Pay Per Click vs. Organic Search – What Are the Pros and Cons?

It’s not a question of whether pay-per-click (PPC) or organic search. It’s a question of when to use PPC advertising and when to use organic search to drive traffic to your website. Learn the pros and cons of each method to position your business for success.

PPC Advertising: What Are the Pros and Cons? 

Pay-per-click advertising is a proven way to get traffic fast and see results in a matter of days. But it isn’t an all-in-one solution.

Pros of PPC advertising:

  • Proven placement – If your goal is to rank on page 1 of search results, PPC advertising will get you there. This is the best way to guarantee first-page placement for proven keywords.
  • Helps you target your audience – PPC makes it easy to target a specific audience with the right ad at the right time. If you want to know your target demographic is exposed to your brand, you need PPC.

Cons of PPC advertising:

  • High cost – PPC ads are not cheap. If you want a premium keyword, be prepared to pay highly for it. While you only pay when ads are clicked, you still need a lot of money to effectively implement a PPC campaign.
  • Steep learning curve – If you’re new to running ad campaigns, you may make a rookie mistake that limits the effectiveness of your campaign.

Organic Search: What Are the Pros and Cons? 

Organic search is a long term strategy. It isn’t going to get you the results you crave overnight, or even in a month’s time but it will help boost your market reputation, brand awareness, and SERPs (search engine results page) placement over time. The key to organic search is patience.

Pros of organic search include:

  • Free – If your marketing budget is very tight, the best thing about investing in organic search is that it’s free!
  • Good for building trustworthiness – Organic search results tend to be viewed as more trustworthy than ads, since consumers are skeptical of advertisements. This is great news for companies who want to build their reputation.

Cons of organic search include:

  • Difficult process – Getting your webpage to rank highly is a long, difficult process. Many business owners try organic, but give up because they just don’t have the time.
  • Placement “below the fold” on Google – Users may not see organic search results unless they scroll past advertisements to the organic listings. Some business owners worry their hard work on organic will not pay off.

As these pros and cons suggest, PPC and organic can be the cornerstones of a successful marketing campaign when they’re used together.

Ultimately, whether choosing organic or PPC advertising, Naperville businesses would do well to hire a search marketing firm to manage their campaigns. Both strategies are time-intensive, require skills development, and take time away from business obligations. eDirex offers comprehensive marketing services including PPC and organic search for small businesses in every niche.