The Differences between SEO and PPC: a Quick Overview

Here at Creative we are lucky enough to be involved in a lot of really interesting website translation projects, some of which make use of our multilingual keyword research service, providing SEO-optimised translations which help businesses have a visible online presence even in foreign markets.


Online marketing strategies such as SEO can be a bit confusing and for this week’s blog post, we thought we’d put together a brief overview of two such strategies: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), as already mentioned, and Pay Per Click (PPC).


So if you are interested in learning more about SEO and PPC then read on as we discuss the differences between the two and the potential benefits and disadvantages of each.


If you have a website, you will find SEO and PPC very important strategies that you will want to use to your advantage.


While they have similarities, they use different approaches. It all boils down to the importance of having your website on the first page of internet search engines!


Put simply, search results are crucial to your online visibility. If you have search results for important terms which are on page 10 of Google rather than on page one, potential customers are far less likely to click through several pages of results to find your website.


Having results as high as possible on search listings, on the first or second page of a search engine, can boost traffic to your website significantly.


What is SEO and why it is so important?


SEO is a strategy which helps a website to improve search engine results on websites such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. There are also other websites if you are looking to reach larger exposure on Asian markets, such as Baidu, Yandex and Naver. SEO results are usually on the left of a search engine’s results, in a list with other websites.


SEO is an organic form of marketing which is free of charge – and is very important as the better the search engines results your website has, the higher the traffic you are likely to receive.


By utilising SEO, you can improve search results by following (or doing your best to follow) a set of general rules and guidelines recommended by online experts. These include, for example, having well-written and unique content, getting links into your website from other reputable websites, and having your website design mobile and tablet optimised and not overloaded with links and spam content.


A common problem with SEO, however, is that Google doesn’t publish the specific methodology it uses to work out search engine rankings, and so sometimes this can be difficult to get right!


PPC: when clicks can be paid for


Pay Per Click (PPC) is a different marketing strategy. Users bid on keywords to obtain good search results, and pay every time an online user clicks on their ads displayed on search engines.


By paying for PPC advertising your results will usually be at the top or bottom of a page, above/below organic (SEO) search results, or on the top right of results next to organic results.


PPC search results are sometimes listed under a heading of “Sponsored Results”, and are displayed very prominently.


The benefits of PPC are that your advert can be live within a few minutes, and it can also bring results faster since SEO takes time.


However, the internet is global and in every different industry and area there are sometimes hundreds if not thousands of similar websites all competing for the same top search results.


SEO is a free way to improve a website’s search results, but this can be a long-term strategy and can take months to get right. PPC offers a way to improve your website’s search engines results, but for this slightly quicker fix you will need to have a budget to invest.


Each of the strategies has its own advantages, and knowing which one to use really depends on your business’s goals and requirements. Utilising both marketing strategies is highly recommended to achieve the best possible search ranking and will probably be the most strategic step you can take to successfully increase the number of visitors to your website.


Photo Credit: stefanamer via iStock