SEO vs PPC – Know the Difference & Thrive Online
As you work to establish and strengthen your online presence, you will come across some acronyms that seem to make no sense at first glance. SEO and PPC are two of the most prominent terms thrown around today, and they are often misunderstood and undervalued even by some successful online businesses. Take a minute to learn what each of these acronyms mean, and you may discover the most basic secrets to succeeding in today’s aggressive online marketplace.
What Is SEO?
This acronym stands for Search Engine Optimization. It refers to a detailed yet rather straightforward strategy of optimizing results from search engine marketing. If you aren’t familiar with this type of marketing, let’s break the process down so that it’s easy to understand:
billions of searches
- Search engines are constantly scanning websites in an effort to understand their content and store them in a massive catalog. These sites are routinely ranked and stored for fast retrieval.
- People from around the world use Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines to lookup information of interest. Google alone processes billions of searches each day and often performs more than 40,000 searches per second. This translates to millions of people searching for information online at any given moment of the night or day.
- Search engines present each user with a list of web pages believed to contain high-value content related to the words that they used to perform the search. This list of web pages is known as the Search Engine Results Page, or SERP. The search engine will list pages according to their rank within the larger catalogue of websites.
- Search engine users look at the SERPs and decide which pages they want to click and explore further.
You’ve likely worked with this process many times while performing search engine queries of your own. Perhaps you even found this page by searching one of those powerful engines.
Why Does SEO Matter?
Once you launch a website, open an online business or start marketing your services through the internet, you can receive massive exposure through a top Google ranking. When a link to any page of your site appears on the first page of the SERPs for hundreds or thousands of people to see, you will naturally notice a spike in traffic to your site. That means more people read your blog posts, browse your store inventory, scan your sales page or perhaps listen to one of your podcasts. This exposure is what you need to build a thriving online presence.
This traffic boost happens automatically and consistently because Google has determined that your website is relevant and of enough value to recommend highly to its users. If you can master search engine optimization, you can alert millions of people to the presence of your website and encourage them to read your content, buy your products or sign up for your newsletter.
What About PPC?
This acronym stands for Pay Per Click and refers to a method of marketing that requires more financial investment. Rather than appearing in the SERPs as a recommended website, you place an ad through the Google Adwords program, a social media marketing program, or even on individual websites. Each time a viewer clicks one of your ads, you are charged a small fee. Pay Per Click literally means that you pay for advertising by the click.
While PPC does require you to select keywords that will help Google and other advertising programs match your ads to your target market, it is quite different than getting ranked in the SERPs based on the quality of your content. A successful marketing strategy allows these two methods to work together smoothly.
Your pay per click campaigns can pull visitors to your content quickly, and then the quality of your content will hook your viewers and convince them to take a desired action. Over time, traffic from search engines can give your business the boost that is needed to beat out competitors even if your marketing budget is quite slim.
What Should You Do? SEO or PPC?
In our experience, a united search engine marketing strategy that successfully integrates both SEO and PPC is the most advantageous approach. Business owners that want to experience rapid growth will need to develop a comprehensive search engine marketing strategy that combines SEO and PPC channels to generate better short-term and longer-term performance.
What are your experiences? We would love to hear your successes using SEO and PPC. If you need help or have any questions about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Pay-Per-Click Marketing, we’re here to help.