The two main ways of getting people to your website are through PPC (pay-per-click advertising) and SEO (search engine optimization). If you’re trying to decide between plastic surgery SEO and PPC, you probably have a lot of questions. Let’s talk about the differences between PPC and SEO and which one is better for plastic surgery practices.
Difference Between PPC and SEO
When you search a keyword on Google or another search engine, the first three (on mobile) or four (on a desktop) links you see are paid ads. These are pay-per-click ads, meaning you pay a certain rate each time somebody clicks on an ad to visit your website.
Some keywords are relatively cheap at $3 or less per click. On the other hand, popular keywords with a lot of competition are more expensive and may run $28 or even more for a single click. That’s a pretty high rate to pay for advertising, but your website will be listed at the top (or side) of the search and is guaranteed to be seen by the maximum amount of people.
SEO is about getting onto the front pages results of a web search, as high in the listings as possible. Some people ignore the ads and put more trust in websites that naturally rank higher in search results, and if you have the knowledge to handle your own SEO, it doesn’t cost anything but time and energy for a click (but you should save yourself some time and look into various marketing channels for the best SEO results).
SEO can be a great way to acquire new clients for a lower cost than pay-per-click, but it has its downsides. Search engines like to change their algorithms, so SEO best practices are constantly changing. If you handle your own marketing, that can be hard to stay on top of. SEO also takes time to work, whereas you can start using PPC to get new clicks immediately.
Pros and Cons
There is no simple answer about whether SEO or PPC is better for your plastic surgery practice, so let’s look at the pros and cons of each.
- Can be cheaper than PPC
- Better ROI (return on investment) than many other types of advertising, including PPC
- Better overall brand awareness
- Increased trust by consumers over companies who pay to be seen
- Improved CTR (click-through rate) as a result of increased trust
- More sustainable because you don’t need to keep paying to be seen
- It takes time, knowledge, and skill to improve your SEO ranking
- Algorithm changes can negatively impact your SEO ranking
- More competition for attention
- You can see immediate results
- You only pay when somebody clicks on the ad
- Higher, more-visible listing on the page
- More control and space for advertising your services
- You know exactly what keywords people are searching for and clicking on
- Costs can add up, especially if you’re competing for a popular, expensive keyword
- Less trusted by consumers
- Requires constant investment
Combining SEO and PPC
If you can afford it, combining SEO and PPC can help bring the most visibility and best results to your plastic surgery practice. PPC brings in clients sooner rather than later, while SEO is better at bringing in clients in the long run. Other benefits of combining SEO and PPC for your plastic surgery practice include:
- Test keywords with PPC before committing SEO to them
- Give keyword and conversion data from PPC to SEO strategies
- Low-converting or high-cost keywords that are still important can be moved from PPC to SEO
PPC vs SEO: Which is Best for Plastic Surgery Practices?
Only you can decide which is best for your plastic surgery practice. If you have the budget for it, combining SEO and PPC will bring you the best results. If you can’t afford to do both, you need to decide whether your priority is to bring in clients immediately with a PPC campaign or whether you’d rather focus on using SEO to improve your search ranking and bring in new clients over time.
Your Needs May Change
If you have a brand new plastic surgery practice, you may prefer to spend most or all of your budget on PPC to get new clients through the door. Once your business is well-established and you have less urgency to bring in new clients, you may be better off dropping PPC and focusing entirely on SEO. Be mindful of the fact that what you commit to today may change in the future.
As you can see, there is no simple answer to whether PPC or SEO is better for your plastic surgery practice. They each have their pros and cons and work best in conjunction with each other if you can afford it. Luckily, there are professionals to help you with your marketing strategies and you don’t need to go it alone if you’d rather not.