SEO vs PPC for Home Improvement Lead Generation

Janet Mobley

Janet Mobley


SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC (Pay-Per-Click) are like the Batman and Robin of the digital marketing world – different approaches, but both aiming to boost online visibility and get more local homeowners checking out your website. Here’s the lowdown on how they’re different:

1. What They Are:

  • SEO: SEO is all about tweaking the content and technical components of your website to show up higher in the organic search results for specific search terms
  • PPC: With PPC, you set up an ad account, with Google or Bing, then configure search terms you want to bid on. When people click on your ads, you pay a little fee for every click.

2. What They Cost:

  • SEO: SEO doesn’t cost money for clicks, but it does require time and effort and that effort is rarely free.
  • PPC: PPC is a bit like putting coins in an arcade game – you pay for every click. The more popular the keywords, the more you’ll pay.

3. When You See Results:

  • SEO: SEO is like growing a plant – it takes time. You won’t see results overnight, but when it blooms, it’s worth it.
  • PPC: PPC is more like turning on a tap. As soon as you set up your campaign, clicks start flowing. When you turn the tap off, you stop getting clicks.

4. Where You Show Up in Search:

  • SEO: These days SEO results typically show up below the paid search results. It used to be different, but Google sets the rules, we just play the game. SEO results can also show up in the Google maps.
  • PPC: PPC ads hang out at the top and bottom of the search results page, and are sometimes sprinkled amongst map searches. Paid search results are labeled as “sponsored.”

5. How Long It Lasts:

  • SEO: Once you climb the SEO mountain, you’re there for a while. It’s sustainable even if you slack off a bit. What’s more, with SEO, you can rank for hundreds of less competitive, “long tail” or niche keywords. So, while SEO campaigns can be slow to start, once they start to pay off, the dividends are often much better, with lower cost per lead, than PPC campaigns.
  • PPC: With PPC, the traffic stops when the money stops. It’s like a Netflix subscription – no pay, no play.

6. Click Quality:

  • SEO: People who find you through organic searches usually mean business. They’re like friends who come to your party because they really wanted to.
  • PPC: Clicks from PPC can be a mixed bag. Some are there for the party; others just clicked because it looked cool.

7. Who’s in Control:

  • SEO: SEO is like riding a bike – you can steer, but you can’t control the road.
  • PPC: PPC is the video game of digital marketing. You get to decide when and where your ads pop up.

Our most successful home improvement clients generate leads from multiple channels and their “digital channel” — which includes SEO and PPC leads — is just part of their overall lead gen mix.

If you’d like help improving the volume and quality of the leads you get from your digital channel, contact us for a free consultation.

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