One of the most common questions in the online marketing world is the difference between PPC (pay per click) and SEO (search engine optimization). Everyone always wonders should they be utilizing Google’s paid ads through PPC or working on building lasting organic search rankings using SEO? This is the number one item we hear from our clients and it’s never the same for each. The best service for your website depends on your goals.
It sometimes it confusing when we cannot provide a straight answer to this question, but it really does depend on what your goals are for the website. Are you marketing a product or service through your website? Is there a long sales cycle that involves a lot of communication with your company? Are you well-known in your space or are you a small fish? These are just some of the questions we’ll ask you to figure out what is best for you.
Before we get too involved in that, let’s check out the differences between both services.
PPC (pay per click advertising) is similar to traditional advertising (radio, televisions, print, billboards, etc.) because you are simply “renting ” or paying for advertising space on search engine results pages. You select targeted keywords for the results pages you want your ad to populate on. Sounds easy, right? Not at all. There is much more involved with setting up, managing, and optimizing a profitable PPC campaign.
PPC ads are becoming harder to find on major search engines, which is good for the advertisers. Now, you can find these ads at the top of sear
ch engine results pages. The number of ads will never be more than 4 at the top of the page, but it could be less based on traffic. As you can see in the screenshot of foundation repair companies in Dallas/Fort Worth, the green “ad” square is placed next to the URL to denote it is a paid advertisement. In this particular screenshot, the 4 ads listed are different companies that have paid for their presence on the “foundation repair dew” keyword. Below these ads are the organic (natural) results, which are related to SEO. So let’s dive into that now…
SEO (search engine optimization) is the process of optimizing your website and the content on it to increase your organic rankings for specific keywords related to your business. It’s also about showing the major search engines that you have authority in your space. You do this by having referring domains, backlinks, and having positive interaction on your website. There are a few hundred factors that go into determining your organic rank, so it’s important to hire an agency to handle these efforts.
Again, it depends on your goals. PPC is used to drive leads in a shorter timeframe compared to SEO. However, we always recommend that SEO be part of your long-term marketing strategy because it will eventually drive higher quality leads due to their inbound approach. PPC is used in the beginning when your organic rankings are very low and won’t drive a return for quite some time.
Confused? I hope not. Just in case, let’s look at an example… Let’s say you are a Foundation Repair company in Dallas, Texas. You just launched your website and are looking to drive leads through it. Because you don’t have any authority or present eon search engines, your organic rankings will most likely be nonexistent. Here, we recommend starting SEO immediately and at a pretty high level to start working on your organic rankings. Without starting SEO, your rankings will move at a snails pace. The SEO will take some time because Dallas/Fort Worth is a large market with a lot of competition, so we recommend utilizing PPC as well. PPC will target specific keywords related to “foundation repair” in order to drive traffic to your website and convert that traffic into leads. To recap, for this company we recommend an aggressive SEO campaign with an aggressive PPC campaign. Once the organic rankings start generating inbound leads, the PPC campaign can be throttled back.
Let’s recap everything we learned here… PPC is different than SEO. SEO is a long-term strategy to build organic rankings in order to drive high quality inbound leads through your website. PPC is used to drive leads in the short-term while your SEO builds. However, PPC is a a highly-valuable service that can and should be used even after SEO has built strong rankings.
PPC and SEO are not the only search engine services we offer. We also can use the following to drive leads for your company:
For more information, contact us today.