What Is The Main Difference Between SEO and PPC

Brendan Egan

What Is The Main Difference Between SEO and PPC

SEO and PPC are two words thrown around all the time in the online marketing world, but there are very distinct differences between SEO and PPC, and in our opinion there’s one option that is more profitable for the majority of small businesses.  Let’s first examine what SEO and PPC actually are then compare the two so you can decide which one will be most beneficial to your small business.
SEO is short for search engine optimization.  If you’re wondering exactly what SEO is, visit our “What Is SEO” tab on the top of this page.  In short, SEO is the process of optimizing a website to rank better in search engine results.  This includes making changes to coding, on page content, and building links from other websites to your small business’ website.
As with any sort of marketing, there are pros and cons to SEO.  One huge pro of SEO is that there are no costs associated with each click you receive—so once your website is ranked on the first page of search results, you aren’t paying for that traffic—it is essentially free traffic.  Another huge pro of SEO is that while there are costs upfront, once your site is ranked it could stay ranked, in some cases for completely free, for years.  This means your initial investment will continue to reward your company far into the future.  Some cons of SEO are that you need to choose a good SEO company to see results—there’s a lot of scammy, spammy SEO companies popping up on the web that don’t deliver what they promise.  Another con of SEO is that your competitors could start doing SEO and outrank your site—but don’t worry we have plenty of solutions for that!
PPC is short for pay per click.  PPC typically refers to Google’s Adwords advertising platform.  Do a quick search for anything on Google and you will see “Sponsored” or “Paid” listings either on the top of the screen or on the right column.
Again there are pros and cons to PPC as well.  The pros are that you will see instant results—so if you start a PPC campaign today, you will get traffic today from that advertisement.  Another benefit of PPC is that you can change your keywords whenever you want and immediately receive traffic.  There are also some huge cons to PPC as well, including the biggest con which is price.  PPC ads are exactly what they say—pay per click—so you are paying a price for every click you receive to your site.  For example, we ran an ad for one keyword and the price per click was $11 per click.  This can add up extremely quickly—with just 100 clicks costing us $1,100!  With SEO, we typically see 100 clicks costing somewhere around $100 on average.
In our opinion, SEO is much more cost effective than PPC.  There are some circumstances where we recommend PPC over SEO, however for 98% of small businesses SEO will end up being much more cost effective in the long run than PPC ads.
If you’re interested in learning more about SEO for your company or whether you should be doing SEO or PPC, simply fill out the free consultation form directly to the right to speak to one of our veteran online marketing specialists.