New businesses or start ups are persistently careworn with their budgets trying to keep their head out of the water. In a cutthroat world like today’s, no company can straighten to its target audience without implementing a few marketing tools. And the two popular tools that often confuse startups are SEO and PPC. While both of these are effectual strategies that have a verified track record, they function very differently. Therefore it is vital to understand the functioning of both the tools before one can decide which side to lean towards.

Understanding SEO

SEO (search engine optimization) improves the quality of traffic that a website receives. SEO increases the visibility of the website and attracts pertinent traffic that is likely to convert into customers in the near future. There are many benefits to using SEO for the business. For starters, it is a free tool that enables you to attract targeted traffic. This traffic is usually relevant and has a good chance of converting as the tool is based on keywords. If your business is offering a niche product, SEO can do wonders for you.

On the other hand…

There are two sides to every coin. SEO is typically a long term process and takes substantial persistence. As it takes a long time to show results, calculating the returns on investment is a bit of a challenge. This is particularly a shortcoming for startups as they usually do not have enough funds to wait for a long time for results to appear.

Now let’s look at PPC

PPC or pay per click advertising is an effortless advertising technique that is popular for bringing quick results. Ever noticed the ads on your Google page? These ads appear in relevance to your search and therefore companies often benefit from investing in PPC. It is a full proof technique to increase the visibility of the website and increase traffic. Another advantage is that PPC offers relevant traffic. For example, a person is looking for restaurants in Bangalore won’t click on an ad for a restaurant in Mumbai. With targeted clients, the chance of conversion is higher and so is the return on investment.

Unlike SEO, this is not a free tool. Therefore it stands a superior chance of making startups bleed financially. There is no way of ensuring that the click will convert into sales, but you will need to pay for every click nonetheless. Another big risk might involve ‘click fraud’. Competitors might click on your ads till your finances exhaust and it is difficult to predict such behavior in a bout of time.

With pros and cons on both sides, the real question boils down to how will you decide whether your business is better off with SEO or PPC? Experts say right from the beginning; your content must be SEO friendly right when you build your website. This will give a startup a better chance to increase visibility. Let us look at the different aspects of businesses and how SEO or PPC fits in them.

Start ups

If you have started out in a niche market where you have a vast sense of monotony, then SEO will make more sense for you. For such businesses PPC isn’t even required as they aren’t dealing with a highly competitive market but a niche market.

On the other hand if you are starting out in a competitive market with many established players, you will need the PPC to make your mark in the beginning. The ideal time for a PPC strategy lies between the time the website launches till the time the site gets natural traffic. It is a great tool to build up to the phase where you have naturally generated traffic.

What does your industry demand?

Making this decision is solely dependent on your industry. If you have a product that is innovative and new, SEO won’t benefit you as much as there are no people looking for your product. PPC will be more useful there.

On the other hand, if your product has a low very small margin you might not be able o afford PPC as it will drain away all your resources before you could start out!

The best thing to do is find a balance and allocate budgets for both in the beginning. And as the business develops and progresses; thorough analysis of trends will lead you to the most effective results and the correspondent tools.