SEO vs. PPC – What’s the Difference?
We are often asked which is better; Pay-Per-Click (PPC) or Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)? The thing is, it simply depends on your business and what you are looking to achieve. It also depends on what your competition is doing, as well as current industry trends.
PPC vs. SEO
The major difference between PPC and SEO is that PPC costs money and SEO is essentially “free.” When you search for something on Google or Bing, you’ll be brought to a Search Engine Results Page, or SERP, which shows you related links to the terms, or search query, you typed into Google. When viewing a SERP, you’ll notice that usually, the first four links feature a green “Ad” box below them. This green box signals that the first four results are sponsored ads, or PPC ads, which have been paid to appear at the top by businesses.
Unfortunately, SEO doesn’t work that way. Whereas PPC shows immediate results, a successful SEO marketing campaign can take up to three or six months to show measurable results. The goal of SEO is to pull traffic to your website organically, meaning you can’t pay to choose where your website lands on a SERP. You can only increase your website’s position and rankings on a SERP by writing high-quality content that’s been optimised for keywords that are relevant to your business, industry and audience. SEO marketers aim to help their clients occupy the number one spot on a SERP, which is the first link you see below the PPC ads.
What Are the Benefits of SEO?
There are plenty of benefits to launching an SEO marketing campaign. Using strategic, relevant keywords, your business can gain visibility amongst potential customers searching for the product or services your business offers. Having strong visibility on search engines, such as Google or Bing, helps your business become an authoritative voice on business-related topics, thus being placed higher on SERPs. The higher up on a SERP your website is, the more likely potential customers will trust your website. Plus, once your website is seen as trustworthy, you’ll have a better chance of increasing your company’s brand awareness. SEO even allows you to educate your customers for free!
How Effective is PPC?
Arguably the biggest benefit of PPC is that you can pay to have your ad be seen. Search engine users will always see your ad, even if they are just scrolling down the page. PPC campaigns also give you more space to bulk out your marketing message. You can include locations, site links, bullet points, call outs and more just to entice potential customers.
Another benefit of PPC is that it utilises visual product ads. Google gives you the option of using visual shopping ads, which allows the user to see your product, price and quality with ease. By running PPC ads you can ensure that your advert is seen by the right people. You can set your budget for your PPC campaign and choose a set limit for each day.
Lastly, PPC is a great, laser-targeted way to get in front of the right customers. Your business can appear before customers at whatever time or date you choose. While creating an SEO campaign can be time-consuming, a PPC campaign can be created in a few days and ramped up within a few weeks. Plus, PPC comes with loads of valuable marketing intelligence to help you see exactly which keywords convert and what the cost is to you per sale.
Which One Is Better: SEO or PPC?
The truth of the matter is that SEO and PPC campaigns work best when running in conjunction with each other, but there’s no one size fits all approach, it’ll depend on your business, industry and area.