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PPC Or SEO in 2020?

When you first set up a company, money can be tight and you want to maximise your profits as much as possible.  As a start-up business, you’ve probably thought about some sort of promotion package for your website.  So which route is better?  SEO (search engine optimisation) or PPC (Pay Per Click Advertising)?



What Is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and is a process the assists in websites acquiring higher organic rankings in Search Engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo etc.)  Each search engines has its own set of algorithms that crawl and index each website.  The crawlers’ job is to analyse the quality of the website and assess where each website should rank based on particular search keywords.

Let’s take a look at the following search query.

“How to boil an egg”

Google considers these results to be the most relevant:

Advantages Of SEO

Traffic consistency.

Over time, if done correctly, you will receive high organic rankings.  By ranking higher the traffic sent to your website from search engines will become consistent for targeted keywords and key phrases.  It is essential that SEO is a continuous process where poor ranking keywords can be improved and high-ranking keywords can be maintained.  Keeping ahead of your competitors is key!


It isn’t easy to rank on page 1 of Google.  There are many factors that search engines look for, including, but not limited to: backlinks, technical SEO, content optimisation etc.  Once you hit that front page you will build trust and credibility ensuring that you do things honestly and correctly you will increase your rankings. 

Click-Through Rate.

The higher you rank on search engines the higher your click-through rate will be.  The higher the click rate, the more targeted visitors you will receive, the more visitors you receive… You can see where I’m going with this, right?


SEO is affordable – SEO can be done by yourself, or you can hire an agency to take care of things properly for you.  Google is extremely helpful and provides a bunch of free tools to help you manage and maintain your SEO:

Disadvantage of SEO

It Takes Time.

SEO takes time.  SEO efforts don’t appear overnight and it takes time for search engines to analyse and rank your site appropriately.  Once your site appears on search engines you then have to analyse and adjust pages and content to ensure that your rankings increase.  It takes approximate 3 months, typically, to start seeing any significant results, that being said, you could well start seeing results in as little as a few weeks.

It’s Competitive.

All of your competition is competing for that top spot on Google, remember you’re not the only one.  There will be some well-established businesses receiving that first page, that doesn’t mean you can’t knock them off the top spot. It’s just going to be a little harder work and more time-consuming! SEO agencies typically have software to help identify competitors’ strategies, so if your struggling, it might be worth a phone call.

What is PPC?

Pay Per Click advertising is exactly what it says on the tin.  You, as a business, will pay search engines for each click your website gets from a sponsored post.  In laymen’s terms, you will provide a list of keywords or keyphrases that you want to appear for.  The search engine will put these results in front of people searching for that particular keyword or phrase ahead of organic results.  If someone clicks on your link, the search engine will charge you for that click.

Let’s take a look at the following search query.

“Buy a MacBook Air”

Google has placed these results above the organic results:


Advantages of PPC


When you execute a PPC campaign, your website will start ranking in the top results immediately.  Whilst it’s not quite as simple as that, you still have to bid for your keywords and key-phrases and compete against other companies also targeting the same words. 


You only have to pay for the traffic you receive – Your ad could be put in front of a million people, however, if no one clicks that link, you won’t be charged.  It is simple to manage your budget; you will set your maximum spend per day and the search engine will stop serving your ads once your budget is depleted.  Ads will continue to be served the following day according to your requirements.


With you PPC ads you can target specific geographical locations, so, if you only wanted to target customers in Leicestershire, you can do that.  You can also target based on demographics, you can target specific genders, age brackets as well as parental status.  This is great if you only want to target female mothers in Leicester who are between 25-34 years old.

Disadvantages of PPC

PPC Can Become Expensive

You may need a relatively large budget depending on competition levels as well as how much the competition is will to pay for a click.  The more clicks you receive, the more money you will spend.  An account with a low ad spend budget may see poor results.  They wore money you spend on an ad, the better the results will be.  Ad budgets need to planned carefully to ensure affordability, remember, just because they clicked on your ad, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will spend or call.


Depending on the user, PPC effectiveness may decrease over time.  The more often your ad appears in a results page, the more likely a user is to ignore it.  Users become ‘ad-blind’ over time and may subconsciously decide to ignore ads.  Ensuring that your ads are effective and different ads are used to minimise ‘ad blindness’.


So What Should I Use?

There isn’t a simple answer for this question.  Every start-up business is different, each business’ budget will be different.

In my opinion, though, I’d always start with organic SEO, getting your website set up properly, ensuring that technical SEO is completed will always pay dividends, long term.  Getting it right in the beginning will ensure zero penalties from search engine which could hinder progress long term.

If you have a tight budget, PPC could be a waste of funds.  If the business cannot maintain budgetary requirements of running a successful PPC campaign, I’d stick with SEO – but, have a chat with an agency to talk through the options and competitiveness of your particular industry.

Perhaps you sell a number of different products or services through your website, it might be worth dipping your toe into PPC alongside SEO by targeting a couple of products specifically.  This would allow you to test the market and competition.  If the campaign is successful, then increase the budget or start adding new products or services to be advertised.

Using a great PPC campaign alongside SEO is an incredible way of boosting your sites performance in a more aggressive manner.

By going through this article, hopefully you’ll have a better understanding of both SEO and PPC. 

If you’re not sure on how well your website appears to search engines you can check out our free website audit tool by following this link.

Don’t forget, you’re not on your own.  If you need any help or support with your Local SEO  or PPC campaigns you can reach out to us and we’ll see what we can do to help.


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