How to Choose Between SEO and PPC for eCommerce Website

How to Choose Between SEO and PPC for eCommerce Website

If there’s ever a million dollar question in the ever changing world of digital marketing, voila! This is it! Ask any digital marketing enthusiast or any web savvy individual out there and maybe after more than a few head scratches, coin tosses and 32438392 hours later, you might get the answer you’re looking for.

This is like an age-old debate, but the answer isn’t that ambiguous, one only needs to look harder. I agree that this is not a ‘David Vs Goliath’ battle, but it’s not too far either.

Before raising the curtains, let us shed some light on these terms as a whole for all online noobs out there.

SEO: SEO or Search Engine Optimization, in layman terms, is the art of optimizing your website or business on the lines of search engines. And when it comes to search engines, Google’s the only one you should really care about. So, it’s about following certain practices and methodologies in a relevant manner so as to improve your rankings in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).

PPC: PPC or Pay-Per-Click is the art of indulging in paid advertising online wherein you will have to pay for the clicks your links generate. Your ads will be showcased on Google on either the top or on the right; and the payments will be calculated based on the CPC (Cost Per Click).

Now that the nitty-gritty is over, let us shift our attentions to this debate. It doesn’t matter if you’re taking professional SEO services on a monthly basis or if you’ve tied up with the best SEO company out there, there is no black or white answer here.

Even though, it might be a little hard to digest:

SEO is better Than PPC! Why and How?

It is a broad statement, but true nonetheless. Good quality SEO is synonymous with you sitting in a comfortable armchair reaping the fruits of your favourite movie day in day out at a nominal rate; whereas even if you’re indulging in high quality PPC, you will still get results but it could be a burden on your pockets. Here’s our honest dissection considering some of the most pivotal factors of any budding e-commerce website or business:

1. Need For Speed

  • If you’re a sucker for speed i.e. if you want to see results and get them quickly, PPC is the way to go. SEO is like the turtle who finishes the race, but finishes it slowly.
  • SEO is a gradual process which showcases results in a progressive manner bit by bit. You can’t expect to get on the first Google rankings page in a matter of weeks depending on the complexity of the domain under consideration.
  • PPC however places your company/website listing on the top page instantly. Money definitely talks! Of course you’ll have to spend big along the way and outbid your competition as well in some cases, but it will put your business on the map at least. It acts as a good cover up till your internal SEO team builds a strong base for you. However, be warned that your pockets will not stay heavy till the end of the month.

2. Long Term Happiness

  • Isn’t this the name of the game? Who doesn’t want long term benefits? Well, if you want consistent results which ensure smooth passage not just temporarily but stick with you for a long time, SEO is the way to go.
  • Organic SEO might be slow, but you’ll get there and stay there as well. There’s no use of being listed on the first page of Google for 2 months out of a possible 12 available annually. This will not only reduce your clientele but will cause problems when it comes to customer retention as well. You’re not the only name in your domain, are you?
  • with ever soaring competition and new names coming up on a daily basis, start your SEO practices from Day 1.
  • The sooner you will get results from PPC, even faster they will fade away, and at a big cost as well.

3. Product Based Vs Service Based

  • This ‘Sophie’s choice’ entirely depends on the business under the microscope. Not every business will be benefitted by a PPC approach, which is the same with the SEO technique as well.
  • If you’re a product based entity, PPC is tailor made to suit your instant and hungry needs; whereas going all out on SEO is more suited for service based companies.
  • That being said, it’s not as if SEO is not suited to a product based business. In a nutshell, good quality SEO is a must for every virtual entity which wants to sustain their rankings on Google.
  • However, since the process is too gradual, a product based e-commerce company might have to wait for many months to get their first substantial sale through organic SEO. This is where PPC enters the fray. And if you want to jump on this boat, don’t cheap out make sure you consult a professional agency, given the weight of the numbers involved.

4. Money Money Money!

  • Alas, it’s here! The aspect we all were waiting for! No matter how much we want to deny it, a business is all about money at the end of the day.
  • If you want exact numbers, no one will be able to give you that. However, if you take cumulative amounts under consideration and map out profits/losses on the lines of SEO/PPC and generate an ROI stream at the end, SEO will trump PPC every day of the week.
  • PPC is surely a result-getter, but like any other spoon-fed thing, it comes at a big price. You’d rather be advised to safeguard some of that money and use it on a robust and well defined SEO campaign, so you can witness results a plenty.
  • Imagine if you pump a figure of six digits in your monthly PPC campaign and you manage to muster 5000 customers. Now, to get the same number of customers next month, you will have to pump in that kind of money again, possibly more, considering that your competition will wake up as well. Hence, this is a never ending chain wherein more the money you spend, the less it would seem.
  • However, SEO will not take a toll on your pockets and slowly but surely, give you results that will stick with your online entity for a lifetime unless you indulge in ill-advised Black-Hat SEO techniques.

5. Quality Matters

  • If you talk about overall quality on the lines of following good practices, reputation with Google and online credibility, SEO will come to your rescue.
  • Google appreciates if you follow the right practices with relevancy and good quality. Practices like regular blogging with cool taglines and unique content which is relevant to customers, link building, customer engagement, social media optimization will work in your favour rather than simply spending bundles of money every month on your PPC campaign.
  • And what Google thinks of you seems important, doesn’t it? Of course, it does!
  • You don’t want to be in the bad books of Google as you might get penalized which will remove your links from the search listings.
  • Agreed, PPC does have a better conversion rate, but as we’ve discussed earlier, opting for a better ROI in the long run seems like a more plausible option.

Well, the gauntlet has been thrown! Ultimately, the choice is yours! However, you can see that SEO is something which gives permanent results and comes to your aid in the long run. Similarly, if you want to grow your business, reach the top and stay there, good quality SEO right from the get-go, seems like the way to go. A clever PPC campaign to go along with it might suit your needs as well. You be the judge! Good luck.


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