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SEO vs PPC for B2B Companies

December 15, 2022   Posted By Laura Mikulski

Why SEO & PPC Work Well Together

When you first consider digital marketing, you may wonder which whether SEO or PPC is the right choice for your goals.  Every marketer has their favorite that they consider to be the most effective, but the truth of the matter is that reality is much more nuanced.  Rather thinking of the two techniques separately, it’s far better to think of them working together. SEO and PPC are complimentary, not exclusive. 

Using B2B SEO to Boost Your Visibility 

SEO (the short form for "Search Engine Optimization") is a technique of holistically improving your website so that it is more visible in search engine results. SEO has many components to it, from site speed (how quickly it loads) to structure to even the written content and images displayed. It is considered an essential component of any website, a strategic long-term improvement that pays dividends.  

The drawback to SEO is the length of time it takes for search engines like Google to trust the changes that are made, and to reliably serve up results.  Authority and trust are not built overnight.  When you invest in SEO, you should expect gradual improvements to traffic and visibility, which should continue to grow over time. 

Using B2B PPC Campaigns to Improve Lead Flow 

On the other hand, PPC is quite a different marketing method than SEO. Rather than try to boost traffic to your website by using a more natural, slow build technique, PPC (which is known as "pay-per-click" and can also be referred to as CPC - "cost-per-click") uses paid online advertisements as a way to increase the popularity of a website. Ever notice those highlighted "Sponsored Ads" when you type something into a search engine? That is PPC at work. This method of digital marketing is more linear, and much more straightforward in terms of results.  Essentially, you are held back only by budget. 

PPC is an excellent choice to get a quick flow of traffic to the website. 

How SEO and PPC Work Better Together 

Using both SEO and PPC allows you to mix quality and quantity, and generate reliable volumes of traffic and any stage of your marketing maturity curve. 

Since SEO techniques helps the visibility of a website to grow naturally, you are able to better understand the market - what keywords work, which ones don't, and what topics your target audience is most interested in. SEO typically attracts high quality traffic, which lends itself to stronger, better conversions.  People trust organically positioned websites far more, and for good reason- search engines like Google have gotten incredibly good at serving up information that fits the need of the search. 

PPC, on the other hand, allows your traffic to grow much faster and more immediately. It also allows you to generate traffic to gated landing pages that may not have much information, and thus very little ability to rank through SEO techniques.  However, great care must be taken to use savvy PPC marketing techniques to review the types of traffic and lead quality to ensure you’re bidding on the right keywords for your business needs.  

Price is also a major factor to consider. PPC campaigns require a ‘spend’ budget that goes directly to Google simply to display the ad.  Depending on your keywords, relying solely on PPC may be price prohibitive, especially for high competition keywords.  By adding in SEO into your marketing mix, you can slowly grow your visibility within organic results, and may be able to reduce your PPC budget as SEO improves over time. 

Finally, by using PPC with SEO you can overcome challenges like strong competitive brand awareness.  If you are facing a situation where your competition has such strong brand clout that people search for them by name, PPC allows you the opportunity to ‘buy’ visibility for searches related to their brand.  In the meantime, you would want to use your SEO to grow your rank for unbranded/discovery terms related to what your competition is doing/selling. 

ppc vs seo results in b2b

Example:  Tek oscilloscopes are incredibly well known and respected, and search volume around terms like ‘tek scope’ is strong.  A smart tactic if you were a competitor is to create a PPC campaign around the branded term, and then work on ranking the term ‘oscilloscope’ through SEO efforts. 

organic results in b2b seo

Which Technique is Best for Me? 

Where you spend your marketing budget is best determined by your goals, your current visibility, and your budget.  A Goldstein Group Communications marketing assessment is a great way to have a conversation about your needs so that we can recommend where your budget will make the most impact. Contact us today! 



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