When it comes to online marketing, SEO and PPC always seem to be competing for marketing budgets. Many marketers in the multi-family industry often wonder, “Should I be using PPC, or SEO?”
To help settle the debate, I’ve invited Property Solutions’ Ryan Hill (SEO Manager) and Ryan Mower (Sr. Paid Search Strategist) to share their thoughts on the strengths and weakness of each approach to determine which is a better fit for your apartment community website.
Which Strategy Brings Greater ROI?
Ryan Hill – “SEO definitely brings greater ROI for the long term. It is all about your reputation. Renters will refer other residents and talk about your online reviews, or personal reference thus generating more traffic and increasing keyword rankings. “
Ryan Mower – “Depending on situation, short term PPC would bring ROI because the campaign will immediately begin. You get instant traffic. For long term, there might be keywords that are hard to claim the top spot for SEO; with PPC you can immediately get traffic from that keyword. Once SEO starts, PPC can then adjust strategy for keyword variations. “
Which Strategy Brings More Site Traffic?
Ryan H – “One big component of SEO is to leverage social media sites like Google +, Facebook, Twitter to gain traffic. With SEO you can gain traffic without having to pay the individuals sites for an ad campaign, which can be very costly. Thus bringing traffic from a mix of sources unlike PPC. “
Ryan M – “I am waving the white flag for this question. However, with PPC you are guaranteed traffic, unlike SEO where you have to work a lot harder for the possibility of potential traffic.”
Which Strategy Is More Expensive?
Ryan H – “Once you have achieved your desired ranks, and increased your brand awareness, you can shift your cost to other SEO and marketing strategies for other keywords. This allows you to increase your reach without increasing cost.“
Ryan M – “With PPC, location is king. In a market like New York the top ad would be costly. Compared to an Akron, Ohio where the top ad placement will lower in cost. With a PPC campaign, there is only a cost when a renter actually clicks on the ad, compared to SEO where there is a greater cost to get desired results. With PPC, you have variables such as time of day, location, and demographics. You can also use re-marketing to maximize results.”
When Would an Apartment Use Both SEO, and PPC?
Ryan H – “In my opinion they should both be used at all times, because of the increase of mobile search. With mobile search you can get PPC ads and organic map listings. Having your communities on both will lead to more leases and more site traffic.”
Ryan M – “I agree with Ryan Hill, that they should be used all the time. On a desktop computer when utilizing both, your apartment can own the front page with an ad, a local listing and an organic listing. Another ideal time to use both would be with a new lease-up. This way your property will show on the first page without having to wait for SEO results. “
As both Ryans have pointed out, SEO and PPC should have a place in every online marketing plan. While PPC drives instant traffic, SEO powers a long-term infrastructure of traffic. Although each involves distinct tactics, they have the same purpose of driving traffic to your apartment website.