What’s the Difference Between PPC and SEO?

Which is better for your business-PPC or SEO? The answer is...it depends!

In this blog post, we’ll break down the differences between PPC and SEO so you can make the best decision for your company. We’ll start by discussing what each of these search engine marketing methods entails, then move on to the benefits and drawbacks of each. By the end of this post, you’ll have plenty of tips and a good understanding of which marketing tactic is right for you.

So let’s get started!

An Introduction to PPC and SEO

PPC, or Pay-Per-Click, is an online advertising or search engine marketing strategy in which businesses and advertisers pay search engines for every click their ads receive. It’s a great way to make your business instantly visible on the first page of Google and increase relevant website visitors if you have the budget. 

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of optimising your website for search engines so that it appears higher in the search engine results pages (or ‘SERPs’). 

This can include website performance improvements, content development, and promoting your website on other pages around the internet. It’s a great way to get organic, long-term visibility on Google without spending money on ads.

Both are great ways of acquiring relevant search engine traffic and driving potential customers to landing pages on your website.

Advantages of PPC

The main advantage of PPC is that you can get instant visibility and traffic to your website. This means you don’t have to wait for SEO to get your website ranking, and you don’t have to pay search engines for every click. Additionally, you can set a budget so that you only spend as much money as you’re comfortable with.

Disadvantages of PPC

The main disadvantage of PPC is that it can be expensive if you have a small budget to work with. Additionally, PPC can sometimes be difficult to track and measure its effectiveness if you’re a newcomer to this method of advertising, meaning a lot of your monthly advertising budget could fall between the cracks without an experienced eye regularly looking over the campaign.

It’s also important to note that your ads will only show for the duration of your budget once it runs out; you’ll only appear in search results once you renew your campaign.

Advantages of SEO

The main advantage of SEO is that it gives you long-term visibility without having to pay for each click. Additionally, SEO can help build brand awareness and loyalty by increasing trust in your website and business. It also allows you to target a more specific audience than with PPC by creating dedicated content pieces on your website to target related ‘informational’ searches that prospective customers may make while they’re still in the consideration stage of their purchase.

Disadvantages of SEO

The main disadvantage of SEO is that it can take a long time to see the results you want. Additionally, if you need more experience, choosing the right keywords and content pieces that will help your website rank higher in search engines can be challenging. 

It’s also important to keep in mind that SEO is vulnerable to algorithm changes, meaning Google frequently changes their preferences and priorities on what makes a ‘rank-worthy’ website. It’s common for business owners to notice a substantial drop in search visibility following a significant algorithm update. 

Cost Comparison of PPC and SEO

PPC can be expensive, but the cost is mainly dependent on your budget. You’ll want to track your spending and ‘cost per acquisition to ensure you’re getting the most out of your investment. On the other hand, SEO is generally cheaper than PPC since it doesn’t require payment for each click. However, it can still require a considerable time investment (if you have an in-house team of digital marketers working on SEO strategies), depending on the complexity of your website and your market competition. Alternatively, outsourcing SEO to an experienced freelancer or SEO agency can vary in cost depending on their level of expertise and time requirements. 

How to Choose Between PPC and SEO

The best choice between PPC and SEO is mainly dependent on your budget and marketing goals. If you have the budget, PPC may be the better choice for immediate visibility. However, SEO is the better choice if you’re looking for long-term visibility and brand loyalty.

Best Practices for PPC

When it comes to PPC, the key is to keep track of your cost per acquisition (CPA), so that you can ensure you’re getting a positive return on investment (ROI). Additionally, you’ll want to ensure your ads are appropriately targeted and relevant; otherwise, you might spend more money than necessary. You can disqualify specific keywords and search terms from the list of keywords you’d like to appear for by adding them to a ‘negative keywords’ list within your chosen ads management interface (such as Google Adwords).

