Search Marketing: SEO or PPC – which should I choose?

September 20, 2011 - Digital State Marketing

When it comes to search marketing, clients often expect their website to be fully optimised as part of the web build service. In some respects, this is like expecting your builder to provide the interior design after building your house.  It may be part of the deal but it’s certainly not safe to assume your expert website designer is also an expert in SEO or PPC – they are very separate and specialised disciplines, as we at the Digital State Marketing are acutely aware.

Essentially, there are two main routes: Natural Listings and Google AdWords.  Ideally, your campaign will marry the two together but this will depend very much on your budget as well as the nature of your industry.

Before you dive into any search marketing campaign, it is important to establish a firm understanding of your overall marketing goals (both in the short-, medium- and long-term), a plan of action to achieve those and the metrics by which you will measure success.

A high ranking position in a natural search implies that you are trustworthy and reliable. Users of Google will typically look no further than the top 5 listings for the majority of search terms: therefore, getting your website on the front page is vital.

In terms of return on investment (ROI), an SEO strategy generates a more effective and enduring result than PPC but it does takes longer to achieve.  This is why Digital State Marketing advocates deploying a managed PPC campaign in the early stages.

By advertising via a Google AdWords campaign, one can achieve an immediate front page presence.  Essentially, you stipulate what your daily budget is and how much you want to pay “per click”.  Google then optimise the visibility of your website within those financial boundaries.  Furthermore, being a Google product, it is characteristically flexible and works in real time so you can manage it live.

On the downside, an Adwords campaign that is poorly controlled can become a very costly venture with unquantifiable results – it requires a clearly defined and regularly managed cycle of targets, analysis and refinement.

Clearly, both approaches have their benefits and, as such, often work well when dovetailed in a comprehensive search marketing campaign.  Adwords can generate immediate traffic (but at a cost), whilst a companion campaign is put in place to improve natural listings.  Over time, the reliance on PPC diminishes as your natural listing is established on the front page.

This dual campaign management is a delicate balance and, to maximise its efficacy, many businesses choose to outsource the work.   We at the Digital State Marketing have the specialist skills and experience required, across all areas of search marketing to help you identify, and achieve, your goals – get in contact today and we’ll be happy to arrange a free, no obligation proposal for you.