Digital marketing is a must for e-commerce stores, even for those with a high presence in the physical world.
But despite its importance, most online companies are unaware of the differences between organic traffic vs. PPC. To get the best results and outperform the competition, you need to know their pros and cons.
Organic searches vs paid searches, who wins this battle?
Next, we will establish a comparison of SEO Vs PPC, in order to contrast the advantages and disadvantages of paid traffic versus organic traffic. Do you dare to discover them?
Pros and Cons of PPC Traffic
Among the advantages of PPC ads, they stand out:
Offers greater profitability than traditional formats
It is not true that PPC advertising is a costly strategy, neither to implement nor to develop. Compared to press releases, radio spots or TV commercials, paid traffic has proven to be much more profitable.
On the contrary, advertisers only pay for the results obtained (impressions, clicks, etc.). If these actions do not take place, the contracting platform does not charge them.
Since there is no minimum or maximum to invest, e-commerce stores are free to expand or reduce the budgets they allocate to PPC traffic.
Has a high level of segmentation
This advantage is shared by both organic and paid traffic, so it is not a point of discord between PPC and organic Vs.
Getting qualified traffic from visitors and potential consumers is not easy. The segmentation options that Google Ads and other platforms offer allow visitors interested in the products, which increases the value of each click received.
Its speed is superior to SEO and any other strategy!
Investments in paid traffic do not exhaust the patience of advertising companies: their results are perceptible in a matter of days.
The impact of a PPC strategy is, therefore, more immediate than SEO and other marketing techniques. And it goes without saying that speed is a highly valued quality for e-commerce stores.
Offers measurable and predictable results
Another big difference between organic and paid searches is the predictability of the latter versus the former.
Indeed, the results of an SEO strategy can be measured and calculated to some extent, but it is clear that investment in PPC ads is easier to predict, measure and optimize.
E-commerce stores can easily define what the objectives will be, based on the available budget and the experience of past campaigns.
But this is extremely difficult to achieve with SEO, as algorithms, search trends and other parameters are constantly changing.
But PPC traffic has obvious disadvantages, which we will review below:
Its cost in certain niches can be very high
Cost per click (CPC) is not usually high in most industries. But certain market niches, such as insurance, loans or the legal sector, have disparate CPCs.
This higher cost is the same for all companies in the sector, so it is a common hurdle for everyone. However, it must be taken into account when establishing the available budget.
Investment disappears, results disappear
This is the Achilles heel of paid traffic. Although it is almost immediately obtained, as soon as the available budget comes to an end, the results disappear.
Therefore, PPC traffic requires constant investment, while SEO and other alternatives require a one-off investment, which can be stopped without the traffic obtained decreasing.
Pros and cons of organic traffic
Among the advantages of investing in organic searches, they stand out:
Get qualified and consistent traffic
The immediacy of the results obtained is a clear advantage of PPC traffic vs. organic searches, but no one disputes that both strategies offer optimal results.
The big difference between organic and paid traffic is its consistency. As underlined, when the PPC campaign budget runs out, your results do too.
But this is not the case with organic searches! If for several quarters you invest in SEO, but decide to stop this spending for one or two months, organic traffic will not decrease.
Improve brand awareness
This is a benefit shared by PPC and organic traffic. But in the latter, it is more effective.
For what reason? Because most SEO campaigns seek to bring value and attract the attention of potential customers. In contrast, PPC ads tend to be intrusive and are limited to positioning products and services.
This fundamental difference will be better appreciated with a simple example:
A user interested in buying sunscreens makes this query on Google.
PPC ads and organic results appear in SERPs: while the former are monopolized by brands that claim to be ‘best’, in organic results there is an informative article: ‘What are the differences between SPF 30 and SPF 50 sunscreens?
Most users will click on this result because it gives you value and information of interest for your search.
That’s why organic traffic tends to better enhance a brand’s brand awareness, although PPC ads also provide a high level of exposure to e-commerce stores.
Increase savings in marketing investments
Long-term e-commerce stores investing in organic searches can save real fortunes year after year.
Organic results are no different than PCC advertising in terms of results. In fact, they have higher click rates. Consumers know how to differentiate ads from results offered by Google or Bing in a natural way.
It’s true that positioning for any keyword can be challenging, but once this goal is achieved, the investment can be minimized or even eliminated.
Achieve unmatched long-term results
There’s a mistaken belief that Amazon, eBay, and other giants don’t invest in organic search engine positioning – that’s a big lie!
It is enough to perform a search related to consumer products to understand that these marketplaces always appear in the SERPs. Precisely they, who understand the power of organic traffic, devote part of their marketing efforts to boost it.
In the long term, the results of investing in organic traffic are incredible.
However, not all that glitters in this form of marketing is gold. Here are some of the main cons:
It’s disappointing in the short term
Although it has been mentioned that long-term profitability is a plus point for SEO Vs PPC, in the short term it is very, very disheartening.
For e-commerce stores, investing in this marketing strategy during the first few months may seem like a waste of time. The results you want to achieve can take months or even years to come to fruition.
In e-commerce, we must add that the barrier to entry to overcome or compete with Amazon is not an established stock or a high customer base: 25 years meeting the needs of online consumers.
This should be taken into account when planning SEO results, as brand reputation influences (and a lot) the clicks achieved and organic positioning.
It is difficult to predict your results
Another obvious disadvantage of organic traffic versus PPC campaigns is the difficulty in predicting their results.
Is it possible to guarantee that with X investment you will obtain Y results and Z keywords positioned in the SERPs? The answer is no. And this ‘but’ should be considered by e-commerce stores interested in investing in SEO.