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What is the Difference Between Free Search Engine Traffic and Pay-Per-Click Ads?

What is the Difference Between Free Search Engine Traffic and Pay-Per-Click Ads?

The main difference between Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC) is that traffic from SEO (organic) is free, while traffic generated from PPC is not (as the name suggests, (You have to pay per click).

This is why you may sometimes see the terms organic search engine listings and paid search engine listings (or paid search ads - PSA).

I will try to explain other important differences between the two using the following parameters: position in search results, cost, traffic capacity, conversion, and ease of use.


what is the difference between SEO and PPC?
what is the difference between SEO and PPC

Organic Traffic Vs Paid Search Ads

Position in search results

As you can see from the screenshot above, you can expect to find PPC ads above and below the organic results.

Exactly where your ad appears depends on a number of factors (i.e. the keywords you're targeting, keywords in your ad text, keywords on your landing page, and more), but organic results are Above or below.

Whether your listing will appear in the top positions or on the first few pages depends on how well your website performs in terms of onsite and offsite SEO.

SEO - If your website is optimized for search engines, you can get a first-page position.



I mentioned earlier that SEO traffic is free and paid PPC and while this is absolutely true, you need to understand that getting free traffic from search engines requires a lot of effort and hard work.

The competition is high for almost every keyword you can search for and you really need a high-quality website and a great SEO plan to get a top 5 position.

If you are unfamiliar with how search engines work or know nothing about SEO, the best way to get search engine traffic is to hire an SEO expert to do the work for you.

On the other hand, pay per click depends on several other factors.

If we take for example the cost per click of advertising with the most popular PPC system, Google Ads, it depends on the popularity of the keyword, the number of advertisers who want to use that particular keyword, Number of their respective websites. Ad positions for specific keywords and more.

If it sounds a little complicated, it probably is, despite Google's efforts to make the entire system easy to use.

In addition, you can pre-determine your daily budget and not pay more, and you can estimate the average cost per click for the keywords you want to target.

SEO: The cost of SEO is indirect. You can't pay to get on the first page, but you can pay for SEO services if you can't do it yourself.

PPC - You can find out how much you can pay by using Google's keyword tool.


Traffic Capacity

SEO (organic traffic) can bring you more traffic than PPC, so if you can rank your website for the desired keywords, you will get more traffic than those keywords are paying for.

This is because when your website appears in one of the top 5 positions (statistically, the majority of search traffic visits one of the top 5 websites) you get 24 hours of Expect a constant flow of traffic. 7 days. A week without paying anything. (The actual volume of traffic depends on how popular the keyword is.)

There are some studies that suggest that PPC ads get more clicks than organic ads, but this also translates to higher costs.

If, on the other hand, it is very difficult for a keyword to get a first-page position, then paying for traffic may be your only option, as the second.

SEO: Organic traffic continues as long as it is in one of the top positions.



Which visitor is more likely to convert (ie make a purchase, sign up for a newsletter, and generally respond to a call to action), coming from PPC ads or organic search?

If your ads are highly targeted and optimized, a PPC visitor is more likely to convert than a search visitor.

This is because a web page may rank for different keywords (other than the initial keyword), so the searcher may not be looking for exactly the same content (or product) as the specific page.

On the other hand, if you run a successful PPC campaign, you will only get clicks from visitors who are 100% interested in your content or product.

PPC - Highly optimized keywords will lead to more conversions but will cost more.


Easy to Use

SEO can take months or even years to rank for certain terms or not rank at all!

On the other hand, to get good results with PPC and Adwords, you need to take a course or hire a PPC expert to help you understand how it works.


In a perfect world, we'd check up on each SEO and PPC. Both have advantages and disadvantages and work best when they support each other harmoniously. Where you can make SEO and PPC work together, you'll often be able to produce results that are greater than their components.

The benefits of running SEO and PPC alone include:

  • PPC keyword and conversion data can be incorporated into organic search (SEO).
  • Total traffic volume can be increased by targeting paid and organic clicks to high-performing keywords.
  • High-value, high-volume, or low-converting (but still important) keywords can be moved from PPC to organic search.
  • A/B testing of ad text and landing pages can be added to your organic list and landing pages.
  • Remarketing allows you to stay in front of visitors after initial contact through organic search and personalize messages around their engagement with your site.
  • Test your PPC keyword strategy before committing to long-run SEO ways.
  • Target customers at all stages of the customer journey, from research to purchase with business keywords.
  • Increase trust and awareness by gaining strong organic and paid visibility.


Bottom Line: PPC First, SEO Second

PPC can give you faster results so you can run a PPC campaign and test which keywords convert best and then try SEO to rank for those keywords.

SEO may take time, but the results (under certain conditions) are long-lasting, whereas with PPC when you stop paying for clicks, the traffic stops too.


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