Search engine optimization (also shortened to SEO) happens when a website is optimized so that it can achieve higher rankings within organic search results. The most used search engine, Google, boasts more than 200 factors in their algorithm that determine where a website will be ranked within the search results. Because it allows you to show up in organic search results, it is free. One the website has earned a high ranking in the search engine results page (SERP), the results will live there for a while and you will see sustained traffic from this. Also, organic results generally have a higher click-through rate than that of a paid ad. On the other hand, SEO is a long term project that takes time to build authority and subsequently be indexed for search terms. While technically it is free, to fully optimize a website is a huge investment of not only time but resources as well.
SEO is more than just optimizing a website and its content to rank higher in organic search results via targeted keywords on the most popular search engines. It is also about being regarded as the authority on a given topic, providing a solution that is being sought. The top search engines like Yahoo, Google, and Bing will look at how individuals interact with a website, and if the visitors come back, and if other websites are linking about to your website, this makes it appear that you are the leading authority.
Pay-per-click (shortened to PPC) is a model for advertising in which you will pay for each click that your ad gets. Advertising through search engines is the most common version of pay-per-click. It happens when you bid for your ad to show when an individual searches a keyword that is relevant to the business that you are offering. This kind of advertising can also be used on social media platforms like Facebook, where the ads are served to an individual based on their demographics, interests, or other specifications that the brand has chosen. The great thing about PPC campaigns is that once it has been launched, the boost in traffic is usually immediate.
There are many advertising platforms available for PPC, and you are able to choose an offering that targets the options that will aid you in reaching your target audience. PPC traffic generally has a higher conversion rate than that of organic traffic. One of the downfalls of PPC campaigns is that you have to pay for your advertisements to appear. Also, the boost may be immediate but it is vital that time is invested in order to learn how to develop and optimize campaign ads. This is vital in getting the most out of a PPC campaign. Lastly, while good results for a short campaign are achievable, you should know that when you turn the campaign off the traffic associated with it will also go away.
Essentially PPC is paying for space used for advertising using targeted keywords on a search results page. Do not think that this is a “set it and forget it” type of situation—there is still search engine optimization that is done when creating a PPC advertising campaign.
Now, let’s get back to our question. Should My Business Invest in SEO or PPC? To help us with the answers,
SpyFu shares its guide to SEO and PPC in this infographic.
The cover the following points:
• End goal
Check out the infographic for more detail.
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This article was originally published in 22 May 2019. It was most recently updated in December 8, 2022 by Wise