Search engine optimization (SEO) and Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) are both successful marketing strategies that drive traffic to websites.
When you apply those strategies in thoughtful, deliberate ways, you see positive results. SEO and PPC can both help you reach your goals, whether they're to drive eyeballs, sales, signups, or something else entirely.
But when does it make more business sense to invest in SEO vs. PPC and vice versa? If you've got questions about either strategy, we're here to answer them.
This blog post's goal is to help you make better business decisions by understanding when to use SEO or PPC. More specifically, we're discussing:
The most obvious difference between SEO and PPC is that the former is an organic search strategy, and the latter consists of paid campaigns meant to acquire traffic from various sources, like search, social media, and display.
But let's first think about them as the tortoise and the hare. We've all heard the fable, have we not?
Moral lessons aside, the tortoise depicts the path of one who plods along slowly but thoughtfully to the finish line, and the hare depicts one who is quick-moving and hurries along toward the finish.
Like the tortoise, your SEO strategy won't get you to the finish line overnight. If you're in a hurry to achieve your goal or are in some way time-bound, the hare, or PPC, is your best bet.
Unlike in the fable, both SEO and PPC are winning strategies. So, let's explore how to make them successful for you.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It refers to the process of refining your site and content to increase the potential of them displaying higher up in organic search results.
You don't need money to implement a good SEO strategy, but you do need time.
If you're a start-up or small business and don't have a big marketing budget, you can still make your online presence known with a solid SEO strategy in place.
SEO's impact isn't quickly felt. Instead, SEO is a deliberate process that, over time, pays off in qualified traffic to your site. What do we mean by that? Well, think of it this way...
When someone types "SEO vs. PPC: What's the Difference?" into an online search, it's because they're invested in learning more about the topic. So, when that person finds a relevant, high-ranking piece of content in the SERPs, they click on it, which takes them to the site where the content is hosted. They engage with the content: If it's good and answers their question, it draws them further into the marketing funnel by driving pageviews, sign-ups, sales, and other conversions.
High-ranking content is good content - relevant, helpful, and authoritative. It answers the searcher's question(s) and anticipates their next moves, providing guidance the whole way through. Good content doesn't shy away from including relevant CTAs (call-to-actions) so long as they're helpful to the audience.
PPC stands for Pay-per-click. It describes a type of digital advertising that's meant to get traffic to your site quickly.
Unlike SEO, it's a paid marketing strategy that entails placing ads across strategic online locales, notably at the top and bottom of the SERPs, on social media, and display. Every time a user clicks on your ad, you pay a certain amount. The amount paid is known as the CPC (cost-per-click.) CPCs can vary widely, with many ranging from USD $1-$2, others costing pennies, and some even averaging north of $50.
So long as we're discussing acronyms, CPM is another one to remember for your PPC campaigns. CPM stands for "cost per mil" and refers to the cost per 1,000 impressions of your ad. When you pay for CPM, you're paying for your ad to be shown, no matter if it's clicked.
You can't run PPC campaigns without marketing dollars to fund them. However, if you have the budget to dedicate to this type of marketing, it can yield substantial results.
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Both PPC and SEO can get you discovered online and drive traffic to your site. But which is right for you?
SEO is budget-friendly and gains momentum over time. PPC requires a dedicated budget and can drive immediate results. Both drive brand recognition and build trust with your audience.
Our experts can help plan, design, and implement the perfect SEO and PPC strategies for your business needs — which include content creation, updates, and more. Click here to learn more about our marketing services.