What are the Differences of PPC and SEO?

More and more organizations understand the need to do digital marketing especially when carefully planned for search engines. Because of the sheer volume of enterprises and small businesses with an internet presence, it will be absurd to memorize all of their respective URLs to allow for a direct website visit. More often than not, 4 out of 5 of your potential customers got to your website through the search engines. At least this is what a Forrester Research firm, Jupiter Research, is saying about the 81 percent of all website users finding their desired destination websites through the world’s search engines.

It is for this reason that businesses, brands, and organizations must have very strong presence – rank highly or be visibly prominent – in search engines. The question, unfortunately, is whether to go the SEO route or the PPC route. Search engine optimization (SEO) requires a lot of meaningful work that all aims to improve your website’s ranking in the organic search results pages. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns involves purchasing keywords that will be highly visible in the form of Google Ads and Sponsored Links which are often found in almost every other major platform.

Both SEO and PPC can get your website right on the first few pages of search engine results and right to your target audience, respectively; but, only when done correctly. Unfortunately, like all things in this world, SEO and PPC have both their pros and cons.

According to SEOmoz, people will most likely click on organic results at least 8.5 times more than they would a paid search result. This is because people are already recognizing the fact that paid ads or sponsored results do not necessarily carry with them the weight of credibility and trustworthiness. Many believe that, when compared to those in organic search results, paid search results simply lack the credibility as one would expect from a website that has earned its reputation through the ranks. Of particular importance is the placement of these paid search results which is to the periphery of the page. However, when it comes to conversion rates, PPC simply beats SEO. The same article by SEOmoz cited 1.5 times greater likelihood of click-through conversion via PPC than through SEO as advertisers can heavily customize and optimize their text and landing pages for each of their paid search ads.

The bottom line is that there is simply greater opportunity, as much as 5.66 times, from organic searches when compared to paid searches. Without a doubt, the overwhelming choice of the majority is to rank highly in organic search engines. However, it should be clear that this takes time, otherwise those Rank-No. 1-in-Google-Tomorrow schemes will really be having a heyday.

But does this mean all is lost with PPC? PPC does have its strengths. Whereas SEO will only be limited to a particular keyword classification as well as the significant length of time you have to wait to see favorable results, PPC’s expansiveness and speed are its aces. You can literally land on every first page of different targeted keywords within a single day. The downside? Cost. The cost of a keyword per click can easily run in the pennies to several dollars. And if you are very aggressive in your PPC campaign, you can easily shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars every single day. For large corporations with a budget the size of the defense industry, this is not a problem. However, if you own a small local business, you simply would like to hire a PPC specialist to make sure you won’t go over your budget.

According to the Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization or SEMPO, there is a wide discrepancy in the budget of businesses allocated to PPCs and SEOs. Around 87 percent of search engine budget is spent on PPC while only 11 percent is spent on SEO activities. This can easily translate to $10 billion earmarked for PPC campaigns while SEO activities only receive an eighth of the budget. And this is despite resounding proof that SEO activities beat PPC efforts by as much as 500 percent. SEO undoubtedly provides the best value when it comes to search marketing especially in the long term. This is not to say that PPC is not important. It is. But, only on the short term and only when you are selling products, not providing services. Launching a company, special events, or even limited time product offers will be excellent times to use PPC.

SEO is more practical and can bring the results that you need although it does take time. It provides better value in your search marketing efforts. PPC does have its benefits as well. But, if budget and search results opportunities are major issues, you just might want to stick with SEO.