PPC vs. SEO: How Each Works

When it comes to the digital marketing strategy for your business, you may come face to face with one question: SEO or PPC? In truth, the answer really depends on what your plans and goals are as well as the current state of the market.  Of course, SEO is often viewed as the better of […]

When it comes to the digital marketing strategy for your business, you may come face to face with one question: SEO or PPC? In truth, the answer really depends on what your plans and goals are as well as the current state of the market. 

Of course, SEO is often viewed as the better of the two strategies as it delivers more volume organically than PPC. Still, PPC is incredibly useful for newer business hitting the market as it gives faster options in search marketing. 

Understanding how your target consumers use the web is key to succeeding in search marketing, whether you’re using paid or organic search. On this blog, we list a couple of key differences between SEO and PPC and how each can work for your business.

SEO and PPC

SEO and PPC (Pay-per-click) may seem similar, but there are several major differences between the two. SEO, for example, is mostly free as it relies on traffic from organic search results. With PPC, every click has a cost, and paid ads are usually displayed above organic search listings at the bottom. You can identify these ads with the “Ad” banner in front of it. 

Both strategies can increase the quality and quantity of the traffic your website receives. To do this, however, you must implement effective SEO and PPC practices to achieve the best results.

SEO

Using SEO can help improve your organic traffic results. Better organic search traffic means that you won’t need to spend as much as paid search traffic. Here are other ways SEO can help you:

  • It builds awareness. By placing targeted keywords into your content and other material, you fuel your brand’s awareness. The way it works is that it pushes your business to the front in search engines, allowing readers and target customers to find out what you offer. This, in turn, helps searchers associate your brand with a certain search term or query so they will always rely on you. 
  • It improves trust. Many users tend to ignore paid ads and search for information in organic listings. Being visible with positive reviews and feedback from current customers further builds your credibility with potential customers, benefiting your overall brand.
  • It’s free…almost. Organic search is mostly free, but getting that brand visibility isn’t. To create brand awareness, you will need to develop brand visibility (which requires time and money), but unlike PPC, impressions and clicks are free of charge.
  • It gives you an advantage. Visibility in organic search listings can take a while to settle in. The good thing is your hard work and efforts will never dry up. Once you establish your business in organic searches, you will have the upperhand against businesses that rely on paid search marketing.

PPC

PPC (Pay-per-click) differs from organic search, but can offer you an equal amount of benefits. With its improved ads and positioning in search engines, let’s take a look at how paid search can help you:

  • It offers top positioning on a page. Even if a user scrolls down a search listing, they will always see your paid ad. Paid ads typically appear above all other search results with an “Ad” marker in the text. The amount of ads displayed on mobile and desktop differ—4 ads are usually shown on desktop while 3 ads are on mobile.
  • It displays improved ads. With PPC ads, you have full control over what message you want to give off to your target consumers. Ad creation can include calls, locations, sitelinks, pricing and other options that help increase your ads relevance on a page.
  • It can include visual ads. It’s no secret that consumers tend to be very visual when it comes to shopping. It’s for this reason that visual shopping ads are becoming prevalent with selling products online. Google gives you this option when you create your paid ads, giving you an advantage as it offers a feature that organic search results don’t.
  • It gives you control over budget. Although PPC involves paid ads, you can manage your costs through a controlled budget so it’s low-cost and effective in creating leads.
  • It targets potential consumers’ search habits. PPC uses a laser-tag method to place ads in front of your ideal customers. With your paid ads, you can target your audience through certain keywords, geography, language, and devices based on their visits. This differs from organic search, which is less organized. 

The choice between SEO and PPC really depends on every business’ individual situation. Ideally, you should use a combination of SEO and PPC to help you achieve the best business results. Together, PPC and SEO can increase traffic from clicks on paid ads and relevant keywords from organic search. It can also boost your brand awareness through paid and organic visibility.

Wondering what about effective engagement strategies you can use? Check out our blog, 5 Effective Engagement Strategies for 2019 for our tips in increasing engagement!