SEO and PPC complement each other. Read the importance of SEO in travel industry to know how both enable you to reap higher profits when run together. However, you might encounter situations where you want to decide whether you want to invest in SEO or in PCC. For example, when you are a new business and you want quicker results, or when your budget does not allow you to invest in both, or when sales on your website are driven more by user interaction or from social media than from advertisements. There could be few other reasons too, so if you are confused whether you should invest in SEO or in PPC, read the SEO vs PPC comparison below to get a brief idea of how both work, how long it takes to obtain results and which one offers long term benefits.
SEO vs PPC – Which is better for your travel business
|Type of marketing||Free||Paid|
|Reach||Higher than PPC but less targeted||Lower than SEO but more targeted|
|Time required to obtain results||Anywhere from a day to a year||Immediate|
|Complexity||Higher than PPC||Lower than SEO|
|Reliability / Fixed results?||Lower than PPC||Higher than SEO|
|Long term results||High||High|
|Ability to keep reaping long term benefits||Yes||No|
|CTR (Engagement)||High||Higher (as the results appear at the top of all other results)|
|Maintenance||Comparatively more||Comparatively less|
1. Type of marketing –
SEO is free marketing. Apart from investing in an in-house SEO professional (or a team) and a few software tools, SEO does not cost anything else. It does not involve paying directly to the search engines. PPC, on the other hand, is paid marketing. You pay Google (or other search engine of your choice) to show your advertisement when somebody searches for a service you are offering. The position where your ad appears could depend on many factors like, amount you are willing to spend, competitors in your business, location targeting for your business, number of services or products you want to show ads for, and many more.
2. ROI (Return On Investment)
PPC usually offers higher ROI because the more you are willing to pay, the more ads will be shown. The more ads are shown in prominent locations on a search engine result page, the higher CTR (click through rate). So in PPC, the amount of business you generate is directly proportional to the amount of money you are investing. SEO, offers a high ROI as well. But SEO does not guarantee results. The results you see depend on a lot of factors and you will sometimes face situations where the results you see may not be directly proportional to the amount of resources you have invested in SEO.
SEO gives you the ability to reach more people than PPC. While PPC allows you to target specific people, SEO allows your website to appear in front of targeted as well as ‘related’ queries. So basically, you reach more targeted people with PPC (ensuring the highest conversion rate) while SEO allows you to reach more number of people (ensuring many people know about your business although this has a slightly lower conversion rate).
4. Time required to obtain results
The time required to obtain results from SEO is usually from a day to a week to a month or it might even take up to a year depending on a lot of factors. PPC on the other hand allows you to obtain immediate results. Because SEO relies heavily on search engines, the time required to obtain results is variable sometimes causing huge ups or huge drops in your traffic. Search engines like Google make major algorithm updates every year which bring anywhere from noticeable to significant highs or lows in your traffic. PPC on the other hand is – ‘What you pay is what you get’.
SEO is more complex than PPC. PPC involves some fixed parameters, which, once optimized, can give you good results. SEO on the other hand involves a lot of ‘trial and error’. SEO is not science. All the optimization tips are provided by professionals who have been working on SEO for years. There is no rule book to follow for SEO from search engines (except for very generic rules) which makes it difficult to say how an SEO-related change can affect your traffic.
6. Reliability / Fixed results?
PPC is more reliable than SEO because, as discussed in the points above, PPC basically gives you what you pay for, while the results from SEO might show from barely noticeable to significant or major results.
7. Long term results
Both offer equally high long term results when done correctly.
8. Ability to keep reaping long term benefits
SEO allows you to keep reaping long term benefits as the time and resources you invest in SEO keep showing results for quite some time even when reduced or stopped. The results from PPC, on the contrary will stop when the money stops! It follows the simple rule – You get, till you pay.
9. CTR (Engagement)
PPC has the highest CTR (click through rate) because PPC ads appear in the most prominent positions on SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). On the other hand, the position of your website with the help of SEO depends on multiple factors and it is very difficult to obtain and maintain first rank for all or most of your keywords on SERPs.
SEO is not ‘Do once, forget later’. The optimization efforts have to be continued. Although stopping SEO does not abruptly drop your website ranking; it will fall eventually. PPC on the other hand needs to be done regularly. The results stop when the money stops.
If possible, always try to invest in both SEO and PPC as it allows you to reap higher profits when done in conjunction. Please leave your thoughts about this in the comments section below and let me know if you would like to add anything to it.