SEO or PPC for tradesmen, which is best?

by Rhys on 8 Nov

We get tradespeople approach us frequently asking ‘is SEO or PPC best for tradesmen?’ - so let’s put that question to bed here!

The ever elusive return on investment figure is what everyone in a trade has sought at one time or another, whether you’re the local plumber or a national roofing company working with huge contracts. But let’s talk a little about ROI with both SEO and PPC.

SEO is going to take you a solid 3-6 months to see big changes, those big changes may need to be scaled to actually see value too, for example, if you wanted to rank initially for a quite specific area with a low population density, rank for it and don’t get any traffic or sales, you’ll need to go broader. PPC nullifies this.

So why even bother with SEO if PPC gives you instant results?...

Exactly. That’s the trap a lot of tradesmen fall into, the ‘we’re seeing results let's do this forever’ - great, but combining the both gives you a lethal cocktail of absolute area dominance, and who doesn’t love the sound of that!

The above basically means you catch the mobile searchers or people not savvy enough to not click Advertisements as well as those savvy enough not to click an Ad. Perfect.


Another motivating factor for a lot of tradesmen is the cost, we know multiple (and have helped a few) who not only don’t trust either PPC or SEO, but think it’s some form of dark arts they’d best avoid because, let’s face it, there are a lot of cowboys out there claiming their best friends dogs cousin is the Head of Search at Google.

Spending money on anything in business needs to be questioned, that’s just how business works. But when you can justifiably make a multiple of your spend back on Advertising, it’d be more illogical not to at least try it on a low spend.

But how much do they both cost?...

SEO can set you back anywhere from £500 p/month all the way up to £3,000+ (depending on the locality, for example, London is going to be a high multiple more expensive than Swansea). PPC will set you back around £250 p/month plus your Ad spend, so if you wanted to spend £10 per day to start, you’d be looking at spending £550 per month or so.


The returns of both are as follows;

SEO will give you long term, steady traffic that will likely continue into the future regardless of changes to Google/AdWords. PPC will give you instant returns, you’ll see real time leads (and sales) that will give you an idea of what you should be spending.

Let’s do some maths!

You spend £550 per month on PPC (£10 per day + the £250 fee).

You’re a plumber, a boiler installation costs £2,500, your average call out costs £120.

You get 3 extra callouts every 5 days (very modest, I’ve seen high multiples of that and then some).

That’s a potential £2,160 per month from a £550 spend.

So what do you do then?

You spend more!

You up your spend the next month to 50% of the £2,160 per month, let’s call it £1,250 per month for simplicity.

Your callouts increase, you’re getting 6 every 5 days. That’s around £4,320 per month!

This can scale infinitely until you no longer see growth in your spend, one month you may sell a boiler installation, that amplifies your earnings by the £2,500 figure.

To cut a long story short, PPC can (if done properly) pay for both SEO and PPC budgets whilst making a very nice profit for your business. If you have the money to start, start with PPC, take the plunge and I would wager a bet that if you use an agency (obviously doesn’t have to be us, there are a tonne of good agencies out there!) that is actually worth their salt, you’ll never look back!

As usual, any Q’s, feel free to shoot a line across to [email protected] and we’ll help you out!

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