like link graphics, but you’re making an equitable trade. While you lose things like link graphics, you gain above-the-fold content that SEO can’t always guarantee. This is because, due to algorithm changes, Google places a handful of ads at the top of any search queries. If you want to be the very first thing a prospective customer sees, you may want to consider digital advertising.

However, PPC also has some big drawbacks. For starters, it can be wickedly expensive. Say, for instance, you run a skincare company and you want to rank for the term “whitehead.” Unless you’re willing to shell out for a good monthly ad spend, you’re probably going to have difficulty appearing against some of the top industry names. On top of this, digital advertising can be pretty finicky. You may think you’ve optimized an ad perfectly only to find out it’s not displaying because of one or two errors. Also, truth be told, the second you stop a PPC campaign, the second the advertising leads stop coming in.

SEO is a more affordable, longer-term investment

Compared to PPC, SEO takes the mantra “slow and steady wins the race” to heart. In many ways, SEO can be something of a timesink. This is because there are no shortcuts or secret passages when it comes to quality search engine optimization or the first page of Google. You need to apply a deliberate content strategy, choose quality keywords, and make sure your domain has built enough authority to compete where it counts. On top of this, page speed and security are bigger factors than ever. For instance, if you run a page called academia.edu and you don’t have a security certificate active, the URL will appear as HTTP:// instead of HTTPS:// which instantly tells customers and search engines that your site isn’t encrypted. Nobody wants to lose valuable data, especially if your site handles sensitive financial information.

Perhaps the one drawback to SEO is the time investment. If you want quick, immediate results, search engine optimization likely isn’t for you. The kicker is if you invest the time, though, you’re going to see longer-lasting results that can truly propel your business to greater heights. On top of this, well-optimized pages tend to stand the test of time which can help you “future-proof” your business in many ways.

Is SEO often the better choice?

If, after reading this, you’re still not sure what path to take, it never hurts to consult with an agency. Sites like linkgraph.io can help you spot the value of SEO from a mile away. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with PPC, it’s not ideal for small businesses, startups, and companies that don’t have the resources to pay large monthly ad spends. Instead, a cost-effective SEO agency can provide you with the results you crave and the improvements your site needs to excel.

Ultimately, your choice between SEO and PPC will come down to your business preferences. They both serve distinct purposes that can get you different results. Between immediate results and long-lasting success, the choice is ultimately yours.

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