What’s The Difference Between SEO And PPC?

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What was the last thing you googled? Or more to the point – which result did you click on first? Most people will click on the item that appears at the top of the list which is why so much emphasis is placed on how well your page ranks. 

Getting to that coveted top spot is difficult which is why many people look for specialist advice. One of the trickier problems is identifying the ideal keywords so, for regional businesses, it can pay to use a local company. For example, a builder in Stockport might want their SEO company Stockport based.

SEO 101

Search Engine Optimisation is only slightly younger than search engines themselves. A search engine works by reading your webpage and identifying important – or keywords from the text. The more keywords in your webpage that match the search terms the higher the ranking the page will get in the search results. 

Naive SEO simply aims to squash as many keywords into a single page as possible. It is a long time since that approach was successful. Modern search engines have extremely complex algorithms that analyze not only the individual keywords but whether or not they are used in natural ways. Pages are also ranked based on how up-to-date their content is.

So What About PPC?

Similar to SEO, PPC also requires you to identify keywords associated with your website that potential visitors will be searching for. PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click and refers to advertising such as Google AdWords or Facebook where you only pay if someone clicks on your advert. 

On Google your page rank and the amount you are prepared to pay for the click is important. While the more you are prepared to pay the more likely it is to run you also need to have a high page ranking. Your page ranking can, in turn, decrease the amount you are paying for your advertising. Confused yet?

Can’t I Just Throw Money At It?

Unless you truly have an unlimited advertising budget (and nobody has that), you still need to have a good page and a good advert to get yourself to the top of the search results. While offering to pay more for your advert can help improve your Ad Rank, as can paying for Ad Extensions, you still need to have a good solid page for it to link to. 

What PPC is good for is appearing in the results for similar pages. For example, a Stockport based hotel might want to ensure it appears in searches for “Manchester  Airport Hotel”. 

Improve Your SEO And Your PPC results

As you can see it’s pretty complicated. This is a highly simplified version of what’s going on. And what’s more – just when you think you’ve got it licked they update the algorithm and you’re back to square one. 

An SEO specialist spends all their time learning the ways of the search engines and so is going to be best placed to advise you on how to improve your ranking. There are a few things you can do that will benefit both your result ranking and your ad ranking: 


  • Identify keywords and use them in natural ways within your page
  • Keep your content up-to-date and relevant
  • Engage with social media, publish a company blog and link to other pages
  • Provide quality advice and commentary so others link to your pages 


SEO and PPC are two facets of online marketing. While it is possible to be successful without resorting to PPC advertising it is almost impossible to run successful adverts without reference to SEO.

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