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SEO vs PPC - The Face-Off

01/08/2017
SEO vs PPC - The Face-Off

SEO and PPC, so different yet so alike. Two different methods of generating traffic towards a website. If both are approached correctly they can be very effective for various types of e-business and e-commerce. In this article, we will look at some of the differences between the two methods.

SEO

SEO is short for Search Engine Optimisation and essentially describes the way search engines optimise pages on the internet, depending on their relevance to the particular subject. A site with a lot of relevant content performs well because search engines (such as Google, Bing and Yahoo!) like to see quality content and make informative pages more authoritative. SEO involves both on-page and off-page optimisation, meaning what is visually seen by the user as well as what isn’t. There is also some technical work involved which helps to improve page rankings, for example to ensure that a site hasn’t got any broken links or errors for user satisfaction. Search engines are still the primary way and method for the majority of internet users to discover a site. As a formula, one could suggest that the approach to take is to analyse what people want, optimise the content to be what they want and corresponding results will be seen.

PPC

PPC is short for pay-per-click, a type of internet marketing which may be referred to as a ‘short cut to the top’ because advertisers must pay a fee every time a user chooses to click on an ad (normally one of the top search results). Of course, an advertiser must be willing to pay to appear at the top and must bid against other competitors to do so. In some cases, advertisers will be competing for placement using the same keyword. Naturally this can sometimes result in a high bid value for a single Ad click. As an example, the phrase ‘Insurance’ in America has a total average cost of €55 per ad click! Crazy right? However, if the ad is well optimised and relevant, the fee may be justified - if the click costs €55 and results in a €1,500 sale, then the advertiser has profited from the advertising investment. The more relevant and interesting a page is, the less Google will tend to charge per click, resulting in a higher overall revenue for a business that is advertising. The key here is to ensure the approach is well thought out and planned from start to finish with KPIs in mind. Do it right or don’t do it at all – perhaps more importantly, do not take it for granted that results will be generated.

Many sources state that natural search visitors obtain a sense of trust towards a high ranking website or business or product and the service a site offers, if it is not an advertised listing. Having a high organic ranking in a search engine when searching for a specific keyword or query would be considered a sign that the website is legitimate and reputable. However, an advantage of PPC is that it gives the ability for an advertiser to advertise on another site, which may have a lot of traffic and therefore the potential to gain new audiences. On the other hand, good SEO is not that simple as the process is quite time consuming and requires a certain amount of skill to master due to the many elements and strategies, not least of which is the fact that technologies and algorithms are always changing.

If approached correctly and with serious intent, both PPC and SEO can help an advertiser extend their reach and dominate search engine results pages – with respective benefits and costs.

 

Andrew Johnson is a digital marketing executive at Deloitte Digital. For more information, please visit www.deloittedigital.com.mt/online-marketing