Nov 8, 2018

What is the difference between PPC and SEO?

Difference Between PPC and SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) are two critical aspects of digital marketing. Both can help to build an online audience, generate website visitors and capture leads. But what do these terms mean and how are they useful to your business?


If you’re a new or small business, you have to build an authoritative and trustworthy voice. You’re competing for a space on page one of Google, and considering a third of all internet users click the first Google search result, it’s important to rank well.


By adopting PPC and SEO strategies, you increase your chances of finding and retaining an engaged audience. Prioritizing these early on gives your business a greater chance of driving traffic to your website and gaining quality leads. Although both approaches are valuable, they do have different agendas which affects how you should prioritize your approach. The digital marketing experts at Design Thinking have put together everything you need to know below.



The core difference between SEO and PPC is that PPC doesn’t benefit your company’s overall ranking on search engines. PPC is simply a form of advertising that helps drive traffic to your website but it is not organic. That being said, young businesses often don’t have the resources to drive organic traffic to their website and creating effective content takes time. By paying for advertising, you can lead people to your site in the early stages. When PPC campaigns, such as Google AdWords (now Google Ads), are performed well, visitors may return through organic means, which will then influence organic traffic.


Search engine optimization

SEO is about constantly creating new and relevant content that aim to improve your overall rank on search engines. Some of the many factors involved in effective SEO include:


  • Keyword research
  • Content creation
  • Link building to improve domain authority
  • And so much more


Like many PPC campaigns, including Google Ads (Google AdWords), SEO is built on the foundation of keywords. A user enters a keyword into Google and is rewarded with search results. Your objective is to be the most trusted source of knowledge for peoples’ queries.


By adopting SEO practices you allow your content a chance to rank well, which should improve how many website visitors you receive. How well you nurture those visitors is the next step in the journey.


Which one is better?

Marketing your business is a marathon, especially when it comes to the digital world. You need to pace yourself and think about the long haul. Otherwise, you’ll run out of energy and money. Sure it’s important to get a head start but don’t let that initial pace define your journey. PPC advertising is great for offering short-term gains. With the proper budget, you will see more website visits and more leads. However, it isn’t always a cost-effective solution to building an online presence, and as soon as you pull the plug on funding you’ll be right back to where you started.


SEO is the long-term approach. It’s about using consistency with content to develop a loyal, engaged audience of repeat customers. More importantly, it’s about optimizing your website for the user experience by creating educational and trustworthy content that tells search engines you’re a reputable source of information on specific subject matters, such as digital marketing.


For optimal results, we recommend that businesses beginning their marketing journey invest in content marketing and SEO, and use PPC to promote this content as much as their budget allows. As organic traffic builds, which could take anywhere between 6 months to a year depending on your SEO budget, PPC can be scaled back and used as a tool to promote specific offers and generate leads in areas of relevance.


In a nutshell, SEO should be at the foundation of everything you do. It’s your ticket to a loyal audience on the web. And deploying PPC early on can help drive traffic to your site as well. For more information on how we can use PPC tactics such as Google Ads and SEO to improve your online ranking and overall marketing, contact Design Thinking today.