SEO vs PPC: What’s the Difference?

Dec 1, 2021

SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay per click) aren’t mutually exclusive. They are separate tactics, but they complement each other. Most companies invest in both. So, what’s the difference between SEO vs. PPC?

Let’s find out.

The Basics of SEO and PPC

SEO is the process of optimizing your website to rank in organic results on search engines. The place where you rank includes many factors. Google uses algorithms to calculate these based on quality, relevancy, and optimization.

PPC is a paid method of advertising on search engines. You bid on keywords, and depending on the quality of your ad and the amount you’re spending, users see it.

Pros and Cons of SEO

SEO drives organic traffic, which is a good thing. People are more likely to trust organic results. It’s also a steady influx of traffic because content continues to do this, whereas ads only perform when they’re running.

One thing to keep in mind is that SEO is a long-term strategy. You won’t see results in a few days or even a few months. You have to continue to publish content, distribute it, and update web pages. It can also be very competitive, depending on your industry.

Pros and Cons of PPC

PPC can deliver results much faster, so it can be a way to jumpstart your business. After all, searchers are looking for a product or service like yours, so you have an engaged audience. You can also target specifically based on demographics and geography.

PPC is also a good testing ground to see how your messaging and targeting are working. You can spend a little, gather results, and then adjust.

The cons of PPC are also cost. If the keywords you’re bidding on have a high CPC (cost per click) because many people are bidding on them, it can get expensive fast. In this situation, the best way to keep the budget down is to target less competitive keywords that are still relevant. Also, you’ll want to make sure your ads have high-quality scores because that can impact placement.

Another consideration is that the ads only drive traffic to your website when on. So, you’ll see surges in traffic then dips.

SEO vs. PPC: Why You Need Both

In most cases, you should invest in SEO and PPC. However, there are times when focusing on one over the other makes sense.

For example, PPC is great for new product launches or limited-time offers. You need to get results fast, so running some strategic PPC ads could be beneficial.

SEO is essential when building credibility for your brand. That requires regular publishing of content on a topic. As you continue to optimize, you’ll begin to rank organically. That can be very valuable long term and for savvy buyers that aren’t ad clickers.

The best approach is to be strategic with each. Continue to work on optimizing your website for SEO and creating content that targets keywords. For PPC, launch campaigns when they make sense for your business. Monitor progress and continue to improve them.

SEO vs. PPC: We Can Manage Both

SEO and PPC are critical to your digital marketing, but you may not have the time or expertise to manage them. We can help. Our experts can ensure you get great results based on your budget and goals. Contact us today to learn more.

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