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SEO or PPC? Where should I spend my marketing budget? As someone that works at a Chicago SEO consulting company I get asked this question all the time.  Many Chicago businesses have a hard time answering this on their own or at least want a second opinion.  Should our company spend money on Google Ads -PPC (pay-per click) advertising or SEO (search engine optimization)?

First, let’s define what each of these ways of getting website visitors are.

PPC Advertising is an internet advertising model used to direct traffic to websites, paying when an ad is clicked on. Mostly associated with search engines, such as Google or Bing. Google Ads is what they call their advertising platform.

SEO is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as “natural,” “organic SEO,” or “earned” results. Now that you have an idea of what each of those terms means, let’s dive a little deeper.

Some of the key things to remember about SEO are:

  1. SEO provides natural exposure and credibility: When you hold a top organic (unpaid) spot in the search results it not only provides a lot of exposure, but 86% of web searchers trust organic SEO listings more than paid listings.
  2. There is a large ROI potential: The organic search results will typically attract more clicks which bring in more conversions and revenue, and ultimately a solid ROI. Not to mention that you are not paying for each individual click.
  3. SEO is important if your business has a longer buying cycle: When consumers are at the awareness stage, they are searching “top of the funnel” search terms. The click-through rates for these terms are better for organic search results.
  4. Organic results are clicked on more: 85% of clicks resulting from a search are on the organic links and 15% are from paid ads.
  5. Quality SEO takes time: SEO can take many months or even longer to notice results, but when it is done the right way it can result in consistent website traffic and a nice ROI.

On the flip side Google Ads have some differences from SEO, so let’s learn a little more.

  1. PPC can provide instant traffic to your website: Unlike SEO, PPC gives you the ability to have ads on the top of the search results almost immediately after setting up a campaign.
  2. You can laser target your audience: You can target ideal customers with segmentation. You can segment by location, income, age, education level, marital status, industry and much more.
  3. Testing is easy: With PPC you have the ability to test the different targeting methods and the ad itself. This attribute can also help save time and resources in SEO efforts when trying to decide what keywords to optimize.
  4. Beneficial for time-sensitive offers: Since paid ads can be up and running almost immediately, they are great for time sensitive offers, such as limited time sales, impromptu sales, seasonal offers etc.
  5. Best used for people in a buyers mindset: 50% of people arriving at a retailers site from paid ads are more likely to buy than those who came from an organic link.

So what method is better and what should your business be using? What does this Chicago SEO consultant say? The best solution is to use a combination of the two in many cases. Integrating Google Ads and organic SEO efforts results on average a 25% increase in clicks and a 27% increase in profits over isolated or disconnected efforts. If you’re lucky enough to be on the first page of Google’s organic listings, you’ll have double the visibility using Google Ads! Do you have a new business and need new customers right away?  Then spending more on Google Ads makes sense.

It is similar to either renting an apartment or buying a home, if you need a roof over your head right away then rent. (PPC)  If you are looking to invest in something of value and grow a family then buying a house is the right answer. (SEO)  

But we know sometimes resources are scarce and money is tight when starting a business, so if you’re having trouble deciding where you should start or whether you should choose one strategy over the other give me a call and I’m happy to give you some of my time analyzing your SEO potential and business goals. I specializes in tailoring an internet marketing strategy that best fits your business’s individual needs.