There are over 40,000 Google searches conducted every second, 3.5 billion searches every day, and 1.2 trillion searches every year. As search engines continue to feed the curiosity of its users, search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) are enabling marketers to seize the opportunity by driving more traffic to their websites. While both are powerful tools designed to boost discoverability, recognizing when to implement each one contributes immensely to how much value they can add to your digital marketing strategy.
Wouldn’t you like to know the secret to determining which approach would work best for your business? Continue reading and learn the ins and outs of both methods, how they work, and the mighty benefits that come along with using one or both.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing web pages with the objective to gain greater visibility in search engines. The ultimate goal of SEO is to develop consistent content that is both relevant and highly discoverable to establish your website as an authority in your industry. The greater the visibility in search engines, the greater the credibility for your website.
Three of the most common types of SEO are identified as:
1. On-page SEO
On-page SEO, also known as onsite-SEO, looks at how well a site’s web pages have been optimized to satisfy Google’s algorithm. If your website includes title tags, meta descriptions, and several other critical ranking factors that we will delve into later, it is more likely to perform better in search engines.
2. Off-page SEO
Off-page SEO refers to a business’s reputation outside of the website. This includes guest blogging, online business directory listings, review generation, and any other external efforts that help build authority. Out of all of the off-page SEO components, backlinks offer the most significant value.
3. Technical SEO
Technical SEO refers to how easily a site can be crawled and indexed by search engines. It also looks at whether a web page is mobile-friendly, includes Core Web Vitals, has a fast loading time, schema markup (structured data), and SSL.
How exactly does SEO work?
Search engine optimization (SEO) drives organic website traffic to a website. Web crawlers scour the web to analyze each web page, see how well it was optimized, and if its title tags, meta descriptions, and its content includes keywords relevant to a user’s search. If a page has relevant content and satisfies Google’s algorithm, it has the ability to organically rank higher in search engines.
Uncovering Google’s Ranking Factors
When it comes to satisfying Google’s algorithm, content is king. In fact 26 percent of Google’s algorithm accounts for how often a website produces engaging content to its audience. But it doesn’t end there. Metadata is also a critical component that helps communicate to servers what each of your webpages are about–and SEO is the driving force that makes this connection possible.
What is PPC?
Pay-per-click (PPC) is a form of advertising that guarantees top placement in search engines. Every time a user clicks a PPC ad, it requires the advertiser to pay a fee. Since the top 5 search results on Google account for 67 percent of the total clicks, pay-per-click is ideal for marketers seeking a high click through rate in a short amount of time.
How exactly does PPC work?
Pay-per-click advertising campaigns thrive on relevance. Specific search queries trigger PPC ads to appear in search results. For example, if a user is searching for an “SEO company in Jacksonville,” Google will serve ads for SEO companies in the Jacksonville area at the top of the page. They will be placed above organic search results to entice the user.
How are PPC and SEO different?
While both of these traffic-generating methods can be beneficial in their own way, the effectiveness of each one depends greatly on the goal at hand. 70 percent of marketers see SEO as more effective than PPC. But search engine optimization isn’t for the impatient. So for marketers looking to hit the ground running, PPC is typically the unanimous preference. PPC visitors are also 50 percent more likely to purchase something than organic visitors. As a result, spending a little money on PPC ads can help you make more money and positively influence your return on investment (ROI).
The table below compares and contrasts some of the most common differences between search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Based on Google SERPs
Top of page
Establish online authority
Increase sales and lead generation
Paid ($500 – $10,000+ a month)
When You Should Use Each One
Every method has its moment. As a result, there may come a time when your digital marketing strategy will require you to use one over the other or even both.
The consistent results search engine optimization can provide helps a website build its online reputation. So if your goal is to dominate the top of search engines organically, SEO would be the best option. Unlike PPC, SEO drives long-term results that may fluctuate in ranking at times, but your efforts will not disappear.
If you’re in search of instant results, pay-per-click would be the ideal choice. It’s called pay-per-click for a reason, so if you have a desire to increase leads, a short amount of time, and a budget to back you up, it would be the most effective option. However, one of the biggest downsides to investing in PPC over SEO is that once your ad campaign is over, so is your visibility.
Integrated SEO and PPC Approach
Robust visibility in search engines may be the goal for your business and it can be achieved by combining the benefits of both SEO and PPC. Since neither PPC or SEO impact one another, they can be used together to make your presence undeniably visible in search engines to your ideal audience.
Now that you’ve gained a greater understanding of how search engine optimization and pay-per-click can benefit your digital marketing strategy, which one would you choose to accomplish your goals? If you’re still unsure, reach out to the marketing professionals at DAGMAR Marketing and allow us to use our expertise to put you on the right path.
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