If you have first started to consider marketing your website online then you probably have heard about the two main options you have – SEO and PPC. But which one do you start with? What is more important? What will get you the best return on investment? What’s more expensive?

Why use SEO?

Longer term benefits – It’s s fair to say that the results that can be achieved through SEO do not happen overnight – in fact it can take up to 6 months in very competitive niches to see the fruition of your work. However, once you have built up the authority on your website due to your SEO activity, you will see the benefits for a far longer term, and it will cost you far less to sustain these results.

Building a brand/authorityMany modern SEO tactics and techniques are based around positioning yourself as an authority in your industry. And, once you have done work to reach out to other sites in your niche and achieve links or social mentions from them, this authority in your website will last for a long time.

Cheaper than paid ads – You shouldn’t really think of clicks from your SEO listings as completely free considering that if you do want to rank then it’s likely that you will need to invest a lot of time and potentially some cash to position yourself where you want to be. However, you are not directly paying Google ‘per click’ as if you would if you wanted to appear high on the results page for a high-traffic, popular keyword. In fact, the amount you spend on SEO can reduce over time as the authority will still be in your site, while any reduction of budget in PPC will mean your listing drop or even disappear for good!

Why use PPC?

Immediate results – If you don’t have time to craft successful and sustainable SEO campaigns then PPC is the answer to your problems. Once you have submitted your ad on Google and it has been approved, you will potentially appear high up on the page of results for your desired search query/queries immediately, so you can start making those sales and generating profits.

To promote short-term offers – Sometimes your business may have some short-term, special offers which need to be promoted online, but you haven’t got the time to build up authority using SEO. This is where PPC can really help and is great at putting the word out there about your offer exactly where it needs to be – in front of qualified search traffic interested in the kind of product or service you are offering.

In conjunction with SEO listings – In fact, the best time to use PPC is when you also have your site listed in the SEO results too. This dual-targeting approach means that you are appearing twice on the results page, meaning that your brand is taking more of the overall page ‘advert’ space. You can even target different types of people in each listing by using individual descriptions to try and entice them to click through to your website.