Organic SEO vs PPC Advertising for Financial Advisors

Written By : Clifford Blodgett

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More and more financial advisors are realizing the power of digital marketing for generating leads, attracting new clients, and improving website traffic. But as you enter this new frontier of internet advertising, you could likely find yourself faced with a series of confusing, but highly important, decisions.

As you may already know, creating a website is only the first of many steps. Attracting traffic to your site is a much bigger challenge. At this point you face a decision: How and where should you invest your resources in order to reach your goals? Before you can make a decision, you need to fully understand your options.

When it comes to achieving high rankings on the search engines, you have two major options:

Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Paid Advertisements (PPC- Pay-per-click ads).

SEO for Financial AdvisorsThe simplest way to describe organic SEO is optimizing a website’s content to make it more relevant to search terms, so that the website shows up in search engine results. The definition sounds simple enough, but organic SEO involves a number of precise steps performed consistently over an extended period of time. You can read more in our recent article on Search Engine Optimization for Financial Advisors.

PPC, on the other hand, might sound a bit more like the type of advertising you’ve encountered before. With pay-per-click advertising, you bid on desired keyword phrases, and your ad shows up when someone performs a search for those exact words. You pay for the ad based on the number of times it is clicked. The ad leads straight to your website or any other page you desire, where potential clientele can learn more about you and your services.

So which should you chose? It depends upon your needs and resources, but each method has pros and cons, such as:

Time –  How fast do you want high rankings? SEO can be a long process and may require ongoing effort in order to maintain your search ranking. PPC, on the other hand, can show immediate results. If you want search engine rankings in days, then PPC is the best route. If you have other marketing strategies in place and can afford to wait for organic rankings to develop, the SEO is a good option.

Conversions – Consumers are pretty advertising-savvy these days, and they know a paid ad when they see one. They know how search engines work, and are much more likely to click an organic search result than an obvious paid ad on the side of their screen. Organic SEO is usually the better option in terms of consistent website traffic.

Budget – With PPC advertising, you receive exactly the amount of advertising you purchase. When your advertising budget is exhausted, so are your rankings. The day you stop purchasing ads, you may see a sharp decrease in website traffic and lead generation.

SEO requires a very detailed set of professional skills and experience. It may be a larger investment upfront, but the results should last much longer.

Risk/Reward – PPC ads are guaranteed to put you on page one for any search term you buy. With organic SEO, there are no guarantees. In fact, be careful of any company that promises you “Page One Rankings on Google”. No one can guarantee organic search results. However, when SEO is performed properly and consistently, you commonly can see lasting improvements in your rankings.

Return on Investment (ROI) – As a financial advisor, you’re familiar with the values of short-term versus long-term returns on investments. Initially, PPC would appear to be the clear winner here, as you may likely see an immediate increase in traffic to your website once you implement your campaign. However, in terms of lasting results, organic SEO is the clear winner over the long term. Organic SEO increases your website’s value, and is more likely to result in higher traffic and more leads in the long run.

Organic SEO vs PPC: So which one is better?

This question is best answered by examining your time line, budget, and, goals. For a quick advertising blitz or a campaign where you want fast, guaranteed search results, go with PPC. But for results that last longer, give you a wider online reach, and add real value to your website, organic SEO gets the nod.

Want the best of both worlds?

If your budget allows, you may want to try a mix of PPC and organic SEO for a 6-8 month period and discover which yields better results for your firm.  Add in a good mix of email marketing and social media and you may have the beginnings of a great digital marketing strategy.


Filed under: Financial Advisor Marketing

Written By :

Clifford Blodgett is the Director of Digital Marketing and Demand Generation at Creative One. He is integral in financial advisor interactive communications strategies, website management, social media, content marketing , and overall demand generation.

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