skip to Main Content

What’s the Difference Between PPC and SEO?

learn the difference between PPC and SEO and implement campaigns that can help increase your websites visibility

Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) are two essential elements of digital marketing. They both assist in growing an online audience, generate website visitors and capture leads. Do you know what these terms mean and why they are useful for your business?

When you implement PPC and SEO strategies, your chances of discovering and retaining an engaged audience goes way up. And the earlier you prioritize these strategies, the more opportunities you’ll have to drive traffic to your site and, ultimately, convert more leads into sales.

Both approaches share a common goal, but they have different agendas. So, what do you need to know in order to prioritize your approach? I’m here to tell you.

PPC Fundamentals


The main difference between SEO and PPC to remember is that PPC will not contribute to a higher ranking on Google. The purpose of PPC is to drive traffic to your site, but none of the traffic is organic.

Believe me, I know that organic traffic is something many businesses strive for. I know that you’d prefer organic traffic to “paying for a visit to your website”, but, honestly, newer businesses typically don’t have the resources to drive organic traffic to their website. Creating effective content doesn’t happen overnight. With PPC, you get a jump start by getting consumers to your site early-on, thus increasing the chance for conversion. A solid pay-per-click strategy will prompt visitors (and their connections) to return to your site through organic means, which influences organic traffic.

SEO Fundamentals

search engine optimization

Search engine optimization is all about the content. Quality content will improve your overall rank on Google. Writing a blog post and publishing it on your website is totally useless if you’re not integrating SEO into the process.

Like certain PPC campaigns, keywords are the backbone of SEO. A user enters a keyword into Google and receives search results. Your goal is to be the most trusted source of information for peoples’ questions.

For example, let’s say you own a local boutique. If someone types ‘Boutiques in Greenville NC’ into Google, you’d want your boutique’s website to be the first thing people see and click on. So now, you have a website visitor. Maybe the visitor will fill out a form or visit your store to do some shopping. If they do, your search engine optimization has paid off.

Utilizing SEO practices gives your content a chance to rank well, which grows your website visitors.

Short Term vs. Long Term: What Results Are You Seeking?

Effective marketing requires endurance. If you don’t pace yourself, you’ll run out of energy. And by energy, I mean money, honey. Getting a head start is valuable, but don’t let that set the pace for your digital marketing journey.


Okay, so maybe my contradictory metaphor wasn’t the best example. Let me put it this way: PPC will offer you short term results. If you spend enough, you’ll notice more website visitors, more leads, and, with proper campaign management, more sales. But pay-per-click isn’t a cost-effective solution to building your online presence, and as soon as you pull the funding, you’ll be back to square one.

SEO is a long-term approach. Consistency + quality content = the development of a loyal, engaged audience of repeat customers. SEO is about optimizing your website for the user experience by creating content that tells search engines that you’re a reputable source of information.

For the Best Results, Conduct Both SEO and PPC

I recommend that businesses beginning their marketing journey invest in SEO while using PPC to promote your content as much as your marketing budget allows. Once organic traffic builds, PPC can be scaled back and used mainly for promotional purposes.


In conclusion, SEO should be at the core of everything you do. It’s your key to a loyal web audience. But, implement PPC early on to drive traffic. Once you pass the equilibrium point, PPC should be viewed as an add-on for special occasions. As time passes, SEO is what you depend on, and PPC is for that extra punch when you need it!

For more information on how to use PPC and SEO to improve your marketing, reach out to us! We’d love to chat with you.

know someone that needs to hear this? share it!

Need help with your next big project?

Back To Top