Last Updated on August 11, 2020 by David Bryan
What is PPC & How Is It Different from SEO?
Both forms of digital marketing but very different in their approach, PPC and SEO can be very effective at increasing your online visibility, improving traffic flow to your site and converting visitors. But what is the difference between them and which is the most powerful method, long term, for your SEO strategy?
PPC vs SEO: What’s the Difference?
PPC, or Pay-Per-Click, is a method of digital marketing in which an advertiser pays for direct traffic to their website using a promoted ad that has a link to their site. Although the term can be used for any kinds of internet marketing where publishers are paid to promote a site using a link in this way, it is most commonly seen through Google when search results contain sponsored links at the head of the page.
Sponsored results or ‘Ads’ are a result of PPC advertising and appear as a result of a marketing promotion and not because of SEO.
By contrast, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a process employed by websites to enhance their online visibility using organic methods and not via paid promotions.
SEO: The Approach
Search engines like Google are founded on the premise that their search results should first and foremostly be driven by quality and relevance. They employ complex algorithms that’s are designed to return the results that are authoritative, offer the best user-experience and are considered useful by other users.
Companies like Google determine this using a myriad of different factors including the actual content on your site plus the number of other websites that link directly to your own (and how well-regarded they are – Domain Authority).
The most common methods of employing SEO include:
- Publishing quality content on a regular basis
- Building links to your site
- Promoting a website through social media
- Making a website mobile-friendly
- Optimising the use of keywords to capture local traffic
- Improving the user-experience
- Optimising on-page and technical content
Achieved over time, SEO delivers a robust and highly visible platform from which to promote your business, products and services. SEO can build brand awareness in a variety of ways with high levels of trust and credibility built in. Compared to PPC which a good deal of users will skip over in favour of organic results, SEO can help build a strong reputation.
The cost of SEO compared to PPC is, technically, free. However, developing an effective SEO strategy to build your online profile does not come without a lot of investment. For most business this is in time and effort which equates to money. Yet, with the right strategy in place, the ROI of SEO can be very profitable.
PPC: The Approach
In order to maximise the benefits of PPC it is essential to undertake detailed and extensive research into the right keywords for your business. This is particularly important for PPC as it will help inform your budget when it comes to selecting competitive yet highly searched keywords.
However, simply choosing the right keywords and setting a good budget is not enough. As with any form of publishing, writing effective copy for your digital ads is essential.
The process may require some experimentation both with the choice of keywords and ad copy. This means that detailed analytics for your PPC campaigns is an important part of their success. Being able to manage their performance and adapt them, mid-campaign, can make your budget go further, last longer and be more productive.
Combined with dedicated landing pages for your ads, PPC can help boost conversions on your site and deliver increased sales or achieve other business goals.
Unlike some areas of SEO where you may have no control over how certain URLs are performing in search results, PPC ads are wholly under your influence. A good campaign is run with constant monitoring so that tweaks can be made to optimise their performance and improve the quality of the traffic being driven to your site.
PPC vs SEO: Which is Most Effective?
SO, at a very basic level, PPC is an ‘unnatural’ way to gain visibility through search engine results by paying to be promoted whereas SEO harnesses ‘natural’ methods to earn better a better position in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
But which is better and which offers the best results?
Whilst there are benefits to both approaches to marketing, it is generally accepted that SEO is a must for any online business whereas PPC is considered a strategic advantage, if you have a budget and strategy to make it work.
Delivered well, SEO is proven to have a long-term and lasting impact for your online visibility whilst PPC can give you a boost, when you need it most, to drive targeted traffic to your site.
In reality, the two work exceptionally well together to deliver powerful results in SERPs, boost traffic to your website and to convert visitors when they land on your pages.
Opace and PPC
A specialist digital marketing agency based in the West Midlands, Opace delivers exceptional PPC campaign results. From extensive keyword research and planning to writing targeted adverts and managing campaigns, we work with clients to produce stunning display adverts and richly crafted copy to entice users to your site.
From Facebook Ads, Google Ads and Bing to other advertising networks, Opace provides a flexible, transparent but comprehensive service. Find out if we are a good fit for your PPC ambitions by contact one of our team today.