How is Ranking Different When Comparing PPC vs. SEO?

How is Ranking Different When Comparing PPC vs. SEO? certified seo experts

Listen, we understand that there are only so many hours in a day for you to work on marketing your brand or business. There are places where you might want to cut corners and favor other strategies for finding attention and increasing conversion rates online. If you are reading this article, you could be weighing whether it is more valuable to work on – PPC vs. SEO. 

In this article, we will go over the differences between PPC and SEO, how both of them can help you with ranking, and what the correct marketing strategy might be for your business that involves PPC or SEO. 

What is SEO?

If you have been making an attempt at trying to improve your brand or business’s online visibility, you are likely already familiar with SEO. SEO, also known as  “search engine optimization” is the process of optimizing your website for search engines. 

Optimizing your content for search engines can be done through several different methods, but essentially your goal is to improve the ranking of your website and web pages. This ranking is the place in which your web pages appear for a given search term or keyword.

What is PPC?

Venturing over to the world of marketing through advertising, PPC refers to “pay-per-click” advertisements. These ads are fairly simple to figure out and they are a great introduction for paying to boost your online content. PPC ads are also a cheap method of advertising online. 

Rather than playing a flat fee for posting an advertisement that people may or may not see, you will pay for each click that your ad generates. In this way, you can be sure that you are only paying for successful advertising. That is to say that someone saw your ad and clicked on it and is now on your website!

When we refer to PPC advertisements in this article, we are focusing on the PPC advertisements that sit your website at the very top of search engine result pages. With an advertisement like this, your website is automatically “ranked at the top” due to your paid advertisement. 

How is Ranking Different When Comparing PPC vs. SEO?

Let’s make this perfectly clear. Your PPC ad will not boost your search engine ranking alone by being a paid advertisement. While your website will appear at the top of the list for the keywords that you chose to enter into an advertising campaign for, your website will not experience growth in the ranks like it would through SEO. 

Unless, that is, your PPC ad is very successful and generates a lot of clicks. This action by users online will signal to Google and other search engines that your content is useful, which is a huge proponent of SEO. 

Keep in mind though that this is a rarity and Google Ads uses their SEO data in order to show quality sites to viewers, including with their PPC ads. It is possible that even though you are paying for a PPC ad on Google, your competitors could be being displayed more than you due to their better numbers. 

Another flip side of this is that your PPC ad is less likely to generate positive results for you without SEO because your advertisement and your website will need to be optimized to keep people interested.

In addition, as soon as you stop paying for your PPC ad, your website will no longer be in this false top position for advertisements anymore. 

We will be perfectly clear, without putting the work into SEO you will not see the results in the rankings on a long-term basis. However, if you plan on paying for PPC ads in perpetuity, you don’t need to worry about rankings as much because you will be in this top spot. 

So, Is SEO Better than PPC? 

We’ve gone over the differences between ranking when it comes to PPC and SEO, but is SEO better than PPC? Should you absolutely only invest your money in SEO when trying to boost visibility online?

To be truthful, this is a tricky question to answer. There is so much nuance to SEO that we are inclined to say, ‘Yes, you should invest your time in SEO over PPC’. We are inclined to answer this way because there is so much untapped potential when it comes to optimizing your website. 

Additionally, it has been shown that an unoptimized website is generally a lower quality website. Certain aspects of SEO are specifically geared toward improving your site and improving the content that is on the pages of your site. These two things in combination will probably add more value to you in the long term over pay-per-click advertisements. 

However, on the flip side, PPC provides quicker results and instant visibility online. If you are trying to get your brand off the ground and off the ground quickly, investing some money in PPC could help you generate sales much quicker than investing into SEO can. 

Which Should You Pick if You Are on a Budget – PPC vs. SEO? 

The major decision to make between PPC vs. SEO for ranking visibility is not one of which is more effective because both marketing strategies are effective in different ways. Instead, this battle comes down to which option is the most appealing and realistic for you in the long-term. 

If you only have a certain amount of money to spend on marketing per month and PPC ads are going to take up all that you have, investing in SEO is going to be your best bet. You will experience growth, though it will be slow. However, this growth is going to be consistent and upward as you continue to invest your small budget into your website. 

On the flip side, PPC is great for you if you want to gain immediate attention and website visitors. 

The fact of the matter is, we don’t recommend that you do one or the other. We recommend that you focus on SEO and then branch out to PPC so that your PPC ads can reap the most reward while you are paying for them. 

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