What Is The Difference Between PPC And SEO?

difference between ppc and seo pay-per-click ads vs search engine optimization

Getting a handle on your digital marketing efforts requires that you know some important terminology. 

The more you can distinguish between different pieces of a modern marketing campaign, the better you will understand how it all works and where to direct your energy. Two of the most important concepts to understand are "search engine optimization" (SEO) and "pay-per-click" ads or PPC advertising. 

We're going to look at the difference between PPC and SEO today. Hopefully, we can help you get a better understanding of these crucial digital marketing ideas and how they work for online advertising. 

What's The Difference Between PPC And SEO? 

What is SEO? Search engine optimization is the general process of tailoring your website content to rank higher in search engine results pages. In other words, it means you are trying to rank high on Google searches or other top search engines. 

You might be vying for spots on Bing or Yahoo!, but Google is where most traffic exists, along with YouTube for video content which they also own. SEO also involves tuning your content to attract your particular clientele. 

For example, if you're a car dealership, you are going to structure your website and content a little differently than you would if you were selling beauty products. There are millions of fine-points that change depending on your particular business, but the building blocks of SEO remain the same. 

Let's take a look at the essential points of search engine optimization. 

Keyword Research And Optimization 

All of your SEO methods start with the keyword in question. You optimize content for a specific keyword so that you rank when a user searches that particular search phrase. 

You can use a variety of tools to figure out which keywords will bring you the most success. Generally speaking, you want to find popular keywords that have very little competition. 

Sure, "used cars" might be the most glamorous keyword on the internet, but how are you going to compete with the industry titans for rankings? You are not going to fare too well, so we opt for less-popular terms that have fewer competitors. 

Over time, our SEO success boosts our credibility and we can start ranking for those more popular terms. 

Optimizing for a keyword means a couple of things. You have to use that exact keyword throughout the post naturally. You should also include it in the title, meta-description, HTML, and image descriptions. The frequency with which you use the keyword should change depending on the length of the content. 

Content Creation 

Creating a healthy amount of content is the second driving force in your campaign. The more content you produce, the more keywords you can optimize for. 

You shouldn't make random content and stuff it with popular keywords, though. Google has a knack for placing quality content at the top of the search, and you won't land there if your content doesn't serve a purpose. Provide real and unique value and Google will reward you with a higher ranking.

A great way to come up with content ideas is to browse popular keywords, find a target keyword, and create content in response to that term. For example, if "quality used cars" is your target keyword, you could create content detailing the most reliable used cars in different price ranges. 

Take the keyword, think about what the user wants when they search it, then create content that answers their question. If you can do this in addition to optimizing for the search term, you will start to see results. 

Other Factors In SEO 

There are a lot of things to keep in mind when you are running an SEO campaign. For the purposes of this article, we won't get to all of them. 

There are around 200 factors that Google's algorithm uses when it ranks websites. You don't have to account for all of those, but it is important to be extensive with your campaign. 

Factor in things like writing quality, backlinks, site speed, site architecture, secondary keywords, and more. 

What Is PPC Advertising? 

PPC advertising is another method that's commonly used to generate traffic online. PPC stands for "pay-per-click" because you only pay whenever someone engages with your content. It's also known as SEM (search engine marketing) when the PPC ads appear on search engine results within Google, Bing, Yahoo, YouTube, or other top search engines.

These ads are what we commonly think of as "sponsored posts" or advertisements that come up in our social media feeds. PPC pertains to social media and search engines and produces content that pops up for new users who might be interested in your brand. 

You can pinpoint very specific groups of people to display ads for. If you can hack the target placement correctly, you'll see a lot of engagement from individuals in your audience. 

The beautiful thing about PPC is that it gets you right into the running. SEO is lasting and free, but it takes a lot longer to start seeing results. While you pay for PPC, it works a lot faster and can help your SEO as you start to see more site traffic. 

Additionally, you only pay for what you get. There's no risk of creating an ad, paying for it, and failing to get results. If you don't see any results, you won't pay. 

How To Achieve The Best Results 

The most effective way to work a PPC or SEO campaign is to work with professionals. 

There are so many factors involved in your success and so many competitors that professional insight is one of the few ways to set yourself apart. Check out this PPC agency to get an idea of how they work and what they do. 

If you're a small business owner, odds are that you don't have much extra time to learn and manage a pay-per-click campaign. Investing in a professional SEM agency is an excellent investment in that it saves you time and you'll see better results. 

Interested In Learning More About Digital Marketing? 

The difference between PPC and SEO is an important one to understand as you move forward with your digital marketing efforts. Getting in touch with pay-per-click, search engine optimization, and Google Ads professionals is an excellent choice for your business. 

But there is a lot more for you to learn about the industry to keep yourself informed about digital marketing and online advertising best practices. 

Explore our site for more insight into digital marketing, advertising, and everything you need to know to keep your site relevant. Visit the SEO and Marketing sections of the Frugal Finance Blog right now to learn more about PPC ads vs SEO marketing strategy success.

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