Knowing the Difference Between PPC and SEO

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What is the difference between PPC and SEO?

Maybe you’ve heard that PPC is dead and businesses should only use SEO. Or you’ve heard that SEO takes too long and PPC works wonders. Many online marketers have surprisingly strong views on PPC vs. SEO. But before you choose a stance, it’s important to have a clear understanding of how each form of marketing works. We’ll start with PPC.


What is Pay Per Click?

PPC stands for pay-per-click. Sometimes you might also hear it called cost per click. The idea is simple: PPC is a form of internet advertising that allows you to pay for the number of clicks your ad receives. If 10,000 people see your ad but only 100 people click on it, you only pay for 100 clicks. You might see how PPC sounds appealing.


What is Search Engine Optimization?

By contrast, SEO isn’t even a form of advertising. Standing for “search engine optimization,” SEO is a series of actions you can take to increase your online visibility with organic traffic. A website using SEO best practices will naturally rank well in search engine results pages or SERPs. With high page ranking, more visitors will find your website when they search for related keywords. Throughout this process, you don’t have to pay a cent.


Why Should Your Business Use PPC?

  • Instant Visibility
  • Quick Results
  • Perfect for Time-Bound Offers
  • Pairs Well with Websites or Landing Pages that Convert

There are a few significant benefits to using PPC advertising. When you begin a PPC campaign, your ad goes live immediately. Businesses looking for greater visibility will find it quickly, as your ad will be displayed at the top of search engine results, before even organically ranking websites.

Since PPC ads are displayed so prominently, receiving views and clicks happens fast, making pay-per-click marketing perfect for time-bound offers. A seasonal sale or limited-time promotion both work well for PPC.

Finally, before using PPC, you need a website or landing page that converts. Pay-per-click will only get visitors to your digital doorstep; generating interest, obtaining a lead, or converting a new customer is your website’s job. Be sure to test your landing pages to ensure high conversion rates before a PPC campaign.


Why Should Your Company Use SEO?

  • Long-lasting Results
  • Cost-effective
  • Brand Authority
  • Keep Up with Competitors

Search engine optimization is a complex topic, but the benefits of strong SEO are clear. Over time, SEO will continually drive visitors to your site. The process is like building a foundation so in the long run, you’ll keep showing up in organic search results. And SEO only requires you to spend time, not money.

Driving traffic to your site isn’t the only benefit of SEO. A high rank gives your business greater brand authority, as visitors see your website first. Today, every business strives to improve their SEO, so not doing so only leaves a void that your competitors will fill.


So Which is Better: PPC or SEO?

The answer is, it depends. Both forms of digital marketing can give your business a boost when used at the right times. Whether or not you choose to use PPC depends on your current marketing goals and budget. PPC campaigns should have a clear goal in mind, otherwise, the cost becomes too high.

SEO requires little to no cost but takes time to establish. A business should always be working on SEO. Simple tasks like keeping your website updated, running smoothly across multiple platforms, and optimizing any new pages for specific keywords all contribute to good SEO. But you may not always be able to do more time-consuming SEO activities like maintaining a blog or link-building.

In the end, neither PPC or SEO is better than the other. But they are better suited to different goals. Choose SEO to build a foundation for your business website. And try PPC when you need an immediate boost in traffic. For more digital marketing tips, reach out to one of our Creative experts today!

Ben LeDonniMay 01, 2018by Ben LeDonni