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SEO vs. PPC: The Main Differences


SEO vs. PPC: The Main Differences

You’ve probably seen a lot of digital marketing acronyms get thrown around, such as CPC, CTA, and SEM. But the two most popular acronyms which everyone notices quickly are SEO and PPC. These are two methods of digital marketing that can help boost your website’s ranking in search engines, especially Google. Which one is better, though? Should you try both?

Let’s examine this.


The “SEO” acronym refers to “Search Engine Optimization.” This is a digital marketing method where you try to enhance your website’s content to satisfy the ranking algorithms of search engines like Google. In other words, SEO will help you attract more organic traffic to your website from these search engines. When people search a certain phrase related to your niche, they will be able to find your website on the top of the search results if your SEO is strong.

Aside from enhancing your website’s content to improve its SEO, you must also have a fast website which can be used on multiple platforms. For instance, your website must load quickly and be fully functional on laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Search engines can detect whether your website has these attributes or not. If your website does have them, it will rank higher in the search results for people.

Lastly, you need to have high-quality backlinks to your website. Backlinks refer to the links to your website that are published on other websites. If you have a backlink on a reputable website with a lot of traffic, then search engines will determine that your website is popular and relevant too. As a result, your website’s ranking increases in the search engine.


The “PPC” acronym refers to “Pay Per Click.” This type of digital marketing requires the advertiser to pay each time someone clicks on their search engine advertisement. The advertiser can create text or visual ads which automatically show up at the top of search engines. The only time they must pay is when someone clicks on the ad. This is different than other digital marketing methods like CPM and CPA.

CPM means “cost per thousand impressions” which is where you pay a certain bid price for every 1,000 impressions that your advertisement receives. This doesn’t even guarantee that anyone will click on them. CPA means “cost per acquisition,” meaning that you pay for a particular action that someone makes on your website, such as signing up for a newsletter.

SEO and PPC continue to dominate all the other marketing methods. The problem is so many people use these terms interchangeably because they both give your website a high ranking in search engines. However, they are not the same thing because PPC does not provide you with organic traffic, but rather paid traffic. On the other hand, PPC does give you traffic faster than SEO. If you’ve got a new website and you want traffic fast, then SEO may be the way to go.

How Long Does It Take?

When you’re starting a new website and performing SEO for the first time, it could take several months before you notice the results. Search engine crawlers are scanning through thousands of websites every day. It takes time for these crawlers to analyze the SEO of your website and confirm that it complies with their algorithms. Once your website is ranked in the system, any updates you make to the content will be reflective a lot faster in these search engines. This means it won’t always take months for updates and changes to affect your website’s rank. Only in the beginning.

Of course, PPC is much faster because your ads show up within days. For instance, you would just go to Google AdWords and create an ad campaign for your website. After you’ve set up the keywords and bid prices, your ads will start appearing on the top of Google search results pages within 24 to 48 hours. Just be sure you set a reasonable budget for your ads campaign so that you don’t spend more than you can afford. Also, monitor the statistics of your ads performance to make sure you’re not throwing money away over an ineffective campaign.

Tips for SEO Ranking

To help you get started with SEO, here are some tips to get your website ranked better.

  • Create content which accurately represents your website and niche.
  • Consistently update your website and make it easy to navigate on all platforms.
  • Create interesting content that people want to see or read.
  • Use rich images that are fast to download.
  • Advertise on social media websites for free.
  • Use Google Analytics to evaluate your website’s traffic.

Tips for PPC Ranking

Below are some tips for maximizing the performance of your PPC ad campaign.

  • Set a competitive bid amount (make sure you can afford it).
  • Write or create a high-quality ad.
  • Publish video advertisements on Google.
  • Use Facebook Ads and other social media paid ads programs.