What is the difference between SEO and PPC?

SEO and PPC are acronyms that feature frequently when it comes to online traffic and how effective marketing campaigns or website content are. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, which is essentially a range of techniques for influencing the standing of the website in unpaid rankings. PPC - Pay Per Click – is a method of using advertising to drive traffic to websites. So, what are the key differences between the two?

Organic vs. paid

The key difference between SEO and PPC is that SEO is organic and PPC is paid. So, traffic that arrives at your website via SEO hasn’t cost your business anything and has got there as a result of the way that the site has been optimised. PPC traffic has reached your site through PPC Ads. Any internet search will illustrate how these two appear as search results.

The PPC results normally appear at the top of the page with ‘Ad’ to the left and underneath that you’ll find the SEO results. Within these categories the position of both can be influenced, PPC by the choice of keywords, ad copy, landing page etc and SEO by the optimisation of the website.

The potential to generate traffic

There no single answer as to whether SEO or PPC will generate more traffic. This depends on a number of factors, such as how big your Ad budget is and how well your website has been optimised. If you’re ranking in one of the top SEO spots then you’ll enjoy a long and continuous flow of traffic from the SEO ranking to your website.

However, you would need to be in one of the top 5 positions to get this kind of benefit. So, if the keyword you want to be ranked for is going to be a tough one in terms of getting into those first few positions, PPC may be the only option. PPC traffic isn’t the same continuous flow as SEO – and each piece of traffic will cost you – but there is evidence to suggest that PPC Ads get more clicks.

Achieving conversions

SEO is very effective at generating traffic but people can arrive on your website via a variety of keywords, not just those that you originally intended to be their route in. So, when people arrive via SEO they may not be there as a result of looking for a specific product or service you provide. If you use highly optimised keywords in a PPC campaign then the people who are channeled to your site via those links are going to be searching for exactly what you offer. So, you’ll get more conversions from PPC but you’ll have to pay more for these too.

Getting the best results

Both SEO and PPC can be complex for those without an in-depth understanding of what influences a good result. PPC can be a shorter journey from starting out to results – but only if you have the right knowledge. SEO may take more time but will cost you less.

Whether SEO or PPC – or a combination of the two – will work for you depends on your business. We can help you design the ideal strategy to make the most of your resources – contact us to find out more today on 020 7100 0726.

Author: Steve Pailthorpe - Follow us on Google+

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