Best Practices for SEO

When it comes to SEO, the key to a successful SEO strategy is to create quality content focused on providing readers value. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure your website is optimised for search engine ranking by using the appropriate keywords and phrases in your title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, and throughout the body of your content. You can also use backlinks to help improve your website’s authority and ranking position; this means gaining links to your domain from reputable ‘authority’ websites in your industry that may have similar content.

How to Measure PPC Success

Measuring the success of your PPC campaign can be an essential way to maximise return on investment (ROI) and optimise performance. You should monitor a few key metrics to assess your ad campaigns’ effectiveness accurately. 

First, you’ll want to track conversions—the number of people who take the desired action after clicking your ad. This could be anything from signing up for an email list to purchasing a product or service. Tracking conversions will give you insight into what type of ads perform best, which keywords are most effective, and where improvements can be made. 

You should also measure cost per click (CPC) and return on ad spend (ROAS). CPC is the amount of money you spend each time someone clicks on one of your ads. ROAS tells you how much money you make from each dollar or pound spent on the ad. 

Monitoring these metrics allows you to calculate your return on investment and understand how effectively your campaign generates sales or leads. It can also help identify friction further down your sales funnel, such as underperforming conversions from an in-house sales team. Adding call tracking and recording to your PPC landing pages can be a great way to identify additional issues such as these.

How to Measure SEO Success

Measuring SEO success is essential to optimising your website and understanding the impact of any changes. The most effective way to measure SEO success is by tracking your keyword ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). This will give you insight into how well your website performs against competitors and whether your SEO techniques produce the right results.

To benchmark your position in SERPs, use an incognito window to search for relevant keywords manually, note the ranking position and compare your website’s performance over time. You can also use ranking tracker services such as AWR or SEMRush to track your keyword rankings more efficiently and have regular email updates sent to you on a regular basis.

You should also monitor the number of organic visitors to your website and how often it appears in search results. You can track this by linking Google Analytics and Google Search Console with your website and using each dashboard to analyse key performance indicators. 

Examples of Successful PPC and SEO Campaigns

There are many examples of successful PPC and SEO campaigns. For example, Airbnb ran a PPC campaign to drive bookings during the summer; they used targeted keywords and ad copy that resonated with their audience to generate more clicks and conversions. Similarly, Amazon has had success with SEO due to their extensive catalogue of products and well-optimized content. They rank highly in search engines due to having a large amount of content and articles focused on specific keywords and phrases. Both Airbnb and Amazon are great examples of how investing in PPC, or SEO, can have a positive return on your investment. 

Overall, both PPC ads and SEO can be beneficial for businesses looking to increase visibility and drive more qualified leads and purchases through their website.  It’s essential to consider your budget and goals when deciding which route to take. At the same time, PPC can offer immediate visibility, but it may not be the most cost-efficient choice over a more extended period. On the other hand, SEO may require more time investment but could result in better long-term success. Regardless of the path you choose, it’s essential to stick with best practices and track your results to ensure you are achieving the desired return on investment.

Key Takeaways: 

  • PPC can offer immediate visibility, but it may be more expensive than SEO in the long run.
  • SEO requires a considerable time investment, although outsourcing SEO to an experienced freelancer or agency can save time.
  • Consider your budget and goals when deciding between PPC and SEO.
  • Consider the timeframe in which you need visibility, leads and sales.
  • Implement best practices for each method to ensure the best results.
  • Track your results to assess ROI via Google Analytics and Adwords Manager where relevant.
  • Look at successful examples of companies using PPC and SEO to get ideas on how you can apply the same tactics in your campaigns.

A Shameless Plug from an Experienced Agency!

If you’re looking for an experienced PPC Management or SEO Agency to help guide your digital marketing efforts, look no further than our team at Aquire! We are a Google-partnered agency with over a decade of experience in each field. 

Our team is passionate about helping businesses grow and reach their goals through efficient and effective PPC and SEO services. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

Share with others

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Recent case studies