SEO vs PPC: Owning vs Renting Your Lead Generation

SEO and PPC boxing gloves
SEO and PPC boxing gloves

SEO vs PPC: Owning vs Renting Your Lead Generation

Organic traffic versus paid advertising has been a source of debate ever since AdWords joined the search engine marketing party in 2000. And marketers continually come up with new theories as to which one of these practices is more beneficial. Basically, when it comes to boosting traffic to your real estate website, you have two available options: pay-per-click or search engine optimisation.

Search Engine Optimisation 

SEO is the process of getting traffic from the organic search results, by optimising your website and content. However, SEO is not only about ranking higher in search results but is also about becoming the authority for real estate solutions.

Once set up, SEO produces a lower cost per lead, than any other form of paid advertising and becomes a ‘tangible’ resource and marketing asset that you, as a real estate business, own. 

Pay Per Click 

Also referred to as cost per click, PPC is an internet marketing practice in which you pay for advertising space for specific keywords on search result pages, this is a  way of buying visits to your real estate website instead of earning them organically.

PPC delivers a higher cost per lead than SEO, but you don’t have to do much in terms of setting it up. While being a powerful marketing tool, PPC can be seen as an expense and is a short-term solution - as this resource rented from Google and can’t be owned.

So, which one is better?

Let’s think about PPC and SEO in a way to which we can relate. Consider PPC as renting and SEO like buying a home:

  • SEO is a long-term investment: SEO does not work overnight because every SEO campaign is unique, it takes time to lay the proper foundation. If done correctly there is much to gain from SEO. 
  • PPC is a short-term rental: When you make a bid you can see immediate results using PPC, but it is considered a quick-solution as this resource becomes ineffective when you haven’t paid or if you run out of your daily budget.
  • SEO will allow you to gain equity over time: Like a property’s value tends to increase, so does your equity with SEO. Even when you stop making payments on your campaign, the foundation you have built will still direct traffic to your website.
  • PPC stops working when you stop paying: If you stop paying rent, your landlord will kick you out. The same concept applies to PPC – if you stop paying your ads will stop displaying.
  • SEO is more expensive, upfront when setting it up, but you are paying for an asset you own: SEO is less expensive in the long-run, but there is a common misconception that it is free. Whether you are spending your own man-hours or hiring an agency to manage and set up your SEO strategy, there are some costs involved. This does pay off, as a strong SEO strategy will gain traffic organically, but as mentioned above will take a little time to render results.
  • PPC allows you to pay and ‘move in’ immediately, but you are only ‘renting space: As soon as your AdWords account is up and running, you can acquire near immediate traffic and results from PPC.  As you don’t own your space in the search rankings, you will often have to outbid competitors for the top spot.

Pay per click is a fantastic way to launch any digital marketing efforts with near instant effect. Search engine optimisation does take some time but is highly important for the quality of your website and how it is indexed. When properly executed, both PPC and SEO can secure a top spot for your real estate website on search results. This is why it is not necessary to make an either-or choice when it comes to PPC and SEO when teamed up these marketing methods can be a powerful tool for lead generation.