SEO vs PPC: What's the Difference?

Marketing Advice - 04.09.17

We often get clients who confuse Adwords Pay Per Click (PPC) and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) search results. It’s an easy thing to confuse, both of these belong to Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and if implemented together they can dramatically increase leads for your business.

Firstly, what’s the difference? Well let us demonstrate : 

The top result is a Pay Per Click ad that we are running through Google AdWords. The second result is generated organically by Google. Now, both of these results are shown when someone searches for Together Digital. You might be wondering why?

Google Adwords Pay Per Click

Before you read any further, if PPC is unclear to you it might be a good idea for you to watch our motion graphic about what PPC Advertising is here.

When it comes to where you appear on the search result page for pay-per-click advertising this depends on how much you’re willing to pay a cost per click. With that being said, here are some other factors that determine your position on Google’s paid search:

  • How popular is the keyword you’re targeting

  • How much money are your competitors putting behind the said keyword

  • How many competitors do you have

However, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad and not when it’s being viewed on the search page. 

Search Engine Optimisation

To get good organic rankings (not on a PPC model) you need to optimise your website and your content. Ranking positions depend on how well your site is optimised for search engines. It combines technical, on-page and off-page factors. These are just some of the factors that Google takes into consideration when it comes to ranking sites.

  • Site speed

  • Responsive design (website, tablet and mobile-friendly design)

  • How often the site is being updated

  • Quality of content, having good on-page optimisation (titles, descriptions, heading tags etc)

  • Is the content relevant and useful for your audience?

  • Having a good UX design and experience

  • Video content

  • Links, CTR, and time spent on site

Let’s Focus on the Content and Keyword Elements Only

Our site is going to appear on top of the organic search result page because “Together Digital” is in our URL, metadata, used consistently within the content and we are relevant for that term.

However, we will have different ranking results when a user searches for “digital marketing agency” or ‘web development Dublin.’ Ranking for those will depend on whether we are relevant for that term, have lots of useful quality and relevant content, and how well we have optimised our metadata.

How to Best Use PPC and Organic Keywords Efficiently

So now that we’ve established the difference between organic and paid traffic, how do you know what keywords to use for each channel?

Organic Keywords

Pick around 10 keywords that you have the most chance of ranking for, keeping in mind how relevant it is to your core offering, the amount of content you can write about it, how competitive it is, and whether it has a high chance of converting. These keywords should form the backbone of the content that you add to your website through text blog posts, video blogs, news articles or service pages. As you’re creating this content you’ll have to ensure to add these keywords to your metadata.

PPC Keywords

PPC keywords can be used very effectively for:

  • Keywords you find it hard to rank for organically e.g. too many competitors, not enough content

  • Terms related to specific products and services outside of your core offering

  • Competitor names (Your business listing shows when people search for a similar competitor)

  • ‘Own the page’ - when you want to appear in the PPC panel as well as the organic listing

  • Driving specific traffic to a landing page (sign up demo page)

  • Offer-based campaigns - Free, discounted,

  • Words that you don’t want your website to rank for organically e.g. ‘cheap’

When it comes to creating your PPC campaigns, use the terms you want to bid on. Make sure to include them in your ad copy, ad group, landing page, metadata and URL of the landing page for best results.

We hope that it’s become a little clearer for you as to what the difference between SEO and PPC is. If you want us to carry out a simple SEO audit on your website absolutely FREE fill in the form below!