PPC Firms vs. SEO Consulting – Similarities and Differences

Advertising, marketing, and promoting are three integral parts of the business operation, spreading the word of everything from new products to the release dates of upcoming movies. Just like most things in today’s highly technological age, former means of accomplishing these tasks are long outdated. Advertising and marketing first found a foothold through magazines, the first medium for entities to use as a marketing tool. Invented in 1741, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, magazines today persist as a means of advertising. However, companies are increasingly moving away from outdated modes like print and paper to deliver their message to potential customers. The modern company is utilizing digital means to market to the online consumer. Two of the most popular forms of digital marketing are pay-per-click advertising and search engine optimization. Both of these marketing strategies play a major role in the success of American businesses, but what exactly are they?


Definition of PPC and SEO

Although you’re probably familiar with the basics of both pay-per-click advertisements and search engine optimization, it’s important to define terms being discussed to yield maximum clarity.

Pay-per-click advertising is a form of digital advertisement in which companies, charities, organizations, and individuals – or whoever funds the ads – segment and target specific groups of consumers that are most likely to show interest in products and services advertised. They are typically found on the side of websites, in the middle of pages, and as banners towards the top or bottom of sites. Users are charged a fixed amount each time someone clicks on them. Often pay-per-click advertising sits at the top of Google search results, above the organic results for any searched keyword or phrases.

SEO, short for search engine optimization, involves optimizing both on-page and off-page elements of a website, with the goal of increasing rankings in search engine results page (SERPs). Austin SEO firm explains that for most companies, higher rankings translate to increased traffic and thereby, increased revenue.

Comparing and Contrasting the Basics of PPC Ads and SEO


The bread and butter of SEO is intertwining popular search terms into digital content. PPC ads can, and often do, use image tags and embedded words that are searched for often online. So, while SEO can be utilized for top-notch PPC ads, the opposite won’t work.


Also, SEO is free, whereas PPC is inherently not free. While you might pay someone, like an SEO consultant, to beef up your site’s search engine ranking performance, you’ll always, 100% of the time, spend on PPC ads.

However, seeking SEO consultation almost always costs money. PPC ad designers, developers, and purveyors almost always charge, as well. The only situation in which either of these service providers wouldn’t charge their clients is through promotions, discounts, etc.

Trust and Credibility

Pay-per-click advertisements often don’t build trust, credibility, or any significant levels of traffic, although search engine optimization is quite the opposite. SEO, on the other hand, builds the appeal of websites to visitors, boosting search listing results, and much more, despite not directly offering promotions or advertisements to visitors. That’s the job of pay-per-click ads: to draw in potentially paying customers without making your other web pages too “sales-y.”


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