Today, different businesses have come to realize the essence of online marketing, mainly through search engines. In this day and age, users are more likely to visit your website through search engines, rather than visiting it directly. Jupiter Research conducted a study and discovered that 81% of online users find their destinations via a search engine.

The research shows the importance of your brand has a strong presence in search engines, which can, in turn, ensure that you are visible to your target audience. But, there is still a large decision that you should make when you want to become visible to your target users. This decision can be to either use:

  • PPC (Pay-Per-Click ads, the purchased ads and sponsored links on Google search) or
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization, or linking naturally in organic results)

When done in the correct manner, both PPC and SEO can get your brand on the front page of SERPs for the targeted keywords, as well in front of your target audience. However, each of these methods has its own benefits and drawback. A recent article published by SEOmoz went a long way to quantify the effectiveness of SEO vs. PPC.

According to this article, organic results are 8.5 times more likes to get clicks compared to paid search results. This is a very large difference, which is attributed to the fact that searchers are slowly learning the difference between sponsored and organic results, and they have also recognized that organic results are the more respect source of information. Furthermore, researchers have utilized heat maps to reveal that a searcher’s eye focuses on the top organic results, and people barely notice the ads on the right-hand section.

However, you should note that PPC has a higher chance of conversion rates since paid search results are 1.5 times more likely to convert CTRs from searching. The article by SEOmoz attributes this to the fact that the advertiser custom-optimizes the landing and text page of paid search results.

Therefore, when you look into both of these numbers, you will realize that organic search has 5.66 times more opportunity compared to paid search. So, if you are given a choice to have PPC ads or to rank organically, the logical choice for many people would be to rank organically. But, it is still evident that it isn’t, and you need to appreciate the fact that true SEO requires you to invest time, not those quick and fast tricks.

The actual strengths of PPC are its expansiveness and speed. An effective PPC campaign can land you on the first page for several targeted phrases in one day. However, these phrases can cost you anything from cents to dollars per single click. Furthermore, if you want an effective PPC campaign that’s done correctly, you should make sure that you hire a company that can manage the campaign on a full-time basis. Therefore, you should understand that your PPC campaigns can become very costly within a short period of time—especially when done correctly.

According to SEMPO, the Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization, 87% of search engine money is spent on PPC, compared to 11%, which is spent on SEO efforts. This is over $10 billion that is spent on PPC, compared to $1 billion that is spent on SEO campaigns. This is an indication that this strategy is over 5 times more effective. SEO receives 1/8 of the media that’s spent in the marketing. However, it can be a challenge to justify the cost of a PPC campaign, especially with the understanding that SEO campaigns are more successful, and they will give you the overall better value in the long term.

You should understand that there are certain moments when you need to use PPC—particularly when you are launching your business. This is an amazing way to get your brand name out there, as well as increase brand awareness. PPC is one of the best ways to get the exposure that SEO cannot give you, especially for a special event or limited time offer. Furthermore, PPC is effective for products than it can be for service companies.

But, in terms of the long-term lifetime of internet marketing, SEO takes the day, as it provides better value for search marketing. It is important to understand you cannot rank number 1 within a single day—however, SEO is affordable and comes with long term benefits that have been proven. Because of this, you should make sure that your business invests more of its resources focusing on SEO rather than PPC.