SEO Vs PPC: What’s the Difference and How to Use Them To Your Advantage

There are over 1.7 billion websites online right now. And, that number is growing by the second. 

With so much competition on the internet, it can feel like an almost impossible task to figure out how to get people to visit your site. 

Good news: it’s not impossible if you know the right tactics to use. 

When it comes to digital marketing, one popular debate is the effectiveness of SEO vs PPC. So, which strategy is better for your site?

You’ve come to the right place.

Keep reading to learn more about search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click (PPC) advertising, and how you can use them both to your advantage. 

What Is SEO?

Think, for a moment, about your own internet habits. Let’s say your car is making a weird noise. What do you do? Unless you’re a mechanic or you have one in your family, your first instinct is probably to turn to Google. 

Most likely, you’ll type something like, “auto repair shops” and wait for a list of results to come up so you can find a place to take your car.

The websites that show up on that list of results is all thanks to a search engine optimization (SEO) marketing strategy. 

In order for search engines, like Google or Bing, to pull in results, they have to quickly scan websites in search of content that’s relevant to your search query. 

So, in the example above, it will scan websites looking for keywords about auto repair and pull in the most relevant results for you. 

Now, think about this same example, but from the mindset of an auto shop owner. If you want people who have car trouble to find your website, it needs to have helpful, relevant, and high-quality content related to your services. 

This content can be in the form of blog posts, service pages, FAQs, or any other pages on your website. 

What is PPC?

Now, anytime you’ve done a Google search in the past, you’ve probably seen a few results at the top with a small designation next to the result that says, “Ad.” 

How do those results get there and what exactly does it mean?

In short, seeing ads in your search results is a lot like seeing commercials when you watch your favorite television show. It means that a company paid to be shown at the top of relevant results. 

These are known as pay per click ads because the amount a company pays for the ad spots is based on how many clicks they receive on the ads. 

Now, just because a company pays for an ad spot doesn’t mean their site will show up in any search result. It still has to be relevant to the search. 

This is done by bidding on keywords that are relevant to their services. So, an auto repair shop might bid on keywords like the following:

  • Mechanic
  • Auto repair services
  • Car care
  • Car battery replacement

Then, when someone does a search for one of those terms, the auto repair shop will show up at the top of the search results, as an ad. 

Benefits of SEO

If you’re wondering if SEO is worth it, since using a PPC strategy can get you to the top of search results, have no fear. 

There are plenty of great reasons to implement an SEO strategy. In fact, 82% of Americans say that they ignore online ads, in favor of looking at organic—or unpaid—search results. 

SEO is also beneficial in terms of playing the long game. By adding high-quality content to your website that includes keywords you want to target, you’re building a solid foundation for your website. 

While PPC strategies are about the here and now, SEO helps ensure that you get relevant web traffic now and later, by building authority for your website. 

And, of course, if your marketing budget is tight, SEO is an attractive strategy, because you don’t have to pay for the clicks you get from search results. 

Benefits of PPC

However, that’s not to say that there aren’t benefits to using PPC advertising as well. 

Because it can help you get results faster, running a PPC campaign can be a great way to start getting traffic to a new website quickly, while you build your SEO strategy in the background. 

PPC advertising is also beneficial in terms of reporting. Whether you use Google Ads, Facebook Ads, or any other type of PPC platform, there is powerful built-in reporting included.

This shows you what people click to get to your site and what actions they take once they get there. 

If you want to be able to track how your marketing dollars are working for you and the success of your campaigns, PPC advertising is a great way to do it. 

SEO vs PPC: More Powerful Together

Now that you know a little more about SEO and PPC and why they’re both important, it’s clear that the most powerful marketing strategy is one that uses both SEO and PPC together

In doing so, you’ll get the best of both worlds: a solid foundation for organic traffic, and fast results through paid advertising. 

If your marketing strategy leaves out either SEO or PPC, the reality is that you’re missing out on bringing more traffic to your site, and in turn, losing out on sales. 

Jumpstart Your Marketing Efforts

After learning more about SEO vs PPC, are you ready to take your marketing to the next level? The Socially Intuit team is here to help! 

Chat with us today to tell us more about your marketing goals and we’ll develop a plan for success. 

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