SEO vs PPC - Know the Difference

SEO vs PPC - Know the Difference
Stefan Ivanovic

Article by

Stefan Ivanovic

Jun 24, 2017

Knowing the difference between SEO and PPC is extremely important if you want to do your marketing the right way!

Boosting traffic on your website comes in two ways: SEO (search engine optimization) or PPC (pay-per-click). The main difference between the two is that SEO is ‘organic’ or free traffic and PPC is paid.

Done correctly, both can get you on the front page of the search engines for targeted terms and in front of your desired audience. However, each has its respective benefits and costs. You should choose the right one based on what you want to accomplish out of your marketing efforts.

A research showed that organic results are 8.5x more likely to be clicked on than paid search results!

But PPC has some upper hand, too! PPC ads are always above SEO results and they appear as the first thing you see on Google results page.

The Cost

It is almost impossible to get through to the top of search engine world without having a top SEO plan and a really high quality website. And the problem is there are no shortcuts, although many say there are.
PPC is even more complicated, in a way.

If we take for example the cost per click of advertising with the most popular PPC system, Google Adwords, then it depends on the popularity of the keyword, on the number of advertisers who want to use the particular keyword, the number of related web sites that have ad positions for the particular keyword and many more.

If it sounds a bit complicated then it probably is, despite the efforts made by Google to make the whole system easier to use.

The good news with PPC is that you only pay for the clicks your ad receives and not for the views.
In addition, you can determine in advance your daily budget and pay no more than that and you can calculate an estimate of what is the average cost per click for the keywords you want to target.

As you can see from the screenshot below the Google Keyword tool (which is part of Google Adwords) gives you an estimate for the CPC (cost per click) for each keyword.


What will bring you more traffic, SEO or PPC?

SEO (organic traffic) is more than PPC traffic so if you can manage to rank your web site for the keywords you want, you will get much more traffic than paying for those keywords.

This is because when you are in one of the top 5 positions (according to statistics the majority of search traffic visits one of the top 5 web sites) you can expect to have a continuous flow of traffic 24×7 without having to pay anything (the actual volume of traffic depends on how popular a keyword is).

So, if you compare traffic and cost of first page positions for SEO traffic and PPC traffic, organic traffic is better. There are some studies suggesting that PPC ads get more clicks than organic but this also translates to a bigger cost.

If on the other hand it is very difficult to get first page positions for a keyword then paying for traffic may be your only option since second and third page positions will probably bring 0 or very little traffic.

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