SEO vs PPC For Ecommerce - When To Use Each to Reach Your Marketing Goals
As an Agency we rely on both SEO and PPC to drive traffic to ecommerce websites. I'll share our experience as to when and where we use SEO or PPC to drive traffic to ecommerce websites.
Why it matters?
If you have a limited supply of the green stuff $$ aka money 💰💰💰, i.e. a limited budget and must choose between SEO or PPC, where should you invest to generate the best ROI?
Let's start with: SEO
Who wouldn't want to rank at the top of Google for their chosen keywords and get tons of organic traffic for free? Sounds like a dream come true.
I get half million emails like these daily, provide these "gurus" a list of keywords and they'll rank you on page one, lol. It goes straight to the same place as the emails I receive from the Nigerian prince notifying me about my new fortune.
SEO is a more than just a target list. It requires knowledge - a lot of it, such as understanding how search engines work, how people search, search trends and how to optimize your website's code and structure to climb the ranks. It requires constant content creation, continuously creating and publishing high-quality relevant content in order to achieve and maintain the top spots.
However, even with all that hard work, there's no guarantee that you'll see any results, it's a long and windy road. Results can take anywhere between 6 - 12 and sometimes 18 months to hit it off. Search algorithms are constantly changing, add in the fact your competition is working non stop to eat your lunch, and you can see why it can be a big hill to climb.
Now for PPC.
Why would anyone want to pay for clicks when you can get them for free via SEO?
Free lol, is anything free? It's either time or money and time is money so bottom line it takes money to make money.
Well... with PPC, you get immediate feedback. Set up an ad campaign, choose your products, and within hours, your ads are live and you're getting immediate traffic to your Ecommerce website.
The beauty of PPC is its flexibility. You can fine-tune ad campaigns and make adjustments along the way to get the best results. You can watch the data in real time, see what's performing and adjust accordingly.
However it doesn't always go as planned either, while you're getting traffic, its only value is if and when you get sales, and depending on your market and niche you can be hard pressed to squeeze enough sales out of the costly traffic to eke out a profit. Use our handy ROI calculator to see which metric is hurting the ROI on your PPC campaigns.
Bottom line, which is better for Ecommerce, SEO or PPC?
To answer this you'll want to first determine where you're up to in your Ecommerce website's journey, and what your goals are.
If you're new to the Ecom website scene you might want to validate your website quickly, and want to start receiving immediate traffic, then PPC should be your go to strategy. Alternatively if you have a lot of time on yours or employees’ hands, you can try the SEO route.
If you've been doing the Ecommerce thingy for some time you're probably getting traffic from one of the two, PPC or SEO, in that case it might just be the right time to test what the alternative can do for you to help you scale your business.
SEO can be a slow and a tedious process, but once implemented it can provide long-term sustainable traffic so long as the bear doesn't shake the tree.
PPC is fast and flexible, but it can also get expensive when you're not careful.
In the end, it really just depends on your business and your goals. If you have the time and resources to put into SEO and are willing to be patient, then it could be a great option for you. But if you need immediate results and are willing to pay for them, then PPC might be the way to go.
We at Blynk recommend a strategy of balancing both, that way, you can get the benefits of both SEO and PPC and increase your margins. Just be prepared to put in some hard work and be willing to continuously learn and adapt as you go.
Pro tip: use SEO to bring in a constant flow of fresh traffic and use PPC to retarget all potential customers. Use each to their strength. Go get ‘em!