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Gabriel Marguglio June 28, 2016 3 min read

PPC vs SEO vs Inbound Marketing: Are They Really Competing or Helping Each Other?


Many businesses have embraced various forms of online marketing as a way to cut costs and reach a more focused target market. But does that mean that internet marketing can replace traditional advertising or that SEO and PPC need to work together? Here are details on the importance of comparing PPC vs SEO vs inbound marketing.

Related Blog: 10 SEO Mistakes to Avoid During Your Website Redesign in 2016

The Strength of Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is any kind of marketing in which content about your products brings you customers. Outbound marketing, by contrast, represents traditional marketing that interrupts other content, such as commercials on radio and television. By using your own web content to attract followers through search engines, you can save thousands of dollars on traditional media advertising.

Search Engine Optimization is a vital part of inbound marketing. In fact, without it, the concept might not be that big of a deal, Essentially, inbound marketing has a more informative than persuasive approach. It encompasses techniques such as blogging, which allow you to mix personality with expertise when guiding and educating potential customers.

PPC can be considered both inbound and outbound marketing, depending on who you ask. It's inbound because it allows you to target specific audiences, while it's outbound since it requires paying for advertising to interrupt content that web surfers search for. PPC is useful for gaining visibility in search engines and relevant websites. It also allows you to have more opportunities to send people to high converting landing pages on your website. 

Evaluating Your Needs

If you're wondering which strategies - SEO, PPC or inbound - work the best, it depends on your business and your imagination. Each of these internet marketing vehicles can be maximized to increase your odds of high search rankings and desired traffic, but no one can guarantee exact results since it's not an exact science.
Search engines, particularly Google, constantly refine their algorithms that determine search rankings. Over 200 factors are used by Google. But the good news is you don't have to master all the factors to get great search results. In fact, if you only focused on SEO, you might notice impressive results, assuming you have a niche site that meets a market demand.

SEO alone is usually not enough for exposure to generate consistent leads. SEO is very useful for location-based local businesses or new niches that don't have much competition. Crafting informative content based on relevant keywords is one of the secrets to maximizing SEO. If your website is full of valuable quality as well as quantity of content, you will likely be competitive in search rankings.

Integrating SEO, PPC and Inbound Strategies

Over time, you can learn which components of internet marketing work best for your business. If you have hundreds of national competitors that sell the same products you do, chances are SEO can only help so much and that PPC will give you an edge. But if you sell a very unique product, it's possible for SEO and inbound marketing techniques to do much of the work for you.

PPC will definitely give you more online visibility and may even speed up lead generation and conversions, since it allows you to be very specific about your target audience. But you will have to experiment to figure out which keywords and campaigns work the best.

The PPC vs SEO vs inbound marketing puzzle is further demystified when you use HubSpot software tools, which provide excellent integration. Your website should be an incredible resource for your visitors as well as a haven that collects analytics on your target market. The more your content can answer questions before people ask, the more you're on track to attracting a loyal following.

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