SEO and PPC: what’s the difference?

SEO and PPC have become the two go-to options for internet marketing campaigns. But what is the difference between them?

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the organic side of traffic generation, whilst PPC (Pay Per Click) requires you to pay for each individual that clicks on to your website. Both are essentially different sides of the same SEM (Search Engine Marketing) coin, which is used as currency in the world of internet marketing.

With every business now having to own a website or be left behind, it is important that more is done to direct traffic towards those websites. After all, you may have a great website, but if nobody is visiting it, you can’t possibly start to sell products or services at the rate you would like to. This is where internet marketing steps in.

There are benefits and drawbacks to each approach. Here, we take a look at the major differences between the two:

  1. Search Engine Positioning

PPC will always have the slightest advantage over SEO when it comes to potential positions in the SERPs. Paid Adwords on Google will always appear at the very top of the search page. After all, this position is essentially Google’s prime real estate; the position that everybody wants and the one it can charge the big bucks for. But you will have to pay a premium for it.

The drawback to this is that only a few businesses with the serious advertising war chests can afford it. Where your ad appears also depends on the keywords you are targeting, keywords in your ad copy and landing pages etc, which can place it above, but can also place it below organic results. 

SEO will be responsible for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th positions and so on down the search results pages. Where your site appears in between the Adwords all depends on how your site is optimised both in terms of on-site and off-site SEO.

  • Cost

The difference between SEO and PPC is constantly stated as, SEO is free and PPC isn’t. With every keyword imaginable throwing up so much competition online these days, SEO is going to cost you in terms of paying an in-house team who know their way around SEO or hiring an outside digital marketing agency to do it for you. You will pay less for SEO, however, compared to the amount you will have to pay for PPC.

For your site to reach the top five spots on search engines like Google, you will need a solid SEO strategy in place. And the better the strategy, the more it is likely to cost you, especially when you add in things like social media.

If you are targeting a keyword with PPC then the cost per click can differ dramatically depending on the popularity of that keyword, the number of advertisers also targeting that keyword, the number of related web sites that have ad positions for the same keyword and many other factors. If your keyword is competing against large corporations then PPC could end up costing you a large chunk of your budget. A positive is that you are only charged for clicks that your add receives, not for the views. Unfortunately, a click doesn’t necessarily equate to a sale, which is a risk you need to factor in.  

For more information on SEO services, contact the team at SEO Enterprise today.

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