by Stephen Christopher

Hunting or Farming — PPC or SEO?

2 min read

Knowing whether your company needs to do PPC or SEO or both is like deciding whether you want to be a hunter, farmer or both.

hunter equals PPCAs a hunter you must prepare in advance by scouting your area, cleaning your tools (gun, backpack, knives, etc.), rise early and then wait. If you’ve prepared well you’ll be successful and have a kill.  Then, the next day you start all over and do it again.

Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) is like hunting.  You need to prepare for it and if you preparation is thorough, you’ll get a kill or a strong lead and conversion. But, you’ll have to keep doing it again and again. You will need to manage your PPC campaign or have someone manage it for you. Generally, PPC is ideal when you have a healthy budget and to go grow quickly and need fast, immediate leads.

farmer equals SEOOn the other hand, search engine optimization (SEO) is like farming.  You will need still need to prepare your soil and choose your crops.  But, then after you plant, as long as you tend to your crop with proper water, fertilization and weeding you’ll be rewarded with a consistent, on-going supply of carrots!  SEO works the same way, if you invest up front you’ll produce on-going leads so long as you watch your analytics and evaluate what is working.

So are you going to hunt, farm or do both?  There are 4 factors that may help you make this decision:

  1. What’s your budget?  Ideally you should do both as they compliment each other but if you are limited in your budget you may want to start with one and then work towards the other.
  2. How urgent are your needs? As discussed above, if you need leads NOW to keep your team busy or meet your short-term goals PPC is a better choice.
  3. How consistently do you need leads? If your team is busy now and you are looking to establish long-term, consistent leads that will allow you to meet long-term growth goals and revenue gains, the investment in SEO will be worth your time and resources.
  4. Have you done your research?  To effectively evaluate the success of either PPC or SEO you need to do your research to understand what searches are happening in your local market, what your competition is doing and the online landscape for your plumbing, HVAC or electrical business.  You may want to have a digital marketing company assist you with this research.  

In conclusion, being a hunter or farmer has its advantageous.  You’ll need to look to your goals to decide whether SEO, PPC or both is most advantageous for your company.


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