SEO and PPC: What is the difference?

June 7, 2021

With most terms being abbreviated such as PPC and SEO, it can be confusing – what do these terms mean and how are they different? They are both forms of SEM, or Search Engine Marketing. When it comes to achieving business success online, there may be no two greater allies.

‍What do we mean by SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation which is where you would look to include content and copy within your website that has the potential to improve the visibility of your site to search engines such as Google and their users – in short, if you want your website to appear on the first page of search results in Google, SEO is going to help you get there. Underneath those Google search results that have “Ad” written beside them are organic search results. These appear because Google deems these sites the most relevant options for your search, not because someone has paid which is the case when you see “Ad”. Small business owners can harness SEO practices to ensure Google will rate their website higher, and for relevant searches. Keywords will play a big part, but there is quite a bit more to it than that – Google is always getting smarter in terms of what it is looking for and increasingly particular as time goes on. Make sure the writing on your website is clear, helpful, and descriptive. Explain your topic in simple, easy-to-read language, and try to include words you think a user might search for when looking online for what you offer. Google likes it when websites are regularly updated with relevant content, and if you can get other trusted sites to link back to yours, this will work in your favour in terms of ranking.

What is PPC?

PPC stands for Pay Per Click which is a form of online advertising where businesses bid to locate their ads in prime advertising positions. Just as the name implies, you only pay for your advertising when a search engine user clicks on your advert. Website owners can edit ads anytime and can choose to target a specific demographic or promote a certain product or deal. For Businesses that are not able to regularly update their SEO to reflect seasonal changes, PPC can be a great resource used on a campaign basis. Google Ads also provide you with the opportunity to promote your business outside of Google Search results, you can choose to show your ads across Google Display Network Which consists of thousands of sites across the web, providing you with the potential to reach thousands more customers as a result.

Which option is best?

Ultimately, it’s up to you which option is best for your business, but it’s worth considering that both SEO and PPC ads can help in different ways. PPC is great due to its flexibility, but when you stop paying, traffic stops dead. However, in the case of SEO, fantastic implementation on your website will mean that the traffic keeps flowing 24/7, whether you pay for it or not.

Generally, a harmonious application of both forms of digital marketing can work wonders for your end result. A PPC campaign can be beneficial if you have a high converting product to showcase and can help you to understand which keywords are generating the best leads to your site, you can then look to incorporate these keywords throughout your copy which will in turn help your SEO.