What Are the Differences Between PPC and Organic Search?

SEO and PPC are very different, although both drive traffic

If you want to improve your chances of potential customers finding your website, you’ll want to consider both organic search and pay per click (PPC) advertising as part of your digital marketing strategy.

What is organic search?

Organic search results appear in the main part on a search engine results page. The search engine ranks each page of a website using their own special formula (or ‘algorithm’).

Each search engine’s algorithm is a closely-guarded secret, using a number of factors – including how many relevant search terms (keywords) are in the content, and where. This determines where the website appears in the results list for a particular search term. If your website appear high on the list – towards the top of the first page – the chances of people finding your website are much higher.

Web designers, developers and copywriters use search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques to improve a website’s chances of ranking highly in organic search results.

What about pay per click advertising?

PPC adverts, also known as sponsored links, appear to the right of or above the organic search results on the first page. These locations are known to be the prime spots to attract attention.

Advertisers pay for their adverts to appear here when people search for relevant keywords. The amount they pay depends on how many people click on the adverts.

So which one should I go for?

Achieving a high position in organic searches is a good thing to aim for. Results that appear in organic search tend to be more trusted by searchers than PPC links, which are sometimes ignored.

However, getting a high position in organic search takes time and can be hard to achieve. Pay per click advertising on the other hand brings almost immediate results. So if you’ve recently launched a new website, it’s a good idea to use PPC advertising at least for the first few months. This will improve your chances of coming up on the first page of results for your key search terms, until your website begins to rank in organic search.