Roofing Lead Generation: SEO vs PPC

By Cliff Hudson
April 17, 2023
7 min read

SEO vs PPC: Which is Better?

When it comes to driving traffic (people) to your roofing company's website, there are two main ways to do it: through search engine optimization (SEO), or through something called  Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC). Let's talk a bit about each, examine the pros and cons of each, and when each may be appropriate to use for your business.

SEO is all about making sure your website shows up high in the search engine results when someone searches for something related to what you do. So when someone types in 'Roofing Repairs' or 'Roofing Companies' into Google, your business shows up. As you can imagine, this has massive implications for generating leads and sales.

PPC, on the other hand, is more like traditional advertising: you pay to have your website show up at the top of the search results for certain keywords. Every time someone clicks on the advertisement in Google, it costs a certain amount of money. This is called 'Cost Per Click'. The more competitive and sought after the the keyword, the more expensive it is to have your business show up in relation to it.

Both SEO and PPC both have their strengths and weaknesses. SEO is great because it can drive a lot of traffic to your website for free, but it can take a lot of work and time to see results. PPC, on the other hand, can get you to the top of the search results quickly, but as we mentioned, you have to pay for every click you get.

So, which one is better for roofing businesses? It really depends on your goals and your budget. If you want to build a long-term, sustainable traffic source, SEO is probably the way to go. But if you need to drive traffic quickly and have the budget for it, PPC can be a great option.

Overall, it's important to understand the differences between SEO and PPC, and seriously weigh the pros and cons of each before deciding which one to use for your business.

Understanding SEO and PPC

Before we dive into the merits of each method, it's important to understand the basic principles behind SEO and PPC. These are crucial for making informed decisions and maximizing your marketing efforts.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving a website's visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs) by optimizing its content, code, structure, and overall functionality. This is done through a combination of what is called 'on-page' and 'off-page' optimization techniques, including doing research on keywords, content creation, technical SEO, and link building. There are tons of other things within each of aspects of SEO, but for a high-level understanding these are certainly the pillars of SEO. In the end, the ultimate goal of SEO is to rank high in organic search results for relevant keywords, thereby attracting more visitors to your website without paying for each click.

However, achieving a high-ranking position in organic search results can be a challenging and time-consuming task. It requires a strategic approach and a long-term commitment to creating high-quality, relevant content that is optimized for search engines. It also requires an understanding of website code, and a sustained commitment to developing the technical parts of a website. Psychologically, SEO requires patience. It's like going to the gym: slowly over time you will build muscle and lose weight, and it' difficult and takes time, but the payoff is truly life changing. The same goes for SEO and what it can do to a business.

On the other hand, with pay-per-click (PPC) advertisers bid on specific keywords or phrases relevant to their business and their target audience, with the goal of having their ads displayed alongside search results for those keywords. When users click on these ads, the advertiser pays a predetermined fee to the search engine.

The most popular PPC platform is Google Ads, followed by Bing Ads. One of the biggest advantages of PPC advertising is that it can generate immediate traffic to your website, unlike SEO which can take months to see results. If you are a new business, this can be huge for getting your name out there. Additionally, PPC allows for more precise targeting of your audience and provides detailed metrics to measure the success of your campaign.

However, PPC advertising can also be expensive, especially for highly competitive keywords. It requires ongoing optimization and monitoring to ensure that your ads are performing well and generating a positive return on investment (ROI). If you don't have a good website to captures leads, or a strong sales process to close customers, all that money spent may not the maximum ROI.

Both SEO and PPC have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. The key is to understand your business goals and target audience, and to develop a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that incorporates both methods to maximize your online visibility and drive qualified traffic to your website, one way or the other.

Pros and Cons of SEO

Both SEO and PPC have their unique benefits and downsides, which should be considered when deciding between these two marketing strategies. Here, we'll outline the main pros and cons of SEO.

