Marketing August 27, 2020 Last updated August 27th, 2020 1,018 Reads share

What’s the Difference Between SEO and PPC?

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If you’re a business hoping to appease Google site crawlers to improve your site’s rankings and attract potential clients, you’ll need to understand the basic tenets of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC). Although these two concepts are geared towards directing potential buyers to your website, they differ in various ways, such as cost, traffic potential, and level of difficulty.

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice through which businesses strategically produce content and refine website design to gain unpaid traffic through search engine results. To do so, website owners must ensure that their website ranks highly on the search engine results. In a best-case scenario, your site will score first-page rankings, racking in site traffic and boosting sales.

Search engines scan content on your website to ascertain how relevant it is to the keywords that information seekers have input. As a business owner, you must determine which words or target phrases will attract your target market. Understanding which words a potential customer will use to search for the services or products you advertise will help you devise the most effective SEO strategy customized to your business’ needs.

Once you’ve pinpointed these keywords and phrases, you can create content that features these words, whether you write the content yourself or recruit a freelancer. Alternatively, you can contact an SEO expert at Searchbloom to help you identify these high-ranking keywords.

Search engine optimization can be time-consuming and potentially financially-draining, as it requires constant monitoring and development. An effective SEO strategy involves continuously updating your web content with information relevant to your potential clients’ searches and their different buyer personas. However, an SEO strategy isn’t as simple as releasing as much web content as possible. You’ll need to publish articles with keywords that help you accomplish your site traffic goals.

What is PPC?

Pay-per-click is a search engine marketing strategy where you advertise your business and only pay when potential clients click on your link. PPC is why links to websites appear on the top of the results page with the word “Ad,” after a search engine query is processed.

If PPC is done right, it can generate a substantial amount of traffic and more sales.

The Difference between SEO and PPC

Although SEO and PPC both help drive traffic to your website, they vary in their application.

PPC Is a Paid Service, but SEO Is Organic

As the term suggests, pay-per-click is a paid-for advertisement which varies in and the cost per word (CPC) from one search engine to another.  The CPC will depend on how competitive your keyword is, the season when you bid, your bidding strategy, and your quality score. The key to saving money on PPC is to account for your budget, target audience, campaign type, and success metrics.

Unlike PPC campaigns, a company doesn’t pay directly for SEO. Search engine optimization is an organic way of generating traffic, which means it is free of charge. Those business owners hoping to increase their rankings shouldn’t interpret this difference as an opportunity to avoid drafting a budget for your SEO campaign. You’ll need to allocate resources to hiring a top-level SEO specialist. As part of your SEO strategy, you might require a web developer to adjust your website accordingly to meet SEO requirements and accommodate relevant costs.

PPC Is Instant While SEO Takes Some Time To Achieve

Once your keyword bid is accepted and paid for, the search engine is obligated to put your website link on their search engine results page, whenever someone makes a query with your keywords. With guaranteed results, PPC is much more straightforward than search engine optimization techniques.

SEO takes more time to garner results, as you first have to understand what your prospective clients would search for, and then produce content designed to answer the user’s questions. After you’ve generated content, you can embed a link that connects them to your sales or Contact Us pages.

Your Level of Control in PPC and SEO Differs

PPC is, in general terms, an advertisement. Therefore, you’ll have greater control over your potential clients’ landing page when they click on your link and photographs of your products, among other aspects of your SEO campaign. Oversight can also decide which season to run your campaign and for how long.

Before hiring an SEO firm, you should realize that an SEO campaign is an ongoing process in which you provide blog and site content and wait for prospective clients to find you with the keywords they query. Organizing an SEO strategy can be very costly for small businesses since bigger and more technologically and financially-grounded competitors have invested in SEO for years. This disadvantage shouldn’t discourage small businesses from drafting a long term SEO campaign.

PPC Provides Market Intelligence, SEO Doesn’t

Businesses that depend on organic traffic can’t access market information about which keywords convert to clicks and at which percentages. On the other hand, PPC users receive tools to monitor conversion and integration, allowing them to identify which keywords convert and at what rate.


Both SEO and PPC lend to their share of pros and cons. Neither option is a surefire way to spike site traffic. Often, you’ll need to fuse the benefits of both by combining PPC and SEO in your marketing strategy. Once you use PPC to pinpoint keywords that will convert into traffic, you can create content for your SEO campaign.

ppc advertising concept -DepositPhotos

Linda Williams

Linda Williams

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