SEO or PPC: Which Provides the Best ROI for Recruiters?

With the job market becoming increasingly competitive and complex, you need to double your efforts to increase the visibility of your recruitment business. You also need to use the right platforms to ensure your messages are reaching your specific target audience.

In today’s always-online, mobile-connected workforce, these platforms should include search engine optimisation and pay-per-click advertising at some level, here’s why.

In a crowded market, boosting online marketing activity is a proven way for recruitment business to stay ahead of the competition. Through both SEO and PPC, your message will get more exposure on Google and other search engines such as Bing, this drives more qualified visitors and ultimately more candidate and client leads through your website.

A Comparison of PPC and SEO

Search and Visitor Volumes

Sponsored Google Ads gain only around 10% of search clicks compared to organic search result’s 90%. However, things aren’t quite as straight forward as that (they never are), this is because the impression share for organic results is often a lot less than PPC. Unless you are getting very high organic ranks, it can mean that the volumes for PPC versus SEO are similar or even flipped in PPCs favour.


On first look it would seem like PPC trumps SEO when it comes to targeting. In PPC we can create multiple very specific adverts triggered by distinct keywords. Achieving the equivalent in SEO (organic results) would take a great deal of time and investment. However (again), once your website gains a high authority level within your specific recruitment area of expertise, it’s then possible to rank highly for ALL related terms rather than just those you have been focusing on. In SEO terms, this is the Holy Grail and can result in total market domination.

Lead Time

For quick and often instant results, PPC wins hands down. We can often get new client campaigns live within 1-2 weeks. Any necessary changes and optimisations happen even quicker and continually during our monthly management, whereas, in SEO things can take much more time.  We guarantee SEO rank or visitor results within the first 30 days we work together, but if your organic ranking is starting low, it may take months before you start to reap the benefits of those high volume search clicks.

Cost per Lead

If your SEO ranks are starting at ground zero, the cost per lead can be high to begin with. But when your average rank position starts to raise and you start hitting the first page of Google, your cost per lead will quickly diminish significantly and can often be a tenth or less compared to PPC.

Here’s How to Combine the Power of PPC and SEO.

It’s clear to see from the above that PPC and SEO are very much polar opposites in most key areas. But when played right, and Ying and Yang are brought together, their effectiveness is combined and you end up multiplying your results dramatically. To achieve this follow these steps:

Strive for Synergy

Online search today is a completely different beast than it was just a few years ago. As it continues to change and shift, the role of SEO and PPC has overlapped and become intertwined more than ever.

With the changes Google has made to its algorithm and the format of its search pages, you simply can’t rely on organic listings alone if you wish to dominate the market. At the same time, PPC ads need to work in synergy with your search engine optimisation efforts if they are to result in a notable increase in visibility and traffic.

What you need to do is identify the target search terms and areas that your SEO campaigns will or are struggling to dominate, then make sure your PPC campaigns are plugging the gaps. When your SEO results start to catch up with PPC you can then choose to reduce your spend on some terms or switch them off altogether.

Aim for Integration

When social media marketing came to the scene, it became clearer than ever how online campaigns couldn’t survive if done using only a single channel, especially if you’re reaching out to today’s and the next generation.

The most qualified talents now are not only using multiple channels to search and consume information; they’re also doing so using multiple devices, often concurrently.

Marketing your content and services through organic search, sponsored ads, social media, industry specific websites, and other channels combined leads to the most balanced and well-rounded results that you can rely on.

Choose an All-Done-for-You Service

Aside from making sure to get expert help, also look for a digital marketing firm that knows recruitment inside out, like we do at Recruitment Traffic.

We know recruitment is a world within itself, the nuances are important and when mastered they make a significant difference to your bottom line. Our industry experience means we already know what does and does not work, when we launch PPC and SEO campaigns for our Employment Business clients they hit the ground running, cost you less and provide better longer lasting results.

To learn more about launching a solid SEO and PPC recruitment marketing strategy for your business, talk to our team at Recruitment Traffic today.

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