If you’ve been spending time around marketers lately, the terms Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC) are probably not new to you.
Nowadays, these words are thrown around by a lot of people. Sprinkling the term “SEO” a few times in a marketing blog is now a ritual without which the blog would be rejected by the marketing Gods.
Both SEO and PPC are powerful marketing tools, and in this century, they have a place in the success stories of most practices. In this article, we will compare and contrast them and help you navigate the one that is best for your practice.
The Numbers Behind The Hype
The inbound marketing hype is based on facts and figures, and SEO is here to stay. Time and time again, research shows that both create measurable Return on Interest, improve lead conversion and build brand loyalty. And it shows in the numbers:
- “Where to buy” and “Near Me” queries increased by 200% over the past two years
- SEO drives 1000% more traffic than organic social media
- 51% of shoppers say they use Google to research a purchase they plan to make online
- 60% of marketers say that inbound marketing is the most significant sources of quality leads
What is Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is the process of improving the quantity and quality of leads on a website by optimizing a website, blog or content to feature higher on search engine pages.
75% of search traffic on search engines like Google or Bing go to the first page. Building on this logic, it is essential for your practice to ensure that its website and content rank higher on search pages (SERP).
The only question left is how? Each search engine has an algorithm. This is a system that ranks content depending on a number of parameters (think keywords, backlinks and quality of content). Websites that meet these guidelines get higher rankings, those that don’t are in a race to the bottom of the Google page.
What is Pay Per Click
Now that you understand the importance of ranking higher on Google’s first page and the lengthy process and amount of time it takes, why not just pay for it?
Pay Per Click lets you do just that. Pay Per Click is a service many search engines offer that lets companies and content creators pay to rank on the first page of Google or Bing.
For example, if you run a dental clinic around your area, a PPC subscription will allow your business to rank for searches like “Dentist Near Me.”
Comparing And Contrasting SEO and PPC
Choosing where to place your marketing dollars can be an uphill task for any medical practice. A wrong decision can be the difference between lead conversion and future success or a failed marketing strategy.
That said, both dental PPC and SEO have their pros and cons. Your decision will come down to the unique circumstances of your practice.
Upsides Of SEO
Apart from lead generation, search engine optimization comes with many benefits that set it apart from digital marketing strategies.
Most of the benefits of search engine optimization come from the fact that it’s a long-term strategy. It’s crucial to remember that PPC and SEO are not competitors, just different strategies. It deviates from the short-term approach of most marketing channels, takes time to build, and lasts long.
1. SEO is Durable
An efficient search engine optimization strategy takes a lot of effort, resources and sacrifices to build. Often, it will take months to perfect and a few more before you start reaping benefits.
But that’s as far as the tough times last. Once your SEO strategy is in motion, what is left is regularly updating your SEO strategy and auditing its performance.
On the other hand, channels like Pay Per Click Ads can achieve the same success, but once the funding stops, the flow of new leads stops with them.
Think about it, a blog that you wrote six months ago can still bring you traffic. However, a PPC ad that you are not running at that time cannot.
2. Depending On Your Circumstances, SEO Can Be Relatively Cheaper
Search Engine Optimization does not come free. The initial costs, such as paying for content and writers, can sometimes be a worrying precedent.
However, the costs are lower in the long term compared to other strategies that have lower initial payments recurrent throughout the lifetime of the marketing strategy.
Think about it, you can pay for well-written content once that brings you leads over an entire year. For a PPC ad to get you leads for that same period, you will have to keep paying for it recurrently.
Considerations To Make Before Choosing SEO
SEO is a great marketing tool. However, despite its many upsides and advantages, there are some circumstances or properties of SEO that make it unsuitable in some instances. Before taking the SEO route, always remember that:
1. SEO Is Gradual
First, SEO takes time. Before your practice starts ranking on the first page of Google or Bing, it will be after months or years of content creation, keyword research and website design.
This makes SEO unsuitable for some instances. Take, for example, a one-time July 4th dental checkup discount that is due in a few months. Using your SEO and blog content to generate leads for this event is probably not the best idea.
2. SEO Requires Content
Whichever way you cut it, building an efficient Search engine optimization strategy without content is a statistical impossibility.
SEO requires loads of content (think blogs, website content and whitepapers). And more crucial than the quantity of the content is its quality.
Moreover, your content should not only appeal to searchers but also do so while maintaining a consistent tone, voice and brand.
Upsides Of PPC
Pay Per Click comes with many advantages of its own. Given that you’re just paying for prime real estate at the top of the Google page, instead of investing long-term in SEO, it probably comes in handy a lot of times. Some upsides of PPC include:
1. PPC Offers Immediate Results
If you want to generate leads today, PPC is the way right to go. With SEO, it will take you more than a few days before generating leads for that one-time July 4th offer you have in a week.
With dental PPC, you can generate leads for that sale and scale down that marketing after you have exhausted leads for that sale.
2. PPC is Great For Granular Analysis
One thing that PPC offers that SEO doesn’t is instant analytics. Remember, you can get analytics with SEO, only that it will take longer. With PPC, you can gain insights into the keywords that work best for your business.
Why stop there? With PPC, you can also go further to know the business locations that respond better to your keywords. With this wealth of data, you can go ahead to make informed decisions about your business.
Things To Note Before Choosing PPC
The many advantages that come with PPC don’t make it suitable for all business circumstances. There are some circumstances in which using SEO is a better option than using PPC. Always note that:
1. PPC is Costly
PPC has both high initial and cumulative costs. Moreover, PPC is no longer helpful once you stop paying for it.
The average dental PPC for a practice ranges from $2 to $10 per click, which makes it more expensive than SEO in some circumstances
2. PPC Doesn’t Build Trust
Unlike SEO, you can’t leverage long-form content( 1000 words) to communicate with your audience with PPC. You can only share your company values, tone, beliefs and perspective briefly through your ad copy.
In the long run, PPC does not generate the level of trust companies that use SEO do. You are not ranked highly because the algorithm recognizes your firm but because you paid for it.
Factors To Consider Before Choosing Either
The importance of circumstances while choosing between SEO and PPC cannot be further overstated. These are some factors to consider when making this crucial choice:
If you want lead generation in the short term, PPC is the best route to take. However, if you target lead generation in the long term, SEO is the best route to take.
If you’re looking for a strategy that will keep generating leads for the lifetime of your dental practice, dental SEO is the best foot forward. However, if you’re running a short dental program for the holidays, PPC will serve better.
3. Quick Tests
Unsure about a marketing approach or want to choose between two or more approaches? PPC’s short-term nature and presence of instant feedback is the best route to go.
4. Reputation/ Trustworthiness
Are you seeking to build a reputation for your dental practice? If so, dental SEO is the best approach. The content SEO uses is a great tool to develop trustworthiness.
A higher search ranking because the algorithm recognizes your website builds more trust than a higher search ranking because you paid for it.
Hungry For Lead Generation Try WebUpgrade Today
Navigating digital marketing can be difficult, especially for a health practice. Understanding SEO, PPC and local search and utilizing them for your business can be confusing and costly. We suggest leaving it to the experts.
Here at WebUpgrade, we have made a reputation out of helping practices streamline their digital marketing. On the backdrop of years of experience and a dedicated workforce, we have made marketing issues a thing of the past for our clients. For more information, contact us today and let us be part of your story.