SEO vs. PPC: What's the Difference and which is Right for You?

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For entrepreneurs, launching their brand online is like their newborn. They are completed and fiercely in love with it. When you invest so much in designing your company's website, you want it to be in good ranking. You want it to have maximum reach and a fairly good amount of traffic. Getting traffic on your website is vital for survival and there are two ways to get this done. Both methods involve investment, financially and mentally; the first being Search Engine Optimization and the second being Pay Per Click. Now you might ask yourself the following questions, how do they differ? Which one is better? What do I opt for? This may be a tough decision, here we try to explain the difference and ease out the decision process for you.

Let's start with familiarizing ourselves with what Search Engine Optimization is. SEO is the process by which you can increase your website's online ranking by generating organic results in Google. Organic results in basic nature are unpaid results that you get for your web pages. Whenever someone searches for your company using a keyword, the list that appears beneath the advertisements is the organic search results.

How does this magic work? This process includes a number of Search Engine Optimization strategies that are utilized within all ethical boundaries to generate site traffic. These strategies include Keywords, Link Building, Website Optimization, High quality content usage and proper usage of Social Media. All elements uploaded on your social media pages and your website helps in increasing your online ranking. Using good and relevant material on your web and social media pages will help in improving your online visibility, thereby improving your ranking on search engine results page, as known as SERP.

The basic difference between SEO and PPC, is that Pay per Click; as the name implies, is a PAID form of online strategy to generate traffic for your business. In Pay Per Click, you pay a certain amount and your website gets a ranking in the paid space on the search engine results page. Paid websites are shown on the top and right side of the results page. Pay per click may at times be called as cost per click. This method is a mode of advertisement that marketers use to bid on keyword phrases that are relevant to your product/ service offerings and your target market. This contains user relevant and user specific content; messages that are customized according to individual or segmented market preferences.

After establishing a basic difference between Search Engine Optimization and Pay Per Click, now the question comes to answer the mind twisting question. Which one is better? You have to pay for both, so differentiation on that attribute is out of the question. One consideration to be made is on the time frame. Do you plan to stay in the market for the long run or do you want to make lots of traffic for three months and then live on the small portion of revenue earned. The logical answer to this would be NOT to live of the small portion of revenue (Seriously; inflation is off the roof. Plus it gets boring to do nothing after the I-Don't-Want-To-Work-Frenzy is over)

SEO is the better option if you aim to make long term returns on your investments. The organic search results are pure breeds of keywords used to target users to your website. Search Engine Optimization does take a long time to generate a high ranking page but the advantage that you gain from this is that users prefer organic searches than paid ones. When a user visits your organic resultant web page, your web traffic increases and therefore also improves your Search Engine Optimization rank. Higher your SEO rank, higher your website value in the long run.

SEO does have a lot of benefits attached to its whole package. On the contrary, let's not consider PPC as the "bad" option. Some businesses do operate in the short run and that is not a bad thing. Running on the short term may be that the services being offered are seasonal or they are investing in other products/ services and divesting from current ones. Pay per click is the best method when you need instant results from the services that you're offering.Pay Per Click is more like a promotional campaign that generates instant traffic by specifically targeting your target market. Users looking to purchase items online are a clear example of the segments who visit paid pages.

If it were in the hands of the 'public', pun intended, we would make a combo deal of the two. Search Engine Optimization and PPC can help in increasing traffic, generating fast revenue and improving your ranks at the same time. Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope that this miracle happens soon.
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