Advantages of SEO

  • Long-term results: Once your website has achieved high rankings in organic search results, it can maintain its position for a long period with continuous optimization efforts. This offers long-lasting benefits and a more stable source of traffic than PPC. You own the traffic.
  • Cost-effective: While SEO requires an initial investment in time and resources, it can ultimately provide a higher return on investment (ROI) than PPC, as there's no cost per click. Again, you own the traffic, you aren't paying anyone to get you leads.
  • Increased credibility: This is one of our favorite things about SEO. Users trust organic search results more than paid ads, as they perceive them to be more authentic and relevant. This increased credibility can lead to higher click-through rates (CTRs) and conversions.
  • Improved user experience: The core principles of SEO – optimizing content, site structure, and speed – serve to enhance the overall user experience on your website, which can lead to increased engagement, customer satisfaction, and brand loyalty.
  • Increased brand visibility: By optimizing your website for search engines, you can increase your brand's visibility and reach a wider audience. This can lead to increased brand recognition and awareness, which can ultimately translate into higher sales and revenue.
  • Targeted traffic: SEO allows you to target specific keywords and phrases that are relevant to your business, which attracts highly targeted traffic to your website. This can result in higher conversion rates and a more engaged audience. 
  • Competitive advantage: By optimizing your website for search engines, you can gain a competitive advantage over other businesses in your industry. This can help you stand out from the crowd and attract more customers. There are so many businesses that still are not investing in SEO, the sooner a business invests in SEO, the stronger the competitive advantage.

Disadvantages of SEO

  • Slow results: Achieving high organic rankings takes time, especially for competitive keywords. Businesses looking for immediate results may find this frustrating and may need to supplement with other services like PPC if they need faster results. SEO is not a quick fix, but a long term investment. For roofing companies looking for fast leads, SEO may not be the best option.
  • Constant maintenance: SEO is an ongoing process that requires consistent effort and strategic adjustments, as search engine algorithms are constantly evolving and changing. This means businesses must commit to regular maintenance to stay ahead of the competition, which can be time-consuming and resource-intensive.
  • Less control: Your website's organic rankings are largely determined by search engine algorithms, which means you have limited control over your position in SERPs compared to PPC campaigns.
  • Requires technical expertise: SEO involves a range of technical skills, including website design, coding, and analytics. Businesses without the necessary expertise may need to hire outside help, which can be expensive.
  • Not suitable for all businesses: While SEO can be effective for many businesses, it may not be the best strategy for all. For example, businesses with a limited budget or those in very niche markets may find it difficult to achieve high rankings in organic search results. Roofing businesses certainly work with SEO
  • Potential for penalties: If you engage in unethical 'black hat' SEO practices, such as keyword stuffing or buying links, your website may be penalized by search engines. This can have a negative impact on your rankings and online reputation. It can take time to recover and get back into the good graces of Google.

SEO can be a highly effective marketing strategy for businesses wanting sustainable growth into the future. SEO is a future-proofing marketing tactic. However, it requires a significant investment of time, resources, and expertise, and may not be suitable for all businesses. By weighing the pros and cons outlined above, you can make an informed decision about whether SEO is the right strategy for your roofing or contractor business.

Pros and Cons of PPC

Now for the other side of the search marketing coin. Similar to SEO, PPC offers its unique set of advantages and challenges. Let's discuss the primary pros and cons of PPC advertising.

Advantages of PPC

  • Immediate results: As stated before, PPC campaigns can be set up quickly, and your ads can start appearing in search results almost immediately. This is particularly beneficial for businesses targeting seasonal or time-sensitive promotions.
  • Highly targeted: PPC platforms allow for precise targeting, enabling you to display your ads to specific demographics, geographic locations, and devices. This can lead to more qualified traffic and higher conversion rates.
  • Greater control: With PPC, you have full control over campaign settings, budgets, and bids. You can also optimize landing pages and ad copy to improve performance, something that is not as easily achievable with SEO.
  • Measurable and trackable: PPC platforms like Google Ads provide comprehensive analytics and reporting features that enable you to measure campaign performance and ROI, facilitating data-driven decision-making and future strategies.
  • Brand exposure: PPC can increase brand exposure and awareness, as your ads appear at the top of search engine results pages, even above organic search results. This can help to establish your brand as an authority in your industry.
  • Flexible targeting: PPC allows you to adjust your targeting settings in real-time, enabling you to respond to changes in your industry or market. This can help you to stay ahead of your competition and maximize your ROI.

