The Great SEM Battle: PPC Marketing vs. Organic SEO

“I’m sorry, man. There isn’t enough budget for both PPC and SEO,” your CFO says. “If you could choose just one, which would it be?”

It’s 10 AM on Tuesday. You’re having a Zoom call with your Marketing Director and CFO to set up your company’s marketing goals for this quarter. You look at their faces for a moment before answering. You think about this question carefully because you know that whichever answer you give could change the trajectory of your marketing goals for the next year or so.

“I think PPC is the better investment for us right now,” you say. “Organic SEO will take too long to start showing results and we need to generate leads quickly.”

Your marketing director nods in agreement, and so the decision is made. You will be focusing all of your energy on paid search campaigns to generate more leads for your company.

But as time goes on, you start to wonder if you made the right decision. Your organic search traffic is slowly but surely increasing, while your PPC spending continues to go up. And even though you’re generating more leads from your PPC campaigns, their quality isn’t as good as you were expecting.

You start doing some research on the internet and quickly realize that you aren’t alone. Many other SaaS companies are struggling with the same decision: should they focus on organic or paid marketing? 

The answer is: it depends.


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The Showdown: ​​Organic SEO vs PPC

There’s a great battle taking place in the land of SaaS marketing and it’s between two towering marketing channel giants: organic search and paid search

Both have their loyal supporters, those who swear by one or the other, and both have proven to be successful paths for acquiring new customers. 

So what is the difference between SEO and PPC?

In a nutshell, organic SEO search engine marketing is the process of optimizing your website and content so that you can rank higher in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) without paying for the top placement. PPC search engine marketing, on the other hand, involves buying ads that show up in SERPs above the organic search results.

So how can you best integrate paid vs organic marketing to get the best return on investment (ROI) from your search engine marketing efforts?T

Sometimes You Have to Roll with the Pay-Per-Clicks

PPC for SaaS products often feels like a labyrinth of complexity. There are so many moving parts, and it can be tough to know where to start and what steps to take in order to generate leads that convert. 

With PPC search engine marketing, your brand will dominate the top position in Google Search Results. The visibility of your brand will be through the roof. Your target audience will always see the paid search ads, even if they choose to ignore and scroll past them.

You can also be aggressive with your targeting. With PPC, you can laser-focus your ads on people who have visited your website before or those who are in certain locations. You can target specific demographics and even interests.

Developing effective organic exposure might take time, but a PPC campaign may be created and ramped up in days. Paid search engine advertisements are the quickest method to get in front of customers who are searching. You can also track conversions and leads very easily, making it a great choice for those who want to see an immediate ROI.

However, PPC does come with a price tag. The old saying ,”You have to spend money to make money,” definitely applies here. It is also not unusual to get into bidding wars with other advertisers, which can drive up costs. PPC can be a very effective way to generate leads quickly, but if you’re not careful, your spending can grow rampant. 

That’s why it’s important to have a strategy. Figure out your goals and how much you’re willing to spend in order to hit those goals. And be prepared to make changes along the way. PPC is a dynamic environment and what works today may not work tomorrow. 

But the absolute biggest con of PPC? Your online visibility disappears when your marketing budget runs dry.

Poof… Gone…

Scary? Absolutely! Especially if you don’t have SEO to back up your PPC game.

Instantly get your website to the top of the Search Results
Allows for detailed audience targeting
Start receiving clicks quickly
Costly long-term strategy
When you stop paying, your website stops showing
Lower quality leads

SaaS Marketing Strategy: Saved by the SEO

Google search listings are free. No one can pay more for a better position in the Search Results. So, how can you increase your website visibility and position your company’s website on the top? 

Well, the answer is by utilizing smart and engaging content marketing powered with organic SaaS SEO strategy.

Content Marketing is the core technique of organic SEO. It improves your SaaS website visibility while building trust and credibility with potential customers. 

When done correctly, content marketing attracts links from high-quality websites, strengthening your site’s authority and improving your rankings over time.

Quality content takes a lot of effort to produce, but it can be extremely successful if done right. And unlike PPC, where you’re paying for each click on your ad, the only cost associated with quality content is the time invested in creating it.

When SaaS content marketing is done right, not only can it shoot you to the top of Google’s 1st search page, it can also shorten your sales cycle, reduce customers acquisition costs and increase customer retention.

