SEO or SEM has always been a somewhat difficult question to answer for business owners and marketers. While both offer the same ultimate result, resource allocation between the two has always been a concern.
While the concern always rode high on the minds of experts, it has occupied center stage in these changing times. To answer questions like these and to gauge what works better between SEO and SEM, Best SEO Companies and The Manifest conducted separate surveys. Here are the results.
Preference for Paid Search
In the survey conducted by Best SEO Companies, around 1000 marketing experts and users were asked about the effectiveness of SEO Vs. SEM.
Almost an equal number of marketing professionals had a preference for SEM (90%) and SEO (87%).
However, they indicated that, given only one choice between the two, the majority (64%) of them would go for Google Ads.
What Users Want
The survey questioned the users about the trustworthiness and relevance of the different SERP features.
84% of the users clicked organic results more often, while a mere 45% were inclined towards paid-search ads.
Where SMBs are going Wrong
In a survey conducted by The Manifest of 501 SMB owners, only 30% had an SEO strategy aiming to improve their organic rankings.
While the benefits of SEO are many, only 62% of these businesses doing SEO are managing it in-house, while 77% of those working on SEO doing it only part-time.
The Way Ahead
The question of SEO or PPC, and how much of each should be woven into the marketing strategy, has been a question since the beginning of search marketing.
While SEO is a sustainable way to gain visibility and customers from the first page of SERPs, paid search grants more control in terms of using user behavior for enhancing ad performance. So, each has its benefits.
However, how much of each should be a part of the marketing strategy depends on a case by case basis, more so in the changing scenarios when user behavior and budgets have undergone some major changes.