On September 10, 2013, in SEO, by Rowan
© Rowan Casey

SEO Versus PPC

Guest post by Rajveer Singh Rathore

Most digital marketers hold strong views on the topic of SEO and PPC. There are many that take pride in using only SEO to achieve their purposes.

Then there are some that prefer PPC and feel that it provides better returns in lesser time, and there is the third group that believes in a balanced used of both the techniques, and other traffic building methods like social media marketing.

Let’s take a look at what exactly SEO and PPC are, explore the differences between the two, and try to work out which one is a better technique.

What is SEO exactly, in as few words as possible?

SEO obviously stands for Search Engine Optimization. Everyone knows this. But, it is a little more complicated when we look at what it means to optimize your site.

It is an organic (as opposed to paid, even if black hat techniques are used) way of getting listing and good ranking on major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.

Using a number of different techniques, digital marketers try and boost the ranking of a website or other blog property. There is no payment made to search engines during SEO.

Okay, and what is PPC?

Pay-per-click is straight up advertisement. The ads are placed near the search results. Open a Google search and enter a random term – on the top as well as right, you will see a number of links under ‘Ads’ or ‘Sponsored’ – there’s a PPC campaign behind all these ads.

When someone clicks on these ads, he is directed to the landing page or website of the advertiser. In most cases, there are no charges for displaying the ad – you pay only when someone clicks on the link.

Well, SEO and PPC seems like two totally different things. Why are we even comparing them?

While SEO and PPC employ totally different methods, they serve the same purpose. The reasons why people conduct an SEO campaign is that they want their web pages or blogs to appear at the top of the results when someone enters specific search term in the search engines.

If the link to their website or page appears on the first few pages of search results, many people may click on the link and the website or blog can generate views, leads, or sales.

For every search term that is being searched by a large number of users, there are thousands of businesses in competition for a place on the results.

So, SEO requires a lot of effort, and even after making many efforts, it is possible that pages do not rank well for the targeted keywords. With PPC, you are guaranteed a place on the first page for a specific keyword – and you pay only when some user clicks on your link!

Differences Between SEO and PPC listings

The above quick-fire explanation may lead you to believe that it is always better to run a PPC camping than invest time, money and efforts in SEO. But before reaching a decision, first take a quick look at the differences between SEO and PPC listing on a search pages.

# It may take months or years to get organic traffic from search engines. Especially, if your company is targeting highly competitive keywords, you may simply not be able to beat the competition. But PPC levels the playing field – you can get visibility on the first page straightaway.

# SEO results appear as answers to keyword queries, while ads are clearly separated from the results. Most users are not interested in ads and simply won’t click on ads. So, the amount of traffic you receive through PPC won’t be as high as that of natural search results.

# PPC costs money – you need to shell out dollars for every click. Many users may simply be exploring your result. They may not have any interest in your services, but when they click and reach your website, you pay for it. Traffic from SEO is absolutely free.

# Conversion rates can be high when you are running a PPC campaign as you can optimize the page that the visitor lands on after clicking on your advertisement. A smart PPC campaigner knows what keywords to target to capture the interest of users that are actually looking for the services or products that the company provides.

So, what’s the verdict – SEO or PPC?

There are a handful of companies that rank well on the set of keywords that they target – their competitors have no presence on the first few pages of search results. If you are lucky enough to be ranking at the top, SEO is enough (at least for that set of keywords).

For others, PPC is the only way of benefiting from search engines and searches by potential customers. PPC can provide a powerful boost to your business and help you improve your SEO ranking by increasing traffic and decreasing bounce rates.

It is also pretty handy when you are selling specific products, offering special limited-time discounts or want to run a quick advertisement campaign on a shoe-string budget.

However, PPC can only give a short boost. It is nitro boost on your race car. If your firm is planning to offer the same services and products for a long time, you need a long-term solutions. That is where SEO comes in. The trick is to find the perfect balance between the two kind of online marketing techniques.

About The Author

Rajveer Singh Rathore is a technical fanatical working with SEO First Page. I love to spend some time studying about the most latest digital marketing trends news. SEO First provides SEO, PPC management and social media marketing services that helps companies improve their traffic and business leads.

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