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What’s the Difference between SEO and PPC?

Online visibility is critical for business websites, especially start-ups and businesses with small-scale advertising campaigns. With over 40,000 searches per second on Google, high search engine rankings are vital for driving traffic to your website. This is because over 95% of Internet users don’t look past the first three search result pages. Therefore, when designing a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) campaign, it is important to know the difference between Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC).


The Key Difference

Search Engine Optimisation is the art of optimising a websites content for visibility in search engines, while Pay Per Click is the method of paying for extra visibility. By using SEO techniques, such as keyword placement in written content, websites are able to rank better in search engine results. Since these rankings are earned instead of purchased, they are not marked as an “Ad” in search engine results. PPC on the other hand, is placing bids and competing against other advertisers for your keywords in SEM ads. PPC advertising is marked as “Ad” in search engines. Both are important when designing a Search Engine Marketing campaign.


A Word on Keywords

Keywords are ideas and topics that define what your content is about, and are what your audience enters into search engines. If you condense the images, video, and copy on your website down to simple words and phrases, those are your primary keywords. However, keywords also need to be relevant to what your audience is searching for. Creating compelling content is about providing real value for real people, not just sending hints to search engine software. And so, keyword research is also a valuable part of a successful SEM campaign.


What is Search Engine Optimisation?

SEO’s goal is to put your website at the top of search results organically. SEO techniques improve a website’s visibility, or ranking, during a keyword search. Since internet users rarely look past the first page of search results, ranking high on the first page is important. This is achieved through regularly updating your website with fresh and engaging content, and through numerous Social Media and blogs. Moreover, to optimise content, and rank well organically, you need to understand your audience.



Pay Per Click Advertising

PPC is paid advertising, such as Google AdWords and Bing Ads. Advertisers design a search engine ad campaign and pay for each click on their ads. In order for an ad to be displayed though, it must emerge successful from a keyword ad auction. Selecting high quality, relevant keywords for your advertising campaign can help you reach the customers you want, when you want. Therefore, one of the most essential elements for a PPC campaign is a list of quality keywords.

Ultimately, SEO’s purpose is to drive visitors to your site organically, while PPC is a paid promotion. Both are reliant on quality keywords. However, for optimal success with your PPC campaigns, your website must also have good SEO. Essentially, Search Engine Optimisation is the strategic approach to Search Engine Marketing, and Pay Per Click is a tactical tool.

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