It may take up to a year for a smart SaaS SEO marketing to gain traction and achieve first-page rankings for your company’s most valuable keywords. But once it does, your website will remain on top for a long time, providing a consistent stream of high-quality inbound leads every month.

This is why SEO search engine marketing is considered one of the most successful digital marketing strategies for long-term and scalable results.

Earns higher quality leads
More cost-effective over long term
Increases brand awareness and authority
Sustainable lead generation
Lasts a long time once established
Takes longer to see ROI
Producing great content takes time
Requires great strategy to work

And the Winner is…

There is no clear-cut answer as to which digital marketing strategy reigns supreme for SaaS companies. 

Both organic vs paid marketing have their own benefits and drawbacks, and the best approach for your company will vary depending on your business goals, budget and resources. 

But what’s undeniable is that a successful digital marketing strategy requires a balanced combination of organic search and paid search efforts in order to achieve maximum results.

So don’t put all your eggs in one basket – make sure you’re utilizing both paid and organic marketing to power your SaaS company!

One-Two Punch: How to Use PPC and Organic SEO in Tandem for Maximum Benefit

Now that you know the difference between SEO and PPC, you need to start thinking of organic SEO and PPC as peanut butter and jelly. They complement each other and often taste best when mixed together. 

But too much jelly might make your PB&J overly sweet, which is not good for you. The same may be said of paid and organic marketing; you’ll need to create a sound digital marketing strategy to keep the two in balance if you want to achieve the greatest ROI.

Short-Term Strategy: Heavy PPC Spending, Moderate SEO

When you’re just starting your SaaS company, it’s crucial to have a short-term winning strategy in place to get your website visibility and traffic up as quickly as possible. 

PPC search engine marketing can be extremely effective in achieving this goal and can provide quick wins by driving more visitors to your site. In fact, PPC is often the best way to get started with digital marketing, since you can begin generating leads and sales almost immediately after launching your campaign.

As your PPC is bringing in new sales, you need to start developing your SaaS SEO strategy.  Focus on creating high-quality content that showcases your software products, how it works and why they need it. Also consider crafting other insightful and educational content that can provide the solution to the questions your audience is seeking.

You can start by making content for long-tail or low-hanging-fruit target keywords, which are specific and less competitive than short keywords with high monthly search volume. This will allow you to rank for these keywords relatively quickly and give your site the authority it needs to start ranking for more valuable keywords over time.

Long-Term Strategy: Heavy SEO, Moderate PPC Spending

Once you have a steady income from your PPC campaign, it’s time to switch gears and focus on developing a strong SEO strategy that can provide sustainable results over the long haul.  

This will require a more holistic approach.

Map out your audience’s buyer journey and understand how they interact with your site. You can even invest in machine learning and deep learning to analyze your audience’s behavior.  

Then, create content that aligns with their needs at each stage of the customer journey, from awareness to consideration to purchase. This will require conducting a lot of original research, writing numerous thought leadership pieces and crafting dozens of case studies that show how your software has solved real-world business problems.

As you continue publishing high-quality content, make sure you’re frequently doing keyword and intent research. Keep making content to target keywords with high commercial intent to bring in more qualified leads and, eventually, sales.

You’ll also need to start minding your website User Experience (UX). Your customers should be able to navigate your website with ease. The content on your site must offer cues for anticipated behavior to create an intuitive user experience.

You can then focus on ethical means of getting quality backlinks. You can achieve this by reaching out to authoritative websites and bloggers within your industry and getting them to mention you or link to your content. You can even offer free articles that they can post on their site.

Toss Your Hat Into the Ring!

The bottom line is that organic SEO and PPC can work hand in hand to get your SaaS company the visibility and customer growth it needs. Craft a well-thought-out digital marketing strategy that takes into account both short-term and long-term goals to see sustainable results.

Collaborate with our SaaS SEO agency to leverage our proven strategy for better digital visibility. Reduce your PPC acquisition costs with our creative and engaging content that taps directly into the psychology of your highest-value target audience and gets them eagerly knocking on your door.

We don’t call in sick, we don’t miss deadlines, we don’t spend time around the water cooler… We just do damn good work that drives results and transforms your SaaS business into an industry-leading brand.

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