Pay Per Click (PPC) and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) are types of digital marketing techniques with similar goals, but very different methods. Both techniques help to generate an audience on your website and capture leads, but what is the difference?
PPC vs SEO
The first difference between PPC and SEO is the cost to run these campaigns. PPC is a paid marketing campaign that generates traffic through buying ads in a Google search while SEO is a free tool that uses Google’s organic traffic to expand your website’s audience.
In a google search, PPC ads are marked at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs) with an ‘ad’ next to them and SEO (organic results) are displayed below.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
PPC is an online advertising marketing strategy that allows advertisers to run adverts on search engine platforms such as Google. PPC promotes your webpage to the top of the SERPs to increase visits to your website, each time a user clicks on your advert you pay a fee.
Advantages of PPC advertising
There are lots of advantages to both marketing techniques so it’s impossible to consider them all. We have selected 4 advantages for each.
Ads appear at the top of a SERP above all other content. This prominence gives your website pole position in the search results. Your site is more likely to be visited.
You can control all advertisement costs by setting a budget for the maximum spend per day. This can be changed at any time and you can also stop the campaigns if you need to.
You have full control over the content that appears in your adverts and can add extra information (extensions) for people to read.
Optimising the targeting
You can change the targeting of your advert to suit your audience by changing the gender, devices, time of day, language, geography and more!
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO is the process of optimising the pages on your website to rank in Google for certain search terms. SEO is free to use and is a very popular online marketing technique.
Advantages of SEO
SEO is free to implement on your website meaning you can apply it across all products/areas of your site without having to spend a penny!
Improves Credibility & Trust
Ranking your pages on the first page in Google can help to boost credibility and trust with potential clients.
Reaching all your Target Audiences
SEO is good at helping to reach all your target audiences. Most people search in Google every day, this means you have a lot of opportunities to get your pages ranked and reach all your target audiences. By using plugins like YoastSEO premium you can add more than one keyphrase, helping to broaden the SERPs that your page shows up on! Use different wording in these key phrases to develop an SEO optimised page that all your audiences could find through searches!
SEO targets quality traffic
SEO is specific to the keyword that you have picked for certain pages on your site. This enables you to tailor your pages for certain keyword strings so the traffic you are receiving is qualitative.
What does PPC and SEO share?
While PPC and SEO have differences, they do share some similarities.
Keyword Research is a process where we research search terms that people are likely to enter into search engines in order to find a product or service. We complete keyword research so we can optimise the pages on a website to rank for the most relevant searches.
Both PPC and SEO focus heavily on keyword research so we can ensure that the advert or organic page ranking is displaying for the correct SERPs.
Can you combine the two techniques together?
If you want a short answer, yes you can. Due to PPC and SEO sharing the love for keyword research we are able to apply both techniques to one page of content, resulting in that page showing up as an advert and ranking on the same SERP. This will increase the visibility of the page, resulting in a higher volume of traffic to your page!
Should I invest in SEO or PPC?
SEO on its own is a slower burning machine that will get you a great result over time. Sometimes it can take up to 6 months for SEO refinements to make a difference on SERPs pages so be patient!
PPC will give you more immediate results. If you have a campaign that is time-sensitive, it is a better option however having a good page structure is important, make sure you have some call-to-actions highlighted across the page!
While we can optimise a page for SEO and for PPC separately, the best and most effective way to gain more visits and conversions is to merge the two together.