Key Differences Between SEO and PPC Research

SEO and PPC are certainly different, but they can work well together to improve your overall results for your website, if this is something you are interested. Some websites choose to use just use one or the other, while others invest in both – the choice is totally up to you.

The obvious main difference between SEO and PPC originates with the cost. SEO is organic and doesn’t cost you anything – unless you choose to enlist the assistance of an SEO agency. Whereas, PPC costs money and you have to pay to get your website listed in the position it is in on a search engine.

SEO and PPC, however, are both a part of SEM and this is one of the reasons many choose to run both campaigns together. It is important you understand SEO and PPC (and the relationship) better so you can make a more informed decision with which campaign you want to invest in.

Take a look below at some of the main differences between SEO and PPC that everyone should be aware of:

1. Position in the Search Results

The first major difference is your ranking in search results. As you are probably already aware of, PPC results show up before the organic listings in search engines. This high ranking can be almost instant once you have set up your AdWords account.

However, your ranking in the PPC ads is not always guaranteed to be at the top of the first page. The more competitive the keyword you have assigned in your campaign, the greater the chance your listing will not be on the first page.

This is why it is important that you have some knowledge about how AdWords works (if you are going to use Google). Because it can actually become a waste of money if you don’t really know what you are doing and you aren’t targeting the right keywords or don’t have the right ad copy.

Organic (SEO) listings will show up in the middle of the ads. Your ranking here is determined how well you have optimised your website and followed Google’s best practice as well as how comprehensive your backlink profile is.

2. Cost

The thing that people probably care about the most – cost. The cost was mentioned in the introduction and SEO is free while PPC does cost money. It is important for you to keep in mind that, yes, SEO is free but it does take a considerable amount of work and knowledge in order to benefit.

This is why many choose to get the help of a professional SEO agency. They have the knowledge and time to work on your campaign and give you the results you deserve, while you focus on other aspects of the business.

As well as this, there are a number of ways that SEO can go wrong and end up negatively impacting your rankings. With competition in every industry and even every keyword so fierce, you cannot afford to take any risks when it comes it your SEO.

PPC does cost money, as you need to pay for the privilege of having your ranking in such a high position straight off the bat. The cost of PPC however, depends on quite a number of different factors. Take a look at some of the main influencing factors:

  • Popularity of the keyword
  • Number of different people who want the same keyword as you
  • Number of similar sites who already have an ad position for the keyword you are looking at

This can all get a bit complicated and Google does do its part to try and help you in navigating your way through. You do have the option as well to pay an agency for assistance. Most of the time an SEO agency will have the resources to assist you in this area as well.

3. Conversions

Another important aspect you need to consider is the conversion rate of SEO organic listings and PPC ads. Your listing may be highly visible but if it isn’t converting, then what is the point?

Generally speaking, users tend to skip right past the ads and look at the organic listings. So if you are using PPC then you need to ensure your ads are highly optimised for your target audience.

In terms of SEO, it will be pretty hard to convert a customer if your listing isn’t even on the first page! But if you do put in the time and hard work and eventually get on the first page, the traffic you will see will usually have a better rate of conversion.

There are a number of differences between SEO and PPC. It is important that you take all these major differences into consideration when deciding which one is best for you.