Search Engine Optimization or PPC?

There are many seo superstars that utilize PPC as part of their overall strategy. However, it is sometimes best not to be used, especially if you’re great with SEO. A lot of people that start with online marketing will start off with PPC, or pay-per-click. You are probably familiar with the Google platform, adwords, as it’s the most popular. Facebook also has a program when they sell your ads, it’s similar to the pay-per-click model but slightly different in the way that it tracks your clicks.

In this article I’m just going to talk about the differences between SEO and PPC, understanding that PPC can be any model, so it’s just the concept that I’ll be referring to.

Differences Between SEO and PPC

SEO and PPC are two of the most effective marketing techniques that we know of today. Although there are many strategies, these two will always be around, no doubt.  So what are the differences between SEO and PPC? Let’s dive right in.


SEO takes time. In some cases it can take up to a year to get on that coveted first page, not to even mention the first position of the first page. The harder the keyterm, the longer it will take, not to mention the heavier investment. PPC on the other hand, can have your ad in the top position of Google within a matter of minutes. That clears up the time aspect.

Driving Traffic to Your Website

SEO is a great way to drive traffic to your site. With many terms ranking, and not just one term, it will help with the overall engagement of your site. You can evaluate how long people are staying on your site and then decide if you need to tweak the results based on the average stay on your site. PPC really needs to convert because it’s costing you money, so you really don’t have the luxury with SEO to test over time. You could lose a lot of money overnight if your landing page is just not right. With SEO, you can tweak it whenever you want because it is not costing you anything.

When to Use PPC

However, in some cases PPC can be better than SEO. For example if you are marketing a product that might only be around for a short time, or you find a hot product and Christmas is just around the corner, there is no way, even with the greatest SEO effort will you ever get that page ranked in such a short time. So in this case, PPC makes sense. Especially if the ad spend is low, you have a hot product and knowing that the sales will drop off at any time. This way you will get the maximum amount of exposure. What’s also good with this is that if the product seems to do really well, you can double your efforts and try to rank the same term for SEO. Keep in mind if the product is not evergreen it is a bit of a risk, but that is up to you to decide.

Although it has not been proven, it’s possible that people do ignore the ads and trust what is ranking in the search engines and not the ads. This is also similar to the phenomenon “Banner Blindness” where no one clicks on banners anymore. Seriously, when was the last time you clicked on a banner? Probably not in a long time.

In short, SEO is the way to go. Unless you have something that won’t last, then yes you can go with PPC. As a marketer, you should know which avenue will be the right one to take.

Last Words

If you’re just getting into online marketing and are doing PPC already but want to learn SEO, there are many courses online that you can take. It’s hard to say which one is best and the thing that is true is that it changes a lot. SEO can be very different than it is today as it was just a year ago. With all the Panda’s and Penguins, you need to stay on top of the game. One route is to hire an SEO agency.

Best of luck with your efforts. Whichever route you take, you can’t go wrong if you just focus and concentrate on what you are doing.

Late Online Marketer Corey Rudl
Local SEO – Does blogging help?

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