Disadvantages of PPC

  • Higher costs: The cost of PPC can be significantly higher than SEO, especially if you're targeting competitive keywords. Depending on your industry and market, cost-per-click (CPC) rates can range from a few cents to several dollars. However, with careful planning and optimization, you can minimize your costs and maximize your ROI.
  • Short-term gains: PPC can provide a quick boost in traffic, but the benefits are generally short-lived. Once your campaign ends, or your budget is depleted, your ads will no longer appear in search results, and your website traffic may drop. However, by continually optimizing your campaigns and targeting, you can extend the lifespan of your PPC campaigns and generate long-term benefits.
  • Click fraud: Click fraud, where people or automated programs repeatedly click on your ads to deplete your budget, is a persistent issue in PPC advertising. Although platforms like Google Ads have measures in place to combat click fraud, it can still pose a risk to your campaigns. However, by monitoring your campaigns regularly and setting up fraud detection tools, you can minimize the impact of click fraud on your campaigns.
  • Complexity: PPC can be a complex and technical marketing strategy, requiring a deep understanding of keyword research, ad targeting, bidding strategies, and campaign optimization. However, by working with an experienced PPC agency or consultant, you can simplify the process and achieve better results.
  • Competition: PPC is a highly competitive marketing channel, with many businesses vying for the top spots in search engine results pages. However, by conducting thorough competitor research and developing unique ad copy and landing pages, you can stand out from the crowd and achieve better results.

Overall, PPC can be a highly effective marketing strategy for roofing businesses of all sizes and industries. There really isn't one that is simply better than the other. It depends on what your business needs and how you would like to grow!

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between SEO and PPC

Ultimately, the decision to use SEO or PPC depends on your specific marketing goals and priorities. Below are some key factors to consider when evaluating these strategies.

Budget and ROI

If you're working with a limited budget, SEO may be the more cost-effective option, as it can provide longer-lasting results without ongoing ad spend. However, businesses looking for immediate results and higher visibility in competitive niches may need to invest in PPC campaigns to complement their SEO efforts. Keep in mind that both strategies should be monitored and adjusted over time to maximize returns on investment.

Timeframe and Longevity

SEO takes time to show results, making it less suitable for immediate promotions or short-term campaigns. Conversely, PPC can provide instant traffic and is better suited for time-sensitive initiatives. Nevertheless, a long-term marketing strategy should include ongoing SEO work to maintain or improve organic search rankings and ensure sustained growth.

Target Audience and Keywords

The demographics, preferences, and online behavior of your target audience will play a significant role in determining whether SEO or PPC is more effective for your business. For instance, if your target audience is more likely to use ad blockers or distrust paid advertisements, focusing on SEO may be the better option. Conversely, if you're targeting highly-competitive keywords where organic rankings are difficult to achieve, PPC can provide a more immediate solution.

Industry and Competition

Consider the competitive landscape in your industry and assess the difficulty of ranking for your desired keywords. In highly competitive markets, focusing on long-tail keywords through SEO can provide valuable traffic without the high costs associated with PPC. However, PPC campaigns might be necessary to break through the competition and boost your online visibility.

Combining SEO and PPC for Maximum Results

While SEO and PPC both have distinct advantages and disadvantages, the most comprehensive approach to online marketing is to strategically integrate both techniques. This can help companies capitalize on the unique benefits of each and create a well-rounded digital presence.

How SEO and PPC Complement Each Other

SEO and PPC can be highly complementary when implemented correctly. For example, PPC can help test keyword effectiveness before investing in SEO efforts, or it can help identify high-converting landing pages to optimize for organic search. Conversely, the content created for SEO purposes can be utilized in PPC campaigns, providing a more cohesive and consistent experience for users across both channels.

Strategies for Integrating SEO and PPC

Here are some practical ways to integrate SEO and PPC for maximum impact:

  1. Conduct comprehensive keyword research to identify high-value terms and phrases for both organic and paid campaigns.
  2. Use PPC campaigns to test the performance of keywords, ad copy, and landing pages before deploying resources for SEO optimization.
  3. Compare SEO and PPC data to identify gaps and opportunities, such as highly-ranked organic keywords that could be considered for PPC targeting or underperforming PPC keywords that might benefit from SEO improvements.
  4. Coordinate content creation efforts to ensure consistency in messaging, branding, and objectives across both organic and paid channels.
  5. Analyze and adjust your marketing strategies based on data, taking advantage of both short-term wins with PPC and long-term sustainability with SEO.

By striking a balance between SEO and PPC, roofing businesses can create a comprehensive online marketing strategy that effectively targets their desired audience while adjusting to the ever-changing digital landscape.

So, Which Strategy Should You Choose?

Both! You don't need to pick one or the other necessarily. If your budget allows it, the one-two punch of quick visibility with PPC and the enduring stability of SEO only lead to good things! Implement both if possible, and consider the points in this article when deciding which to start with. Reach out to Click Impact SEO below, partner with a team of Google Premier partners, and see how we can take you business to the next level.

By Cliff Hudson
April 17, 2023