PPC and SEO for tech companies: paid vs. organic traffic?

Within this fierce competition, B2B software and tech companies should stay in front of their target audience broadcasting messages about their products or services. So far, pay-per-click ads (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO) have been among the most efficient online customer acquisition methods.

There are lots of tech businesses or SaaS products that brought lots of value and had a great idea, professional team, and thorough business plan but, for some reason, failed. Why does it happen?

At this challenging time, many companies decide to decrease the marketing budget and allocate their resources into “more reasonable” directions such as operational excellence or introducing of new services. Meanwhile, smart players choose to keep investing in their marketing and, as a result, win the game. You may learn more about the reasons for making investments in online advertising during the crisis in our upcoming article. 

This article will cover the difference between these two strategies, go through their main business benefits and challenges, and finally figure out which approach works best for your business.

What is PPC?

PPC advertising is one of the ways of online advertising. The ads are displayed on advertising platforms above organic search results (sometimes on the sidebar of a search result page) based on the search request related to a particular topic. The order of how the ads are shown is based on the cost-per-click (CPC) bids, targeted keywords, ad rank, and Quality Score.

PPC ads on a Google search result page
PPC ads on a Google search result page

With various campaign and ad types, PPC lets you promote your product among a broader audience online. Using advanced audience targeting options, you can state the exact features of your buying persona to make sure that your ads are shown to relevant users who might convert into your paying customers.

One of the critical features of PPC is constant work on the account improvement and lots of testing. Using robust CRO tactics and comprehensive data analysis, you will target new audiences and open profitable segments. One of the best practices for PPC advertising is to scale conservatively based on the gathered data and discovered tendencies. It helps use the budget wisely and allocate resources to the most beneficial segments to make your tech product or service be visible among your target audience.

SEO essentials

SEO search results, so-called organic search results, are shown under the ads. If your content appears at the beginning of a search result page, it means that it’s considered to be of good quality. Make sure to use easy-to-read language, your website is clear and thought-through, and the content is unique.

SEO search result on a Google search result page
SEO search result on a Google search result page

SEO is a multi-layer strategy that needs ongoing work and gradual website improvement. The basics of ranking high in search results have many factors. They include valuable content, the technical structure of a website, link building, and others. Even though you can’t control who sees your content, you still need to make sure that you know your audience. By doing that, you will focus on creating relevant content to bring good traffic to your website. You will create a community that in the future might become your customers. Unlike the PPC strategy that is more aggressive, SEO builds trust among users. It ensures high customer retention and brand visibility.

Main business benefits and challenges for tech companies when introducing PPC and SEO strategies

PPC vs SEO for tech SaaS companies
Main business benefits and challenges for tech companies
when introducing PPC or SEO strategies

PPC gives immediate conversions. SEO builds long-term relations with your customers.

Once you run a campaign, you will start getting first traffic and conversions. With SEO, it will take you around six months to get the first outcomes. That’s just because how search algorithms work. The only way when SEO will bring quick results is when your SaaS product doesn’t have competition. But if you don’t, users will probably don’t even know that such a service exists.

You should also keep in mind that once you stop your PPC budget, so does your visibility. In contrast, SEO ensures bringing value over time, making your website stay live and rank high on a search result page.

PPC requires investment and budget. But SEO is NOT FREE!

That’s true that an advertiser pays each time when a user clicks on the link, while with SEO, clicks are free. Besides, a good PPC strategy requires good management to deliver solid ROI and avoid account stagnation and wasted spending.

But that’s not right to say that SEO is free. You should invest a good bunch of money if you want to get a good SEO, not just a quick consultation on how to make your smart product rank high, conduct keyword research, and create high-quality content. SEO requires gradual work on website improvement to make it visible to an audience and get relevant organic traffic. 

PPC won’t help you improve your SEO.

According to Google’s search policy (as it is the most popular search engine that creates trends), PPC marketing won’t influence your SEO. The key responsibility of Google is to provide users with the most relevant content, which requires lots of work and constant improvements: “If businesses were able to pay for higher rankings in the search results, users wouldn’t be getting the information they’re looking for.” 

Both PPC and SEO require thorough keyword research.

That’s the essentials of how a search engine works. To ensure that your content is shown to relevant users, you need to invest in comprehensive keyword research. It also helps to understand what your competition is targeting to outperform them.

Which strategy works best for my software business? PPC and SEO strategies for tech companies

Neither PPC nor SEO is more efficient for tech companies. To achieve maximum results, they should be intertwined. To make a decision, you should analyze competition, define your marketing budget and how fast you would like to get results. If you want to boost your sales and make your company visible on the software market, think of a PPC strategy. At the same time, established companies may strengthen their relations with their customers by generating valuable traffic and being clear about their mission and services. And remember, there is no correct answer. Everything depends on your business goals and current development stage. Only through testing and trying different approaches, you will find out what works best for your business to scale that strategy and multiply results.

Smart players choose to keep investing in their marketing and, as a result, win the game.

Customer acquisition and brand awareness strategy success relies on a proven working process and a professional partner you work with. Teamedia is ready to share its expertise and provide best practices on the most efficient tools and tactics. We ensure not wasting your budget and empower your customer acquisition channels to bring your business to the next level.