Friday, April 24, 2009

Internet Lingo Explained

Not just the lingo, but the difference and benefits. From the EffectiveWebMedia blog:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) are two key ways to drive qualified traffic to your Web site. Because 80% of a Web site’s traffic comes from search engines I would suggest using both techniques (depending on the product or service) to boost traffic to your site. Each method is very valuable but is entirely different from one another. SEO and PPC differ in the following ways:


SEO works by optimizing the structure and content of a Web page for a set of determined keywords so that it is viewed as reputable and valuable by the search engines. SEO also relies on maximizing the quality and quantity of incoming links to your site. For a more detailed explanation of how SEO works you can learn more with our SEO Made Simple series.

PPC (specifically Google AdWords) works by establishing a set of keywords and then building an ad using optimizing for those keywords that links back to your site.

Placement on Page

Pay-Per-Click vs. Search Engine Optimization

When you utilize SEO the results of your efforts will appear in the natural or organic search results.

PPC ads appear on the side of a search engine results page and at the top if there are a high number of competitors targeting the same keywords.

Traffic Potential & Time Frame

Because SEO is a process not a project, results and rankings are not achieved overnight. It can take months of consistent, proven SEO techniques before your site will begin to appear amongst the top rankings. SEO is definitely a long term investment. However, if you are patient the results will be well worth it. SEO tends to bring 3x-5x more visitor to your site compared to PPC and the conversion rates from “visitors” to “buyers” also tends to be higher. This is due in part to the fact that Web sites that appear within the natural results are interpreted as trustworthy by users and therefor clicked on more regularly than PPC ads, which the user obviously knows are paid spots.

PPC is beneficial for driving immediate traffic to a site. This is useful for sites that are new, products that are seasonal or time sensitive, or instances when you simply cannot wait for an SEO campaign to bring in traffic.

Cost Investment

One of the myths of SEO is that it’s free. While with SEO you do not pay per visitor, there is a cost incurred. Cost comes in the form of designing a well optimized site, making modifications to an existing site, and hiring a qualified SEO company or consultant to develop a successful strategy to get your site ranked. Of course there is the DIY version, however this may wind up costing you more money in the long run if you do not fully understand what you are doing or if you “upset” the search engines. It is also worth noting that with SEO you are paying for something that will be long lasting. The return on your investment will continue to grow over time.

With PPC you pay for each time someone clicks on your ad. Google PPC uses a bidding strategy where the cost and your ad location depends on a number of things including the number of competitors who are targeting the same keywords as you and the level of relevance your ad has to your Web site. The higher your bid, the higher your ad will appear within the PPC ads. Cost per click can vary from day to day. Don’t worry though, you can set a max. per click amount as well as a monthly budget.

Our friends at WebProNews do a great job explaining the differences of SEO and PPC.

The best way to see whether SEO or PPC works best for your organization is to test both methods and measure the results. By looking at the results you can also determine where and how you can improve your efforts.

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