SEO vs. PPC: What’s the Difference?

Have you ever wondered about the difference between SEO and PPC and whether or not you actually need them both? Search engine optimization, or SEO, and pay per click, or PPC, are two common digital marketing strategies. While they both help your business show on search engines, there are a number of differences between the two.

Let’s walk through some key differences between SEO and PPC to help you determine which is best for meeting your marketing goals.

What Is SEO?

SEO encompasses a strategy to help your website show in organic search results. SEO is incredibly involved and includes a number of things like updating your website, content, and offsite mentions of your business. But, these updates make your website more appealing to both search engines and searchers so you can show in results when consumers are searching for your products and services.

SEO helps build your web presence and drives local traffic to your business while creating long-term authority in organic search results. This, in turn, continues to positively impact your business over time.

What Is PPC?

PPC can go by a lot of different names, like search advertising, search engine marketing, and SEM. But, all of these names are describing a way for your business to show as a paid result on search engine results pages (SERPs) by creating ads on platforms like Google and Bing and bidding on specific keywords. PPC drives calls and leads from locally-targeted prospects and generates an immediate response from paid search results.

Unlike SEO, you can start seeing immediate results from PPC, but there are no additional impacts to your business after you stop paying for ads.

SEO + PPC: Marketing Magic

When you start running a digital marketing campaign, PPC is a great way to get your business listed on search engines immediately while you’re working on your business’s SEO. And, having your business appear multiple times in search results, through a paid and organic result, can boost brand awareness and the likelihood that a searcher will visit your website. One study found that 82% of ad clicks are incremental when your business appears in both the paid and organic result of a search. This translates to improved clickthrough rates and, often, improved conversions.

Combining SEO and PPC is a proven strategy for success. Download our free on-demand webinar below to learn more about search marketing trends you need to know and visit our website for more information.

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Stephanie Heitman

Stephanie is the Strategic Communications Marketing Manager at ReachLocal. She has experience in digital marketing, social media management, and content creation for SMBs. Stephanie specializes in helping businesses improve their online reputation and appreciate the impact social media and digital marketing can have on their brand. When she isn't researching the latest online marketing tips and trends, she enjoys eating pizza and watching too much TV with her husband and her dogs.

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