SEO and PPC are two terms we come across but those who are new to the industry are never sure what the meaning of these terms are. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click. 

Great, but what do these teams really mean? SEO involves increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic and leads a business gets through organic search results. 

Think about the businesses on the first page of Google, SEO got those businesses on the first page and let’s face it, no one moves past the first page. 

PPC on the other hand uses paid advertising which drives traffic to a website. Think about the top of the Google search results, the businesses with the word “Ad” in big bold print – that is PPC. 

SEO 

Now that we understand the meaning of SEO, we can now decide if it is dead or not as PPC seems to give us the same result but just at a cost. The short answer is no, SEO is very much alive. A study conducted by Backlinko found that 61% of business owners stated increasing brand awareness as being most important to them – the trust is SEO can increase brand awareness organically. Small businesses may not have the budget to spend on PPC which is why SEO is still very much alive and important. 

Every business is fighting for the number one spot on Google, why? This is because the first positioned website on Google is reported to capture up to 31.7% of organic search traffic while second position only captures 17% of organic search traffic. Imagine being in tenth position, or better yet on the second page of Google search. It can be assumed this is a disadvantage of SEO, the competition for a highly competitive search volume keyword is off the charts. 

Disadvantages of SEO 

As mentioned above, competition is a big disadvantage as a business can encounter itself in an saturated market with high competition. A saturated market paired with a limited budget has the potential to take years to catch up and be featured on the first page of search. On the other hand, a company who was on the first page of search and considered itself a top dog in their industry suddenly finds itself down in the ranking, this is because their competitors became smart and implemented an effective SEO strategy and leapfrogged the leader. To be fair, if your business is the one leapfrogging the former leader it is not all that bad. Once businesses are on the first page of search, the reach is impeccable. 

Advantage of SEO

Being featured on the first page of search through SEO is a big deal but it also allows your business to reach a wider audience. Whether the business is on a local or a national level, the business can potentially increase the number of people who learn and explore your business. 

You must be asking, if being featured on the first page of search results is so great why does PPC advertising exist?

PPC

PPC exists to lead the user to click on the advertiser’s business website to complete the buyer’s journey by purchasing the product or service the business is offering. 

PPC may be a complicated process to some but to make it brief:

The PPC gears begin to work when a user searches for a particular keyword. There are multiple factors that determine which ad gets the winning spot which include bidding amount and the quality of the ad. To get involved in the bidding process, advertisers create accounts on platforms such as Google Ads to set up their ads, determine when and where those ads would appear.  

This way of appearing on the first page of the search results sounds costly, but there are many benefits, such as:

  • Offers a quick entry to the search results
  • Easy to track and measure the results 
  • Allows for targeted advertising 
  • Pay only when users click on the ad
  • Has the potential to lead to positive return on investment

With every advantage comes a disadvantage, these include:

  • The costs can add up quickly if many users click on the ad 
  • The cost of the click does not always end in sales 
  • There is a certain skill required to set up and manage PPC accounts 

SEO and PPC 

Many websites either use SEO on its own or combine SEO and PPC together. When used in conjunction with one another it can lead to a more successful search strategy giving the business a certain edge, but how? 

1. Visibility

By having a strong SEO strategy which allows a business to feature on the first page of the search results and making use of PPC allows for added visibility of the search results page.
Businesses should aim to dominate the organic and paid search results as it will greatly increase website traffic.

2. Sharing Keyword Data

SEO involves using keywords to rank organically, which is why simultaneously running a paid and organic campaign allows the business to double the data to analyse in order to determine which keywords have the highest conversion rate. 

3. Visibility on Social Media 

Targeted advertising is changing the social media landscape dramatically on social sites such as Facebook, Youtube and Instagram. These social sites serve up targeted ads to specific groups of people by using their information such as the city and age through their Facebook profile. The data collected from these social sites have the potential to gather more information about the business’s target audience to assist in refinding the SEO strategy.

With all this information about SEO and PPC, it can be concluded that combining both of these strategies has the potential to create a super strategy. These strategies can elevate the performance and profitability of both SEO and PPC methods. It is important that businesses use the information gathered from SEO and PPC to feed it back and forth between each other as it can be considered the ultimate secret to dominating the competition and leapfrogging over the number one ranking in the search results. To learn more about PPC, check out the PPC playbook and learn about what changes are occurring in PPC and SEO.

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