The growth of competition among Internet marketers to win first page search engine rankings has paved the path for several online promotional trends ever since the search engines have started the ranking system for the sites. Everyone knows that first page ranking means greater traffic to their site. The two most important concepts that have often been used to grab visitors attention is SEO and PPC. Before starting a discussion on the differences between PPC and SEO and the comparison of the effectiveness of these techniques it is important to understand these concepts properly.
SEO: Search engine optimization (SEO) is the method of getting your website to rank organically among the SERPs (search engine results page) for particular phrases that are relevant to your business. The more common methods used are promotion through social networking sites, through targeted keyword based articles and blog promotion, press releases and much more. This sort of effort needs to be carried on a consistent basis for months after month in order to really see results and website traffic increase.
PPC: Pay per click (PPC) is a paid online advertising method directed to gain website traffic instantly by placing bids on various keywords and phrases that are relevant to your website. Advertisers or the site owners pay the search engines for placing their ads on the initial pages of the search results and the search engines generate revenues every time a user clicks on these links. These ads are generally displayed in the search results of the keywords listed by the advertiser when one of such search is entered by an audience. The main feature of this sort of publicity is that it can get expensive for website owners, especially if you aren't able to directly monetize from your website traffic. There are also restrictions for certain industries based on the nature of your product (i.e. electronic cigarettes)
Now the main difference between PPC and SEO is that the advertiser has to pay nothing to the search engines for SEO, but for PPC the advertiser has to pay in order to reap the benefits of the practice. It has often been argued that if paying search engines will generate traffic without heavy work, then why would a business want to engage in the tiresome efforts of SEO (i.e. writing high quality content, getting backlinks, etc.)
PPC can work well so long as the advertisers can afford to bear such expenses. Once you stop paying for the ads within search engines, the ads will be taken off the first page and the traffic on the site will disappear. The ROI on SEO techniques are much more cost effective compared to that of PPC. For instance, if an article with adequate keywords and superb information was posted 5 years ago in an article directory; this will appear today in the search results for properly matched keywords. Hence the visitor can reach your website if he clicks on the link in the article taking him to the site. Therefore the SEO is more worthwhile where you can reap the benefits forever with a little bit of ongoing efforts and very little expenses.