What’s the main difference between SEO and PPC

You must wonder whether SEO or PPC marketing strategy would be more beneficial for your business and which one will better fit your marketing goals. Both techniques have their pros and cons and there is no general answer to this question. None of the mentioned techniques doesn’t successfully apply to every business and their effectiveness depends on various occurrences, so opting for the right one can be challenging. Therefore, seo company in Chicago has decided to dedicate today’s post to revealing the advantages and disadvantages of both strategies, which will hopefully help you determine which one will provide the results you aim for.

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What are SEO and PPC?

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Before starting to elaborate on the characteristics of these campaigns, let us define both strategies and their purpose.

SEO (search engine optimization) is a strategy that improves a website’s search engine ranking and organic traffic. SEO marketing method increases sites’ organic traffic by enhancing the site’s visibility and authority. SEO marketing implies content strategy, technical and on-page SEO, user experience, and link building.

PPC (pay-per-click)  is paid online advertising that considers that advertiser pays each time the ad gets clicked. It generates traffic through targeted ads in search engine social media and other platforms. PPC strategy involves targeting the audience, keyword research, bid settings, and ad creation.

SEO pros

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SEO improves the awareness of your business and brand by enhancing the visibility of your targeted keywords in search engines.

It donates to branding due to visibility referring to commercial search terms and informative queries that are associated with your business domain. Your brand becomes authoritative in its business niche due to brand associations as a trusted source and informative content that users find relevant. Additionally, your business becomes credible and trustworthy due to organic traffic results that many users prefer over paid ads.

Although SEO is not free and takes some time to bring results, investing in good SEO marketing secures long-term success and brings a higher ranking in Google SERPS for years to come. Therefore, SEO provides better and longer RIO (return on the investment) over most other marketing investments. Even though an SEO campaign is neither free nor easy, its cost-effectiveness is guaranteed due to the organic and relevant traffic it delivers.

Unlike PPC marketing, SEO doesn’t require constant investing by paying clicks. Additionally, unlike in PPC, with SEO marketing tactics organic traffic doesn’t drop once you stop paying, making SEO a sustainable strategy contrary to PPC.

SEO improves Click-through rate (CTR). The estimations show that more users click on organic search results over PPC ads. Without considering the exceptions a highly placed organic listing drives more clicks than highly set paid ads.

SEO is one of the scope strategies very comprehensive in terms of keywords. While in PPC you have to determine the specific number of keywords, as you can`t advertise every piece of content and pay for all kinds of clicks, not to mention that new queries emerge daily, SEO is a tactic that maximizes the scope.

Cons of SEO

Compared to a PPC tactic, SEO is slow in showing results in driving organic traffic. This strategy could be inconvenient for startups that have targeted keywords that match with online giants such as e-bay, amazon, or other colossal companies. Additionally, the SEO strategy demands content development and other related tasks, which often require expert support. Although SEO provides organic traffic, sometimes the need for a more direct way of nurturing users to make a purchase is necessary.

PPS pros

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PPC ads dominate the content above the fold. Usually, on desktop devices are displayed four while on mobile three ads, which make your business, product, or brand highly visible.

PPC advertisements provide the advertiser full control over the marketing message and ad content. Advertisers can impart calls, sitelinks, locations, and other options to create the ad which will dominate the page.

Google provides a feature that allows users to see the content of the ad (Product listing ads). This visual aspect of PPC ads is a great advantage in improving the click-through rate.

PPC ads are developed to target the right people, and even if the users ignore your paid ad, PPC enhances your brand’s visibility and donates to recognition. Another important aspect referring to directing PPC to the target audience is that this marketing tactic allows you to target ads by keywords, devices, language, geographic location, time, days of the week, and other aspects based on previous clicks.

As PPC campaign considers paying for clicks, this feature allows advertisers to have complete control over their campaign budget spending. Along with the fact that there is no minimum spending required comes the opportunity for advertisers to set a fixed budget which is very convenient for small businesses with a tight budget.

Providing instant visibility PPC campaign is the fastest way to serve your business in front of the relevant customers at the moment they are eager to buy searched service or product.

PPC campaign provides a certain level of agility which can be used to efficiently test new products or marketing messages by providing prompt feedback.

PPC marketing provides keyword data that inform on the most successful keywords that lead the most conversion, along with keyword cost and percentage. This feature can contribute to setting keywords in other marketing strategies to improve their results.

Along with most marketing strategies, PPC is also convenient for A/B testing to determine the best practice of ads, landing pages, and CTR buttons.

Unlike the sphere of SEO, the PPC strategy doesn`t suffer from frequent changes and turbulences.

PPC marketing is a convenient strategy for local businesses that target a few keywords and small geographic localities.

PPC cons

PPC marketing can be costly especially if the company runs an international campaign and targets a broad variety of audiences.

Besides, PPC as a paid advertising requires constant investing as the steam of leads will dip the moment you stop paying. For this reason, PPC might not be a sustainable strategy for small and limited-budget businesses.

The internet market is full of competition that runs the same keywords, making the PPC campaign very competitive and even ineffective for some. As PPC ads are relatively easy to copy, the competitors can easily notice that you are running the campaign and evaluate your funnel, launch their own and even mimic yours.

Final Thoughts

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While there is no straight answer to which digital marketing is better, considering short and long-term goals might be a good foundation for evaluation. Implementing both SEO and PPC marketing is a powerful combination, better than what they can achieve separately. Working together, SEO and PPC maximize each other potential, while channeling both paid and organic traffic will guarantee superior results.