Ever since the beginning of Internet, SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay per click, eg Google Adwords) have always been put one against the other.
However, if you take a closer look at both of them, they both try to reach the same goal – to boost the traffic of your website.
The main difference is on the way they operate and the outcome.
While SEO is the way you have to reach higher rankings on search engines such as Google, PPC is where you pay to reach your target audience in short period of time.
When you have a good SEO strategy executed, your website tends to look more natural and higher authority to your prospects.
On the other hand, if you decide to use PPC, you know your ads will be displayed in a sponsored area of the search result page. When someone clicks on your ad, you will pay for that click.
Whether your corporate is Malaysia or Singapore based, to decide if SEO or PPC is more suited for your business, we can quickly look at 2 aspects:
1) Time Given
Simply put, when you want to see fast results, there’s nothing better than PPC. You just choose the keywords you want to target, create the landing pages, write your ad, and you’re done.
In what concerns with SEO, this is a strategy that tends to take months to see results (or worse still, no results).
Even after you reach the first page or top positions of the search engines, you’ll need to have a strong SEO team or agency to maintain the positions.
So, when you have a new website or a new service or product that you want to market, PPC should be able to deliver the best results on the short-term.
Ppc helps you to “test market” and get the important data (eg conversion rate, time-on-site) really quick.
Once you decide that your business is appealing to the market, you should give more attention to the SEO for the long term as the traffic it brings is often more targeted (thus higher conversion rate) and better brand reputation.
2) Budget Restraints
Even though most people tend to think that the main difference between SEO and PPC is that the first one is free and the other one is paid, this is wrong.
Whether you have your own in-house SEO team or hire a SEO agency, you NEED to spend money on both of them to see results.
Nonetheless, the way you pay and the amounts vary substantially.
When you decide to go with an SEO strategy, you will need to pay for an SEO specialist for his professional works, keyword research, competition analysis, content research and creation, onsite audit, backlink campaign, monitoring and so on.
In case you opt for PPC, then you will need to pay for each click you get on one of our ads.
If you hire a agency to work on your PPC campaign, you usually pay them a monthly advertising budget with part of the budget (often calculated in %) being their commission.
The BIGGEST challenge with PPC is the return on investment.
For example, let’s say you spend RM3000/month on Google Adwords, it doesn’t help much if the net profit it brings you couldn’t exceed RM3000/month.
PPC also tends to be more expensive than SEO in the long term.
If you have a large budget and you have a limited time to reach some pre-determined goals, PPC is the better option.
For the long term success and brand reputation, SEO is necessary.
So with PPC you will see quick results and useful data while SEO help your business to build a strong base that needs time to grow.
Why Can’t You Have Both?
Many Malaysia and Singapore businesses I’ve worked with assume they need to choose either one or the other.
Luckily unlike deciding to be a fan of Liverpool or ManUtd, you can actually choose both!
Let’s think outside the box, the best strategy could be having both SEO and PPC at the same time as they can compliment each other.