Organic and PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising are both great marketing tactics to put your business on the map. Organic marketing refers to acquiring your customers naturally over time through word of mouth, networking, informative information, and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). PPC, on the other hand, is a paid advertisement where in many cases advertisers are charged each time someone interacts with their ad. Depending on the industry and end goal, both can produce successful marketing campaigns, but in the long run organic will produce superior results.
PPC advertising is beneficial, and often shows quick results compared to organic. Once your ad is created, it is instantly shown to your target demographic. This is advantageous because once your campaign is ready to go live, you can see results immediately. Although turning on the ad is instantaneous, what takes time is the adjustments that are necessary to ensure your campaign will reach full potential. Having the ability to control who will see your ad through targeting, can be very powerful. With paid campaigns, you are able to see exactly what is working because of the various conversion tracking tools and analytics software, such as Google Analytics. The ability to test multiple variants of specific ads and make ongoing adjustments as the campaign evolves, allows you to pinpoint exactly what works. The downside to this is that because your ad was targeted and shown to someone not actively searching for your services, the quality in many cases, will be less than that of someone who came across your message organically. Another downfall that comes with PPC is the cost, in every successful campaign there is a period of testing that will always lose some ad spend. The biggest drawback surrounding PPC is that it acts as a living creature. It needs constant attention and money, once you leave it alone, your leads will evaporate.
SEO, on the other hand, is a much cheaper, organic way to get leads. Granted, your website and landing pages are optimized for lead generation. With SEO the cost comes upfront for the planning and implementation. Having your website rank organically goes a long way and can even express a level of credibility if your website shows up on the first page of various SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Traffic from organic search is free, and because these consumers are actively searching for your brand the CTR (Click Through Rate) will be significantly higher when compared to that of PPC campaigns. There are also many users that skip ads that are pushed in front of them, and they naturally gravitate towards organic results. One of the main reasons organic advertising trumps PPC, is the fact that it is sustainable. After the initial cost and effort are put in there is not much else to do. Your organic traffic will not dry up, in fact as these search engines crawl and index your website, your organic traffic and rank may gradually increase. The biggest downfall that comes with an organic campaign, is the time it takes for your website to establish rank on the SERPs. However, once this position is acquired your competitors can not buy their way in front of you. If executed properly, this provides a significant advantage over the competition, especially if they are strictly relying on paid search.
In an ideal campaign, a combination of both organic and PPC marketing will result in the most success. If cost is an issue, but time isn’t, there are many benefits to leaning towards an organic campaign and vice versa. If time is an issue, but the cost isn’t, a properly executed PPC campaign can show instant results. For the best results, a well thought out strategy with clear short-term and long-term goals is essential. The result is a balanced approach of growing your following organically and through paid advertisements simultaneously.