The two most (mistakenly) interchangeable phrases in online marketing are SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing), also known as PPC (pay-per-click advertising).
People routinely site one when really describing the other and it’s no wonder. To the novice online marketer these terms seem to describe the same marketing tactic but in reality, they don’t. Let’s go over SEO vs PPC, their differences, benefits and ultimately which you should be using.
SEO (search engine optimization): The process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.
Well, that should clear things up! Kidding. Essentially, SEO drives traffic to your website based on search engine results (and is free but requires you to do some backend optimizing of your website and its content). PPC, on the other hand, requires you to pay for advertisements.
Both tactics have stellar benefits and can net you quality website hits if implemented properly.
The higher you rank on search engines like Google, the more the general public will trust you.
you may spend some dough on optimizing your website to be easily searchable but you won’t be paying for the number of visits you receive or ongoing traffic as a result of your SEO efforts.
You get a two-for-one here. Optimizing your website for SEO also means you take care of any navigation issues within your site. In order to have better SEO results, your webpage needs to make it easy for other pages to crawl your site
Site traffic generated via organic searches translate into higher conversion rates for most sites. This is because SEO is the practice of getting your website pages to show in results for searches relevant to your business.
Taking some time out to perform on- and off-page SEO tactics is well worth the investment. For example, if you take 15 minutes to insert keywords in their proper meta tag locations, that page can be ranking and exposing your business to more and more people for days, months, even years to come. s
Once you start to rank high on search engines, it is easier to continue ranking high and for other pages you publish to improve their rank. The better your rank, the more traffic you get, and the more traffic you get, the better your rank.
Although PPC costs money, you’re completely in control because you start by setting your budget at the onset. Then, the ad platform will show your ad according to how much you’re willing to spend per click, per day.
Unlike SEO, you may begin to see positive results incredibly fast with PPC advertising. While a blog post might take some time to climb to the first page, your paid result will appear in an instant.
PPC allows you to dictate where and when your ads will appear, ensuring you get in front of your primary demographic.
Most PPC platforms include some sort of analytics to gauge the success of your campaign. Information like clicks, site visits and costs are at your fingertips and help you decide if you’re spending your marketing funds wisely.
There are two sides to every coin and there is no perfect system. Here are some of the challenges associated with each of these online marketing methods.
SEO not only takes time to implement but the subsequent results can take months as well. However, this is part of the reason why the success is so sustainable.
Marketers must be sure they’re using keywords relevant to their business, otherwise they’ll pull traffic with no interest in what you’re selling witch ultimately hurts your SEO standing.
You also have to make sure that your website pages don’t compete with one another in ranking. Each page, including every blog post, should target a different keyword.
Google and other large search engines are constantly improving their platforms, which can affect your SEO rank and is, unfortunately, totally out of your hands.
Limited budgets may not yield the results you’re hoping for. The higher the cap on your budget the more better your outcomes
PPC is not as simple as plugging some information into a PPC provider’s template and hitting an “on” button. PPC can behave a bit like traditional marketing vehicles so having a background in advertising is useful
People aren’t the quickest to trust paid advertisements and would often rather be introduced to a company through a source they deem more reliable. The good thing about paid search advertising is that people do trust search engines.
Ultimately, the best case scenario is to utilize both SEO and PPC in your marketing mix. Each seems to have benefits the other is lacking. Pay-per-click is especially useful to newer businesses since SEO takes time to work and you want to get in front of people, like, now.
However, SEO has become a standard since everyone has become privy to its benefits, so if you’re in the process of building a website, be sure to incorporate SEO good practices to avoid backtracking down the road.