SEO vs Pay Per Click advertising: Which one to choose?
VIA YOAST

SEO vs Pay Per Click advertising: Which one to choose?

Why is SEO so important? And why will SEO continue to be important in the future? Isn’t it much easier to advertise in order to attract traffic to your website? In this blog post, I will explain the importance of SEO. I will also dive into the differences between SEO vs Pay Per Click advertising (PPC) and the advantages of SEO over a marketing strategy that is focused solely on advertising. Let’s get to it!

To make sure that we’re on the same page, I’ll shortly explain what SEO is and what Pay Per Click advertising looks like. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it’s the practice of optimizing your pages to make them reach a high position in the organic search results of search engines like Google.

Pay-per-click advertising are the advertisements you see at the top of these search results pages, and this is an advertising model in which an advertiser pays whenever someone clicks on the ad.

SEO vs PPC: example of organic and paid result in Google

Example of advertisement and organic result on Google’s search result page

SEO can result in sooooo much traffic

A successful SEO strategy can result in SO MUCH traffic. If your site ranks high in Google’s result pages, that’ll result in a lot of organic traffic. Overall, organic search results have a much higher click-through rate than advertisements in Google. Organic search actually drives 53% of website traffic, while paid search drives only 27%. That might be because lots of people (25,8%) use ad blockers and don’t even see the advertisements on Google. Also, the ‘normal’ search results might just be a better fit to the search query or feel more trust-worthy.

You should try to rank on the first page of Google and preferably as the first result. The first page of Google organic search results account for about 92 % of all the traffic. Almost one-third of all clicks go to the first result on the organic search pages. When you get to the 10th (last) result on that first page, the click-through-rate actually drops to 2.5%. This shows us that being the number one result, or one of the top ones, really pays off!

SEO has a high Return on Investment

SEO can be a lot of work. You need to write kickass content, you need to do keyword research, you need to make sure your internal linking structure is top-notch. But, any effort you put into SEO is always an effort that pays off! SEO has a really high Return on Investment (ROI). Not only is the average conversion rate higher when it comes to SEO, but it’s also an investment that keeps paying off. SEO is always ‘on’ and although you’ll have to update your content from time to time, you won’t have to pay to keep it in the search results. If your content is good and you’re making sure that your website is accessible and easy to use, Google will show your content in the results. This means that you’ll continue to see ROI long after your investment.

You’ll need to have great content in order to convince people of your product or service anyway, even if you get your traffic through advertisements. It’s not that much work to turn great copy into SEO-friendly copy that’ll help you rank in the search engines! And, once you turn your blog into a traffic-generating asset, you may start to get tens or even hundreds of thousands of unique visitors every month without much additional effort.

SEO is very sustainable

Advertising is never a sustainable way to attract traffic to a website. You’ll need to keep doing it, you’ll always need to keep paying in order to keep attracting traffic. SEO is a long-term strategy and it takes time, but it also is a solid and long-term, sustainable strategy. A good website, with high-quality content and brand authority, will not stop ranking overnight. 

SEO is straightforward

Advertising can be tricky. In the future, it could very well be that advertising will become even harder and more expensive. Attracting the right audience and retargeting audiences are profitable advertising tactics. However, chances are that these kinds of advertising tactics will become more difficult as privacy laws will become stricter. SEO as a strategy is a rather straightforward strategy, that will not be altered by privacy laws as much. It would be a good thing to start investing in SEO now, so you’ll have a headstart over your competition that is still (only) doing ads.

SEO is important because it impacts the buying cycle!

The most important difference between SEO and advertising is the search intent. If people are searching in Google, they are looking for something specific. If a person searches for a specific type of jeans or for a certain shampoo, they’ll probably want to buy those jeans or get that shampoo. The audience you can reach through search is a highly motivated audience, an audience that is prone to buy. They are much easier to convince to buy your stuff if they’re searching for it than if they happen to run into an ad.

SEO is important because the people you’re trying to reach with an SEO strategy are the highest motivated people. Make sure that if people are looking to buy, if they’re searching for products you sell, that they can easily find your website. And make sure that you’re ranking with the right page!

SEO is getting more important, because Google is getting smarter

SEO has always been important, but it is getting more and more important. That’s because over time Google is getting smarter and smarter in understanding text. You’ll need to have texts that are well optimized and, at the same time, implement a kick-ass schema.org implementation in order to get those awesome rich results. These rich results actually have a 58% click-through-rate, in comparison to 41% for non-rich results.

In order to have a chance to outrank your competitors in the search engines, you need to do your very best! Using a SEO tool can help you get started. In fact, research tells us that 73% of content marketing teams use an SEO tool in their marketing efforts. Our Yoast SEO plugin can be one of those tools, helping you climb the search results and attract more visitors.

Get serious about SEO with Yoast SEO Premium!

Unlock lots of features and get free access to our SEO courses with our Premium plugin:

Get Yoast SEO Premium Only $89 USD (ex VAT) for 1 site

Conclusion: SEO is a sustainable and longterm marketing strategy

SEO will be a bit more work than setting up an advertising campaign. It will not get you immediate results. But in the long run, it is the most important strategy to attract traffic to your website. So don’t underestimate its power and start working on your SEO right away!

Read more: WordPress SEO: The definitive guide to higher rankings for WordPress sites »

SEO vs Pay Per Click advertising: Which one to choose? – Yoast.