If you've ever dabbled in the world of digital marketing, you've probably come across the terms "SEO" and "PPC." Below, we've explored what these acronyms stand for, and more importantly, the differences and benefits of the two channels.
What is the difference between SEO and PPC? An overview
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of making your website more visible in organic search results (i.e. what you see after searching in engines like Google). This is accomplished through a variety of techniques, including optimising your website's title tags and meta descriptions, creating high-quality content that is useful to your target audience (while containing relevant keywords), linkbuilding (gaining links to your site from external websites), and creating brand visibility through things like PR (public relations). Of course, there are more nuanced strategies that must be considered for each of these methods, however, from a top-level view, these are some of the most common aspects of a balanced organic marketing strategy.
Unlike paid advertising, organic performance is earned through the techniques mentioned above; it is a longer-term marketing strategy that requires consistency to show results and a return on investment, however, the results are also long-lasting.
PPC, or 'Pay Per Click,' is a type of paid advertising that allows you to essentially pay your way to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs). With PPC, you are only charged when someone clicks on your ad, so depending on how well-optimised your campaigns are and the demand for your product or service, PPC can be quite affordable or extremely costly. For this reason, we often recommend that clients do not attempt to run PPC or paid advertising campaigns without having much prior experience, as this often leads to excessive overspending.
Unlike SEO, PPC works very quickly. For that reason, PPC can be a fantastic channel for driving sales, and brand awareness and increasing your market share in a relatively short amount of time. In addition to PPC, there are other paid advertising channels including Paid Social and Display Advertising, where display ads are shown across various social media channels and across websites.
Both are extremely important for any digital marketing strategy and where possible, SEO and paid advertising should be done together to maximise performance in both the short and long term.
The Benefits of SEO
Several benefits come with using SEO to grow your business. For starters, SEO is extremely cost-effective; when done correctly, even simple changes to your website can produce long-lasting improvements. Producing regular, user-centric, keyword-optimised content will also have long-term benefits that require additional no advertising spend. Additionally, SEO can help you build trust and credibility with potential customers by increasing your visibility in organic search results, particularly when they are at the top of the funnel or in the research phase when considering a product or service. The more a user sees your brand appear for relevant search queries, the more they will come to trust and remember your brand when they are finally ready to convert. Finally, SEO provides long-term results - this is different to paid advertising, which stops generating leads as soon as you stop paying. Ultimately, a successful SEO campaign can continue to bring new visitors to your website for years to come.
The Benefits of PPC
Much like SEO, here are many specific benefits that come with using PPC as part of your wider digital marketing strategy. First and foremost, PPC is an incredibly effective way to drive targeted traffic to your website. Since you're only paying for ads that are clicked on by users who are interested in what you have to offer, PPC is a great way to capture engaged leads who are further down the funnel and have the intention to convert. Additionally, PPC allows you to get your message in front of potential customers at the precise moment when they're searching for a product or service like yours. This can be great for time-sensitive promotions such as Black Friday or Christmas. Finally, PPC campaigns can provide you with rich user data in real-time, meaning you can quickly shift your strategy and tweak your campaigns to keep up with changing user behaviour and demand.
Do I need both PPC and SEO?
If your goal is to generate leads and an ROI in the short term but also future-proof and build your business over time, it is best to do both organic and paid advertising. Both may not always be relevant to every business, but it's key to discuss your goals and objectives with your marketing manager or agency to identify the best course of action.
Although they are both beneficial, you will see the best results if you have a solid plan in place. If you are interested in utilising SEO or PPC for your business, reach out to I-COM. Our team of experts can help you create a customised plan that will produce desired results. We specialise in helping our clients increase their visibility online which leads to increased traffic and conversions. Contact us today to get started on developing a winning digital marketing strategy for your business.