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How to tell your SEO from your PPC?

Today I've decided to decipher some marketing speak, with a simple comparison table.  

For those who don't know, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation or how visible your website is to the rest of the world.  Since the holy grail for companies is to appear on the first page of any Google search (and ideally in the top 5 results on that page), SEO is a term that keeps marketers awake at night.

PPC, Pay Per Click is a way of directing traffic to your website, by letting you, the frenzied marketer, buy your way onto that elusive Google search front page.

Ideally you want to use both tools to complement your outreach, but understanding the basics is always a good start.

SEO
PPC


Organic search
Paid search


Keywords are embedded into your web content.  The search engine brings back results based on visitors search query. Fingers crossed they type your keywords
Visitors search query triggers an advert associated with a designated keyword, paid for by each company


Long term tool.  Keyword rich content must gradually climb the search charts.  This can take weeks or months to achieve
Faster for drawing customer attention.  Good short-term tool.  Ideally for those in the market to buy right now and for informing potential new customers


Uses location specific keywords but tends to be less attuned to geographic location especially when the searcher hasn't specified a geographic term in the search
Uses location specific keywords.  More effective at targetting local areas because you can designate where your advert  appears in certain geographic locations


Keywords must be used in the test or HTML headers of the page, which makes writing for search and readers challenging.  Overuse of keywords can actually make a site or page, drop in search engine rankings
You can designate multiple keywords in your PPC adverts without having to actually include them in the text of the advert


If your content isn't displayed on the first page of results, users may never see it
Adverts are positioned prominently at the top or right hand side of search results


Achieves highest potential when used to build brand recognition over a long period
Not every click is a conversion.  You pay for the click but they may bounce from your landing page or ignore the CTA



You might be outbid by a company with larger finances pushing your advert lower down the page or onto the next one



Make sure you have a landing page that matches your advert, showing they are exactly in the right place, with a clear call to action tested on different browsers



My best advice to SMEs is to get some professional help with this area. Customers need to know you're out there before the sales can start rolling in and many a great company has been lost in the noise of the internet because no-one could find them.

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