In the rapidly advancing online environment, there may be a lot of potential points of interest for the engineers, the writers and the enthusiasts but for the investors and the purely business-focused teams, it’s only about one clear and distinguishing factor: the popularity of the platform or the number of visitors accessing that platform. With this core strategy in mind, there remains two primary means of generating revenue and both are quite different in what they present and how they perform. Today, we take a look at the much asked question in recent times, ‘what’s the difference between Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay-Per Click (PPC)?’
Though most might be expecting a clear winner but that’s not the case here. There are a lot of variables that are taken into account and at the end of the day; it depends on how you really want the business to function or what your plans or objectives might be right from the start. In other words, there’s no good or bad as long as you’re using either strategy sufficiently and the results reflect in how well your business performs.
The key here is obviously the awareness of the target audience, their liking and demand, coupled with what works best for the company within those limits of the viewer’s demands. Below, we’ll take a look at what are the most essential differences between the two digital search systems and how each can be utilized suitably for the promotion of the desired platform.
What exactly are SEO and PPC?
First let’s take a look at what those two acronyms represent in the sense of their larger meaning in the digital business. SEO is a score attached to every article you write, every post that you publish and every report that is sent out from your website. The score determines the viability of your content and how ‘optimised’ the piece of writing is in order to show up higher when you feed Google the related keywords in its search bar.
The SEO score depends on the clarity of your writing, the accessibility and readability of the text and if the content matches closely with the title and the solution the users maybe expecting. There are also other various aspects including the useful links embedded in the article, how organized things are including headings and subheadings, and lastly a lot of images for reference since books without illustrations are boring and not only kids think like that anymore.
The popular search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing makes use of this technique to sort out the results and provide the user with the most authentic and precise content available across the World Wide Web.
Looking at the other branch of the digital promotion tree, we’ve got PPC. This marketing strategy is much easier to explain as this is what the guys over at the advertisement department are used to. Though less organic than its counterpart, PPC is when you basically pay these search engines to secure a place on the results page, mostly taking the upper half of the page above the SEO results. Of course, there is still some SEO aspects involved between these ads themselves to decide which one secures the top spot but chances are you will definitely get the word out if you pay the top dollar.
So whenever the typed keywords have some sort of relation to the ads, they show up with a rectangular ‘Ad’ tag next to the respective URL to help visualize them differently from the SEO results.
Now that we’ve talked about the two in their elementary sense, let’s delve into what factors set them apart and what impact will those differences have on your strategy of advertising and promoting your platform.
What makes PPC different from SEO?
First and foremost difference is how PPC can help companies utilize the space they paid for however they want to.
This includes anything you would expect in a typical advertisement along the lines of illustrations, contact details, quick-links and pricing information. All of this complements the subtext or the snippet below the URL. This is only exclusive to PPC results and that, coupled with the fact that the results always appear on the top portion of the page adds at least some prominence to them.
Furthermore, unlike SEO results which depend on long-term progress and feedback of the users, PPC are much faster to produce and bring up high enough on the charts of the results due to their different procedure. Though it may appear, from the above facts, that a loss is imminent for SEO results but that’s not the case when you analyse SEO’s potential in detail.
As many internet studies have shown, most of us are subconsciously ignoring paid search results whenever our eye meets the ‘Ad’ tag. Though it’s still unclear why that might be the case even after images being introduced in PPC results, but what’s apparent is apparent and there’s evidence to back that fact. Moreover, when talking about costs, the PPC strategy is based around the whole idea of paying. The more you can invest in your ad campaign, the longer you can keep those results up and high. Things get especially worse when fierce competition lies within the field and there’s always this race to stay on top.
Thankfully, those utilizing SEO don’t have to worry about investing too much in their promotion game. As long as the content is backed on by the support of the community and the content itself follows the guidelines of SEO closely, there’s a good chance the audience will notice your platform among some few others. Moreover, competition still exists but it can only be won fairly without having to invest huge sums of money. Keep producing those articles just the way the audience likes it and you’re all good to go. With that said, it’s a high priority among many platforms and businesses to hire an expert on SEO guidelines who can highlight and educate other employees on how to maintain a good SEO score in their content.
This is where SEO really shines because it feels like a platform by the audience FOR the audience. What trust and credibility can create, no sum of money can even attempt to do so. Even when the platform pivots into new directions and introduces new products and ideas, there’s always a good portion of the community that’s willing to at least give it a try. This dedication and dependence on the user feedback leads to both a higher percentage of click-through rate (CTR) and ROI when your business is really up and running.
So who wins the race?
In spite of weighing the various pros and cons of both the strategies, the victory of either is still not clear cut. For smaller, more focused and specialized businesses, or platforms looking to try out something new before actually delving into it, SEO strategy seems to be the ideal option. With low costs involved and focus being on quality of content, even a person starting out his business venture can find a footing. As for those big businesses and industries which have been in the field for a long time now and can’t see their competitors rise above, PPC is the way to go. PPC also works if you’re looking to rush things a little and plan on building and developing your business gradually with the head-start you get.
Proceed with the strategy that has principles that relate and apply to your business plan. If done with credence and a firm, relentless dedication, the cons won’t hurt as much and if you’re still unsure or you don’t asses your marketing plan correctly enough, even some major pros will appear insignificant.