How is PPC Different from SEO?


Paid-per-click (PPC) advertising is a type of online marketing where you can place ads online and pay a fee only when the ad is clicked by a visitor. While you might not have been familiar with the term, you've probably seen them above search results on Google and other search engines. PPC is a way to purchase visitors to your site as opposed to attracting them organically. If a user clicks on the ad, your company pays a specific fee known as a cost per click (CPC), which ranges anywhere from just a few pennies to over $50, although the average is about $1 to $2. 

The main difference between search engine optimization (SEO) and PPC is that the traffic generated from PPC is paid for, and the organic traffic that comes from SEO is free. According to SmallBizGenius, the average yearly cost of PPC runs between $108,000 and $120,000, but pays returns of $2 per every $1 spent. 

Learn more about the ways that PPC differs from SEO.

The Traffic Generated

SEO can attract more traffic than PPC if your website appears in one of the top five positions, providing a continuous flow of traffic without having to pay anything for it, with the volume of traffic depending on how popular the keyword is. Of course, it can be incredibly challenging to get a first-page position for a keyword, and results on subsequent pages rarely turn up much traffic. That means paying for traffic might be your only option. If your site is struggling to get attention and doesn't stand out from the competition, utilizing the services of a reputable PPC agency is the best way to change that.

The Process

Neither PPC or SEO are easy to do for the average person without experience and training. Both are processes that take time, effort, and knowledge to achieve the necessary results. When it comes to SEO, it can take months and often years to rank for specific terms, and if it isn't done right, even after a decade, the site may not rank at all. Getting good results with PPC typically requires hiring an expert or at least taking a course, otherwise, you will be tossing money away trying to figure out how it works. 

PPC is More Likely to Convert

While SEO is the way to go for attracting organic traffic, if your ads are optimized and highly targeted, visitors from PPC are more likely to convert, meaning they respond to a call for action, make a purchase, register for an email newsletter, etc. That's because a website can rank for different keywords than those the user intended for, so they may not be looking for the product or content that comes up on the page.

When you have an expert in PPC create a successful PPC campaign, your site will only receive clicks from visitors who actually have an interest in your products, services, and content.

SEO and PPC are Essential

PPC and SEO both have their fair share of benefits, and some might think they have to choose one over the other. You really can't choose one or the other - you need to use both SEO and PPC as part of any marketing campaign. While they may have their differences, PPC and SEO work very well together. The optimal way to do this is to first run a PPC campaign to test which keywords convert better. Once you have that answer, you can use SEO to rank for those keywords. Using PPC and SEO allows you to enjoy the best of what they both have to offer.

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Like every year, end of December 2016 has arrived and January 2017 is waiting to get started.