If you have an online business, chances are you’ve already heard the words SEO and PPC when talking about how to drive sales and increase brand awareness. What exactly is the difference between SEO and PPC? And why should your business invest in them? In this blog we’ll explain what both SEO and PPC are, the main differences between them, as well as guiding you through the benefits of each.
What is search engine optimisation (SEO)
Search engine optimisation, also known as SEO, is the practice of improving a website and its contents in order to rank in search engine results pages. It is a long-term strategy that when done effectively, requires a high levels of knowledge, time and effort. SEO involves targeting local searches, national searches and global searches by creating content that answers the searchers query, as well as optimising the technical elements of the website to ensure it follows Google’s best practices.
Website traffic from SEO is essentially ‘free’. Meaning that you don’t pay for your website to appear in search results, nor do you pay for the traffic that comes to your site as a result. What you do pay for however, is for SEO professionals to optimise your site so that it can be found by both search engines and users.
Is SEO Worth The Time?
Professsional SEO is an investment and a necessity for your online business to thrive. Often brands who invest in SEO, over time, see a reduction in paid for advertising. For many local businesses, SEO helps to generate a lot of footfall with 4 in 5 consumers regularly using search engines to find local information.
How does SEO gives your business a competitive advantage?
If your competitors aren’t optimising their sites, this provides you with an opportunity to dominate search results and take visitors away from their site and direct them straight to yours.
By having a strong organic presence, you’re also improving your brands credibility. The more you rank in search engine results pages, the more trusted your site becomes as a source of information by both search engines and consumers. Whilst it might take longer for your efforts to be rewarded, investing in SEO can be extremely beneficial to businesses of any size and in any industry.
Benefits of SEO
1. Generates high quality traffic
Traffic that comes from organic search tends to be high quality – meaning there’s a good chance this traffic can be converted into sales. This is because users know exactly what they are after and therefore are further along in the buying process.
2. Boosts your brands credibility
Search engines like Google rank sites and content that are of high value. The more your site appears in the top results, the more credible your brand becomes as a go-to trusted website.
3. Improves brand awareness
The more your site and its contents rank, the more awareness is generated around your brand. Think about it, how often do you see the same websites appear time and time again when making online searches? Even if you’ve never heard of them before, you’re aware of them now.
4. More cost-effective
SEO doesn’t require paying for positions and traffic. Whilst a cost is needed for professional SEO services, there tends to be a higher ROI long term than other methods of marketing and advertising.
5. Easy to track and measure
SEO campaigns are easy to track and measure. Professional agencies use a range of tracking software to monitor and measure your sites SEO performance. And with access to a whole lot of data, you’ll be able to see how well your site is performing in search, as well as being given a clear direction of what to do next.
What is PPC?
PPC stands for pay-per-click. It is an online advertisement method in which the advertiser (businesses) pays a set fee each time their ad is clicked. Commonly associated with Google ads, PPC can also be applied to other search engines such as Bing.
With PPC you are paying for traffic to come to your site whereas in SEO it is classed as ‘free’. However, in order for you to get a prime spot on the search results page, you need to place a bid, which comes at an additional cost. But with 63% of people saying they willingly click on search ads, PPC is a promising method that helps drive traffic and leads to conversions.
Is PPC Worth the Money?
There are many factors to consider when deciding whether PPC is right for your business. In a highly competitive industry where you have a budget but may not have the luxury of time, paying for a position in search results can be hugely beneficial.
It’s no secret that most users click on the top 3 results. And with 75% of people never scrolling past the first page – PPC allows you to have an immediate presence on the first page. However, for a local business with only a small budget, PPC may not be a financially viable option. Leaving you more suited to investing in local SEO.
Benefits of PPC
1. Generates traffic quickly
Often viewed as one of the fastest marketing channels for increasing sales, once launched, PPC ads can start to generate traffic to your site from day one. SEO on the other hand, can takes weeks to months to generate the same level of traffic.
2. Easy to track and measure
PPC ads are very easy to track and measure. They provide real-time data so that you can see instantly, and at any time, how well they are performing and your return on investment (ROI).
3. Increases brand exposure
Similarly to SEO, PPC helps to increase brand exposure by getting your brand and site to appear on the first page of search results.
4. Great for retargeting
PPC ads are a great way to retarget previous visitors to your site. With many retargeting options, you can test a mix of them to leverage getting as many impressions and visitors as possible.
5. Easy to set up
PPC campaigns can be easily and quickly set up by a search professional. Meaning your business can have them up and running in no time.
Can SEO and PPC Work Together?
Yes. As both methods have the ultimate goal of generating traffic, they can work perfectly together as part of an overall marketing strategy. Both can target the same keywords or different keywords and can be ran together as part of a seasonal campaign. You can also launch SEO & PPC campaigns separately, and at different times of the year.
Whilst there is a notable difference between SEO and PPC, they ultimately have the same goal. To generate not only good quality traffic to your site, but the right type of traffic with the aim to dominate search results. Which one is best for your business however all depends on your short and long term business goals and budget. Unsure about investing in SEO & PPC? Get in touch with our friendly team and we’ll happily talk you through how each can benefit your business.
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