August 19, 2018 Simon

SEO or PPC - What's the Difference and What Works Best?

Many companies who look into digital marketing aren’t entirely sure how it all works, and being bombarded with numbers, figures and jargon can all seem a bit daunting – especially if you’re new to it.

However, at Web Design Jersey, that’s not our style. We understand that digital marketing can seem a bit confusing from the get-go, so we’re here to break down the two core components to make it all a little easier to understand.

SEO And PPC: The Two Driving Forces Of Digital Marketing

When you call or visit a digital marketing company, the two things you’re going to be presented with are: search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay per click (PPC). Both have the potential to drive heaps of traffic to your website, which in theory, will lead to an increase in conversions.

“What are they? That sounds technical, what will I have to learn? I don’t have time to manage this, I have enough trouble with Alexa, sorry not interested”.

This is the sort of comment that we’ve come to expect in this industry, and it’s one of the biggest misconceptions of digital marketing. People who are new to the concept think they will be playing a big part in managing, coordinating and overseeing the entire campaign.

You won’t, that’s our job, and this article will (hopefully) put your mind at ease.

Sure, we will need some cooperation from you, mainly to make sure you’re happy with our service. For the most part, however, you will leave your company in our capable hands.

So, let’s start with the basics, shall we?

What Is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimisation, and to put things into a very understandable and easily digestible paragraph biscuit: SEO looks to get your website ranking at the top of the list for Google search terms and phrases. You could argue that there are three core principles of SEO, which are:

• Publishing trusted, informative and generally sound content that delivers on the searcher’s intent and questions.
• Abiding by search engine standards and rules.
• Not trying to trick or cheat your way through the system – you’ll get penalties!

We’ll talk in more detail about the ‘rules’ later, for now, I’d like you to meet Daniel, he’ll be our customer example.

Daniel – The Fictional, Yet Ever-So-Real Customer

Daniel owns a web design company in Jersey. He wants people to find his website easily, so he can offer them his services which in turn, means he can put food on the table for his family and his dog, Maurice.

Good, simple stuff. How do people find businesses easily in the modern online era? They open their laptop, computer, phone or tablet, click onto Google and type in key phrases or questions that answer their questions and match the service they’re looking for.

So, Daniel’s web design company; people looking for web design information might type in the following phrases:

• ‘Web design jersey’
• ‘Website design company jersey’
• ‘Channel islands web company’
• ‘Need website design in jersey help I don’t understand’

In theory, SEO looks to get Daniel’s website ranking for search terms the same or similar to the above.

If, for whatever reason, Daniel woke up one day and decided web design wasn’t for him and he wanted to open a concrete flooring company, the key phrases he’d want to rank for would be: ‘concrete flooring jersey’ so on, and so forth.

It’s all about optimising your website for key phrases and questions people are likely to enter into Google – and you want to be at the top of that list.

There are multiple ways to optimise your site for SEO, which we mentioned before (content being a big part of that). It all boils down to getting your company recognised on Google (or any other web server) organically. Organically? Yes, organically, what does that mean, ‘organically?’ good question, that leads us onto the difference between SEO and PPC.

What Is PPC?

The clue with PPC is in the title, it stands for pay per click, which is why we use the term organic ranking for SEO because it doesn’t incorporate any paid advertising. PPC, in the simplest terms, is a way of buying visitors to your site. In contrast, SEO focuses on gaining visitors for ‘free’, or in other words ‘organically’.

Ever wonder why the first couple websites on Google are green? That’s the work of PPC, see below if you’re not following:

The links that say ‘AD’ highlighted above are pay per click advertisements, which means that the website/company has paid for them to be up there in that position. It’s comparable to more traditional advertising approaches, in that you pay for a space where people will see your product, company or service.

While SEO is at the bottom of that list, it remains at the top of Google for SEO – make sense? Great!

Simply put, if you have the money and you’re confident that customers will opt for your service over your competitors, PPC can drive huge amounts of traffic and therefore, conversions. It’s an effective advertising route but be prepared to pay the highest cost per click if you’re looking to grab that number 1 spot on Google for your keywords.

The cost of the click depends on the competition for the keyword, and this is something that depends entirely on what business you’re running. For example, if you’re responsible for running PPC for a surgical institution, cost per click will be higher than if you were running a small, independent cafe. Why? Because there’s more competition, it’s a bigger industry and having surgery is slightly more expensive than buying a coffee and a croissant.

What Happens When A PPC Advertisement Is Clicked?

Once someone clicks on your advert, you will be charged a small fee by the search engine you’re using (this is usually Google). While on the surface this may seem like it could cost a small fortune, it won’t, because the visit is worth more than the click. Look at it this way, if Daniel (yes, he’s back) pays Google £5 per click and gains just one client in that month, but that client pays him £1,000 for his service, he’s already made some serious profit.

Of course, this varies from business to business but in 99.99% of the cases, PPC is worth it, so long as you have faith in your business.


The answer? It depends! Some companies benefit from PPC, some SEO and some opt for both and see huge returns. Digital marketing isn’t a one shoe fits all kind of thing… if that’s the right Cinderella analogy.

The point is, what works for Daniel might not work for you and vice versa. The key is to speak to a few digital marketing agencies to see what campaign will best fit your business model. It’s all about finding a balance, both SEO and PPC have the potential to bring huge value to your business. Neither is wrong or right, neither is inferior or superior, they’re just different practices that work in separate ways.

Need SEO In Jersey?

That’s where we come in! If you’re after any more information regarding digital marketing or how we can help bring more visitors to your site, why not give us a quick call? We know it can seem a bit daunting at first, but it really isn’t, plus, we’ll do all the legwork! All you need to do is visit our Contact Page, or pick up the phone and give us a call on 07797 727 891.

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