SEO or PPC – What’s the Difference and What is Best for Your Brand?

We throw around a lot of acronyms in our business. It’s all part of the marketing technology jargon. Two that we use, and hear a lot, are SEO and PPC. Search Engine Optimization and Pay Per Click. They are two popular and common strategies for upping your online marketing game. But maybe you’ve heard that one is more useful than the other or one is more powerful. We are here to break it down for you to help you spend those marketing dollars wisely.

What is SEO?

For the purposes of this article, we are defining SEO, Search Engine Optimization, as on-page or technical SEO. This is the organic traffic being drawn to your website through Google or Bing or other major Search Engines. Outside of hiring someone to help you with the technicalities of this, it doesn’t cost you anything. The keyword here is organic.

What is PPC?

Pay Per Click is just as it sounds. It’s people coming to your website, through ads and links, that you pay for. In fact, you pay “per click” on that ad or link. This used to be banner ads, but these days it’s more integrated ads. Think about those sponsored links you see at the top or side of a page of Search Engine results. Those are being paid for, per click.

Which one is better?

That really comes down to your needs. As we said, SEO doesn’t cost anything, except for hiring someone like us to help you create content and increase keyword use. On the other hand, PPC costs something everytime. So we see SEO as the long-game plan, while PPC is short-term gain. For building a business over the long-term, we recommend learning about and focusing on SEO primarily.

When should you use PPC?

We do find PPC useful, especially when you do want to play that short-game. Let’s say you’re testing a campaign or idea. Or you need to show immediate value or need to draw lots of people to a site over a short period. Then PPC can be useful. But be careful. Because it’s short, test results can be skewed if they aren’t controlled for and analyzed properly.

Here are a few more differences:

Long Term StrategyShort Term Goals
Builds Background Buzz for Target AudienceDraws More People in Small Period of Time
Sets Baseline for Organic TrafficLearn How The Public Reacts

Wondering the best next step for your idea? Need some assistance with SEO or PPC? Let’s talk!

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