· Written by Drew Wilson

The marriage of different marketing strategies is important for businesses to optimize in order to affordably reach the widest scope of potential customers. Outwardly, it may seem like the choice of where to spend your marketing budget is simple, but there are plenty of factors to consider when making these decisions for your company.

When trying to reach new customers, SEO and PPC are two exemplary ways of attracting new customers to your site during local searches. These two marketing strategies usually have a budget divided between them. However, there is no “right” or “wrong” way to divvy up your strategy; rather, it is usually a balance between these two different approaches that best allows a business to become noticed by prospective customers.

What Is The Difference Between SEO and PPC?

SEO (search engine optimization) is a marketing strategy that helps your site rank in organic search listings, while PPC (pay-per-click) is paid advertising at the top of search listings. While both of these marketing strategies occur within search engine listings, these are two very different marketing approaches.

SEO is achieved by frequent, relevant updates to your website content that allows it to gradually rank higher in searches. Writers include targeted keywords within your website content to help your site move higher during searches for those keywords.

Pay-per-click ads are listings that businesses pay to have placed at the top of Google or Bing searches. Your PPC marketers will work strategically to maximize the impressions, leads, and conversions generated from your budget.

Collectively, these two strategies help your website become noticed during local searches. It is beneficial to have an informed and calculated combination of these two marketing strategies in order to best help your website reach the broadest range of likely buyers.

When Should You Budget For SEO?

SEO is a gradual process of increasing your search ranking. The earlier you start factoring SEO into your financial budget and advertising plans, the sooner you will see an increase in your site’s organic search rankings. One benefit to using SEO to create organic searches is that this ranking is validated by significant interactions that consumers engage with your site; if a large traffic of consumers clicks on your website and spends time engaging with your site, search engines will deem your site relevant and keep it ranking higher.

According to SparkToro, statistics from last year demonstrate that about 65% of click traffic on desktops goes to organic search. It can be comprehensively beneficial to have a strong foundational landing page and optimized web platform to keep these clicks coming to your site.

For smaller businesses or those just starting out, it may be best to front-load your efforts with SEO and move to widen your PPC budget after your website begins to rank. However, it is important to keep in mind that your website search visibility will begin to drop over time if you abandon your SEO budget entirely.

For businesses who are still skeptical about budgeting for SEO, it can be helpful to consider the marketing advantages of having a professional update your website. While some companies may think that SEO can be done in-house, this practice could end up costing you more long term or lead to an ineffective end result. Search engine algorithms and digital marketing trends are constantly wavering, so it helps to have someone on the inside who knows how to stay on top of these shifts.

Tools like Moz and SEMRush allow marketing agencies to calculate needed areas of content, keyword issues, site health, and more. Purchasing these tools for your business is likely to cost you more than you might pay a marketing agency for an SEO package. You also then have to use company time to get the content completed and posted. Frequently, it is more effective to budget for SEO content while you focus on what is important to your business.

Your marketing agency should be tracking your website against your competitors. SEO budgeting pays off in the long run when you see your site ranking higher in searches than other local businesses. This will, of course, help increase your site traffic, build brand awareness, and help you bring in customers. However, SEO can work at its fullest capacity when complemented by a strategic PPC advertising campaign.

When Should You Budget For Pay-Per-Click?

A steady stream of PPC advertising is sure to help reach customers that are looking for your business. PPC advertisers are well versed on keeping your impression share up to ensure that you are reaching the right customers at the right time. Your impression share is the percentage of active relevant searches that you appear in. Low impression shares are clear indicators that you are missing out on clicks and should be budgeting more for PPC advertising. Your digital marketing agency will keep an eye on this impression share and let you know when you need to increase your PPC budget.

Pay-per-click advertising is also an easy way to provide instant attention to a less visible area of your website. PPC advertising is a more calculated marketing approach that directly correlates the amount of money you are spending with the number of site redirects you are getting. Rather than taking time to get crawled and indexed by the search engines, PPC budgeting can give your site a more immediate boost in attention.

When dividing your budget between SEO and PPC, spending a wider budget on PPC is an ideal option for larger businesses with a ranking website and a large budget to spend on marketing overall. Pay-per-click advertising is an effective mode of increasing brand awareness and getting your name into the direct eye line of consumers. However, it can become expensive to rely entirely on paid advertising to get your site noticed.

Things To Remember:

Both SEO and PPC are crucial marketing practices for getting your business ahead. Rather than choosing between one or the other, you might find it best to balance your budget between these services based on what is best for your business model.

If you are unsure how to move forward with your marketing strategy, speak with one of the experts at Sokal. Our SEO and PPC teams are trained in the latest marketing practices to make the most of your budget. Contact us to get started with a strategy.