When you’re first starting a company you know that you need some sort of online advertising and visibility. You can create a great website with an intuitive design, populate it with rich, quality content, and setup all of your social accounts, but PPC and SEO are going to help you show off all of this hard work. These two online methods are crucial to the success of a company, and all businesses should be using a combination of both to improve CTR and keep their company growing and evolving.

However, as a startup we all know that money is tight. Both SEO and PPC require some sort of budget/ resources, and for many it’s tough to know where to put those resources at the start. You know where you want to go, you just don’t know where to begin. If you’re working with a small budget, what should come first: SEO or PPC?

The Benefits to Focus on SEO First

  • SEO will help you choose keywords and discover your audience and demographics before putting too much money into it. If you aren’t sure who exactly your audience is going to be yet and you have the time to wait for an SEO campaign to offer results, this will be a less expensive way to answer some of your basic business questions. After you know the keywords and you know your audience, then you can start to be more aggressive with a PPC campaign.
  • If you have the budget to hire an agency or expert. If you have a slightly bigger budget, particularly if you can hire someone, then SEO is the best place to start. You get more quality readers this way and your hard work won’t just go away when a campaign ends like it will with PPC.
  • Best for websites looking to educate. When people want the answer to a question or they want to learn about something, it’s usually the organic results that get the most clicks. If your website focuses on education and content, SEO is going to be more beneficial for you in the long run.

The Benefits to Focusing on PPC First

  • It’s reliable, so the work you put into your campaign will offer you solid results. A PPC ad will show up wherever you paid for it to show up, so there is no wondering whether or not your efforts are working. You may not get the CTR you hoped for, but the ad will be there (which isn’t always the case with SEO).
  • You can earn quick results. If you’re a startup, you may not feel as though you have time to wait for the results that come with SEO. PPC offers you quicker data, so it can help you see results quicker as well to give you the jumpstart you need.
  • It’s fair for startups that can’t compete with big brands just yet. SEO takes a long time to see results oftentimes because there is so much competition. With PPC, it’s all about where and what you bid, so it levels the playing field for all.
  • It’s best for Ecommerce websites. This approach is definitely best for Ecommerce companies or any company that is trying to sell a product or service. When consumers are ready to buy, it’s usually the PPC ads that get the most attention, so you want to make sure you’re there and ready to go.

When It’s Best to Focus on SEO and PPC at the Same Time

If you do have the budget to split test PPC, even if it is a small budget, and you have a little bit available for SEO, this is the best place to start. Using both methods will help you earn all of the benefits discussed above regardless of the type of company you run. Of course if you don’t have a huge budget at first, it’s usually best to start with a PPC strategy and then use those findings to then begin an SEO plan of attack. You can learn more about this strategy here.

Keep in mind that social media is also an excellent way to build your following and help your PPC and SEO campaigns along. You can put money into your social strategy, but if you’re strapped for cash then social media can still be successful free of cost. Visit this article to learn more about a social media strategy for a startup.

Do you have any thoughts about starting with PPC or SEO if you’re a startup on a budget? Let us know your story and your thoughts in the comment section below.