A Basic Guide on the Difference Between SEO and PPC


If you’ve done much research on digital marketing for your small business, you’ve likely seen the terms PPC and SEO thrown around. While both of these strategies work to bring you more website traffic, which one is better?

Furthermore, what is SEO? What is PPC?

We’re here to answer all of your questions. Keep reading for a quick look at the difference between SEO and PPC and how each plays a role in generating more leads for your business.

The Difference Between SEO and PPC

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is the coding integrated into websites and used by search engines to direct users to the most relevant content. When a user types a keyword into Google, SEO coding dictates the websites that come up in the search results pages (SERPs).

PPC stands for pay-per-click advertising. Like SEO, PPC relies on keywords and keyword phrases. However, PPC advertising allows you to pay the search engine to bring your website link up at the top of SERPs, rather than relying on the efficacy of your SEO coding.


Time is a major difference between SEO and PPC. It can take hours and hours of work to get any of your pages on the first SERP based on individual on-page SEO ratings.

However, when you use PPC, you’re paying for that privilege, rather than working for it. You can have your website showing up on the first page for certain keywords on day one.


Search engine optimization is organic visibility. The coding embedded in your website takes time to establish, but it’s essentially free. However, if you’re using a digital marketing agency to help you or view your time as valuable, SEO isn’t necessarily cost-free.

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Pay-per-click, as the name dictates, is a paid service. You pay the search engine site a predetermined amount for every click your ad gets.

You can set a cap on how much you pay each month. Once you’ve met your cap, your ad is disabled.


The most important difference between SEO and PPC we must address is each method’s effectiveness. Which option gives you better results?

Being at the top of the SERPs is almost guaranteed to get your website clicks. However, you must also understand the mind of the consumers. Many search engine users immediately skip the “ad” links.

As such, organic search results can prove more effective. Even if you’re paying a digital marketing company to boost your organic SEO, you might have a better return on your investment. Click here to find out more about how a digital marketing agency can help you.

Marketing Message

PPC gives you more room for your marketing message on the SERP than organic SEO. You can post more information about your company, products, and services. Furthermore, you can opt for individual links to individual pages.

PPC advertising also allows you to place product ads at the top of certain results pages. For example, if you sold rock climbing gear, you could place product promotions (including pictures) at the top of the results pages. Consumers could click on the product image and be sent directly to your product page.


Now that you understand the difference between SEO and PPC, which one should you choose to focus on? In truth, the answer is both. PPC and SEO work best when integrated together.

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Learn how to use organic SEO and paid advertising to maximize your online visibility. And if you’re looking for more marketing advice, stick around for a bit. Our blog is packed full of valuable information for business owners like you.


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