Organic Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, and Pay Per Click, or PPC, are two different methods of Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Both of these tools can be used as a part of your marketing campaign, but there is are significant differences between the two. Let’s discuss these differences, based on search engine positioning, cost, and potential traffic.
Search Engine Positioning – Organic Search Engine Marketing can land your website on the first page of Google’s search results if your website is optimized for SEO. Organic Search Engine Optimization, when done correctly, leads to long-term, organic search ranking. Pay per click will only leave your site on the front page temporarily. However, the first three listings will always be pay per click sites.
Cost – Technically, SEO is free. However, it takes a lot of strategic planning in order for your site to make Google’s first page. Just about every searchable keyword has high competition so only high-quality websites with a great SEO plan can make it. Many businesses will hire a digital marketing consultant to do this for them, which is fine, but you need to make sure the consultant really knows what they’re doing. If they claim they have some magical SEO shortcut that’ll get you in the top results, they’re lying.
Potential Traffic – If you can manage to bring your site to the top five results, you could get just as much traffic, if not more, than pay per click. This can be more worthwhile for you, as you can expect continuous traffic without having to pay anything.
Pay Per Click
Search Engine Positioning – Pay per click works by paying Google money for a keyword. Anytime someone searches that keyword, Google will place your site in the top three results. Every time someone clicks on the link, you pay Google a certain amount. You will still in the top three results until someone pays more for that keyword.
For example, let’s say you want the keyword “car dealership Charleston, SC” and the current price is $5.73 per click. You would offer $5.74 to get your site featured, and then the next person would offer higher until your site was no longer in the top three.
Cost – The cost of pay per click depends on a variety of factors. For example, if you’re using Google Adwords, your cost will depend on the popularity of the desired keyword, the number of sites that want to use that keyword, the number of sites that have ad positioning for that keyword, and more. You only pay for each click your ad receives.
Potential Traffic – PPC will bring your site about the same amount of traffic as SEO. The downside is that pay per click will only leave your site traffic while you are paying for the ad and outbidding others for the keyword. However, PPC will bring you more conversions. If your PPC ads are heavily targeted, more of the traffic on your site will be looking for your particular product/service. Heavily specific keywords for specials or unique items allows for higher quality traffic to visit your site, which is why PPC can lead to more conversions.
If you’re in Charleston, SC and need more information about search engine marketing, contact us at Lowcountry Media Solutions for more information.