Business Technology

What’s the difference between Pay Per Click (PPC) and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?

Can’t decide whether to choose Pay Per Click (PPC) or Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for your business?  These are the methods that are applied when you are trying to boost traffic to your website. If you understand the difference between social media marketing and social media advertising, you will be able to understand the difference between PPC and SEO too. Read further for more information.

The model

To be precise, SEO refers to performing better in the organic search results. You get an organic ranking for optimising your website. The ranking depends on how well your website is optimised for the search engines. On-page and off-page optimisation are used to make the website perform well. SEO helps you create brand awareness by giving your business visibility in the search engines for some targeted keywords. As your brand becomes associated with the searches related to questions about your product, you become an authoritative voice on a given subject.  It is all about achieving a high ranking through natural links. To get your website displayed on the first page of the search engine results, you need to follow the best SEO practices first.

PPC, on the other hand, involves using a set of keywords to target and create adverts as a part of the online advertising campaign. In short, you invite traffic to your website with PPC by using advertising programs like Google AdWords. They let you display ads in the sponsored section of the results page of the search engine. You pay the fee on the basis of how competitive your keywords are.  You are supposed to pay whenever a viewer clicks through the ad and lands on your website.

Costs involved

SEO is more budget- friendly than PPC. Firstly, you don’t have to pay for any cost per clicks as organic traffic is always free. That does not mean SEO is totally free. You have to spend money on employing the right marketing tactics and creating brand awareness but it is more cost-effective. With PPC, you could be spending $5 to $10 a day or even more depending on how much you can afford.  You are not charged for showing the advert, you are only charged when someone clicks through your site. You will have to pay for the advertising on an ongoing basis as long as you want results.

Results of SEO and PPC

If you are looking for fasters results in terms of traffic, PPC is more responsive. However, if you stop any of your campaigns, you will stop seeing results too. SEO can bring you bigger and better results than PPC but it happens over time.  However, once the traffic starts coming, it does not stop. PPC can guarantee you a position in the search engines since you are paying for your ad to be displayed on the first page of the search engine. PPC is recommended if you are targeting highly competitive keywords for your website and it could take years to rank them well. But for that, you must have a large advertising budget.

Which one is recommended?

PPC is effective if you are selling products. It is recommended to use when you are launching your company and you want to build a brand image. It is an effective way of getting the exposure you want.

SEO is more reliable because you organically make your way to the top position on the search engine and then you enjoy a steady flow of traffic on your website without having to pay for it. As long as you are at the top position, this traffic is going to be continuous. It sure takes time to reach the top position but the results last longer.  If you were to bring the same amount of traffic that you brought to your website via SEO, this can cost you a lot of money. A PPC campaign can be successful and you can get millions of clicks but you will also have to pay for those clicks.

SEO and PPC come at their own unique prices. None of them is easy.  If you want to reap the most returns out of your online marketing strategy, it is recommended to use PPC and SEO together. With a PPC campaign, you will get to test the keywords that convert better and then you can use the best SEO practices for ranking those keywords.  Or you can use PPC when you have high converting products and employ SEO when your advertising budget is limited. For that, you must have a well-thought online marketing strategy in place.

January 2019
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