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  • Writer's pictureSusmita Asad

Is PPC or SEO More Measurable and Quantifiable

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

PPC (pay-per-click) and SEO (search engine optimization) are both measurable and quantifiable in different ways. Before we start discussing which one is more measurable and quantifiable, let’s learn the basics.


Table of Contents


What is SEO ?


Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing a website so that it ranks higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) for the targeted terms. Google uses a variety of ranking factors for SEO. Some of the most important factors are content, backlinks, user experience, mobile friendliness, security, and many more.


What is PPC ?


PPC is a form of online advertising in which advertisers are charged each time a user clicks on their advertisement. In PPC, the ads are placed based on targeted keywords. When someone searches for a term or phrase that the advertiser has targeted, PPC advertisements are often shown at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs).


Is PPC a Google Ranking Factor ?


No, PPC (pay-per-click) is not a Google ranking factor. Google does not use paid adverts to determine the order of organic search results.


However, it can indirectly impact short term rankings.


For example, if the users click on your PPC frequently, Google may consider the keyword relevant to your site.


Is PPC a Substitute for SEO ?


No, PPC ads are not a substitute for SEO. You can utilize these two different strategies to improve the visibility of your website in SERPS.


SEO and PPC can support each other to perform better. PPC can thus be considered a complementary tool to boost SEO impacts but can never be a substitute.


PPC Vs. SEO: Measure Metrics

​Metric

PPC

SEO

Impression

Number of time people view your PPC ad

Number of times people view your content from the search results.

Impression

The number of times people click on your ad

The number of times people click on our website from search results.

CPC

The cost per click

Not required

Conversion rate

The percentage of people making desired action form the ad

The percentage of people visiting your website from search and making desired action


PPC vs. SEO: Measurability and Quantifiability

Metric

PPC

SEO

Measurability

Easy to measure in the short term

​SEO can be critical for short-term measures. It is more appropriate for long-term and lasting traffic-generating strategies.

Quantifiability

​Easy to quantify

​SEO used multiple quantifying techniques. Thus, it may seem complex compared to PPC.

Cost

​Can be expensive

Less expensive

PPC provides greater short-term measurability by allowing you to monitor the number of clicks, impressions, and conversions your ads generate, along with the cost per click and conversion. On the other hand, SEO offers less immediate measurability, but its long-term profitability.


By enhancing your website's organic search ranking, SEO enables increased traffic without ongoing ad expenses.


However, it takes time to build up SEO rankings. Don’t expect to see SEO results overnight which may be acquired from PPC.


Factors to Consider When Choosing Between PPC and SEO

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between PPC and SEO
Factors Between PPC & SEO

Understanding the affecting factors is crucial for choosing the most effective approach that aligns with a business's objectives.


1) Audience

Audience
Audience

If your target audience is likely to be searching for your products or services directly on Google, then PPC is your strategy.


If your audiences are more likely to navigate informational searches, you should go for SEO.


For example, let’s say Mr. Robert is your potential target. Your business provides virtual assistance service.


If Mr. Robert prefers searching for terms like “Virtual assistance services” or “Virtual assistants to hire”. You can use PPC to attract your targeted traffic.




The other scenario,


If Mr. Robert likes to search with more informational queries like “ The cost of virtual assistants in the United States”, you should plan SEO for your business.


PPC vs. SEO: Audience Targeting

Metric

PPC

SEO

Demographics

Highly precise targeting

Limited targeting capabilities

Keywords

Target specific keywords

Target Specific keywords

2) Budget



PPC typically requires an ongoing investment as you pay for each click. SEO is more of a cost effective option as it does not require any fixed budget.




Budget Comparison: SEO vs. PPC

Metric

Metric

Metric

Initial Investment

Medium to High

Low

Ongoing Costs

​High (ad spend)

​Low (maintenance and updates)

Cost Structure

​Time and labor-intensive

​Pay-per-click

3) Business Objective


Any business decision heavily depends on business objectives. If you want quick traffic, go for PPC. If you want long-term leads or to make people aware of your brand, choose SEO.




4) Competition

competition
Competition

Consider the level of competition in your niche. PPC can be effective in highly competitive markets where it's challenging to achieve top organic rankings. SEO, however, can be advantageous if the competition is less intense.


5) Time


PPC ads can deliver immediate traffic. SEO, on the other hand, takes time to build up organic traffic.



Which One is The Best Approach: SEO or PPC ?


The best approach to your business’s performance in Search-based marketing involves strategically blending SEO and PPC.


Blending SEO and PPC offers advantages such as broader keyword coverage, increased visibility on SERPs, data-driven insights, and the flexibility to adapt to market changes.


Businesses can harness the full potential of both strategies by using them simultaneously.


Conclusion


PPC provides immediate measurability, whereas SEO's measurability is more indirect and demands a longer-term perspective. Based on specific marketing objectives, both strategies should be taken into consideration.


If you are still unsure which one suits your business needs best, contact our SEO consultants.

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