PPC vs. SEO Which Should I Start with First?

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This is a question I am often asked in sales meetings. The answer really depends on two things:

  1. Your budget
  2. The time frame in which you desire to see results

Pay Per Click = Instant Gratification Solution for Online Marketing

Pay Per Click (PPC) is your ‘instant gratification’ solution when it comes to Internet marketing. Most agencies and consultants can get your PPC ads running in a very short time – as in days.

Search Engine Optimization As A Long-Term Solution

On the other hand, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is usually a 60-90+ day range before seeing rank changing. With SEO/organic rankings, you typically receive more traffic over the short and long term. However, it takes a while for your SEO provider to get up and running, implement changes, add/edit online content, etc. Afterwards, it then takes even more time until Google indexes the completed work. Only after all of this is complete will you then see rank fluctuation.

Simplified Explanation of PPC vs. SEO

Still unsure of which to start with initially – PPC or SEO? Check out the following “cheat sheet” of bulleted items to figure out which one is right for you at this stage in the game.

  • Great Budget and Long Term Outlook: Start with SEO & PPC immediately
  • Okay Budget and Long Term Outlook: Start with PPC & Smaller SEO budget
  • *Small Budget and Need Short Term Sales: Start with PPC only. Track Results. As sales increase add budget to PPC and allocate some for SEO soon after.

*Disclaimer About Budget

Small Budget, as stated above, is relative to your competition, NOT your internal % of revenue. In our opinion most successful companies are spending 5-15% +/- of revenue on marketing/advertising. Your digital marketing budget is a percentage of this. See What Should My SEO Budget Be? for more help on budgets.

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