SEO vs PPC Advertising. Increasing Your Odds.

Almost the first question out of every client’s mouth is “when will I be on the first page of Google?” While it seems like this should be an easy question, the reality is quite different. Appearing high in the ranks of Google, like all search engines, depends on many factors. While I do often see a lot of our competitors advertise that they will get you to the top of Google in 30 days or less on highly competitive keywords, I know they are speaking of PPC advertising. You can reach the first page results with PPC advertising within an hour. But organic rankings? The rankings your SEO expert works hard day in, and day out to get? That takes months of applying excellent techniques. Even then, you may not get ranked on the first page of highly competitive keywords. Though, if it is a local services business, you have a better chance. But then, an excellent local SEO services expert is even more crucial.

What is SEO?

  • SEO stands for search engine optimization. It refers to techniques that help your website become more visible in organic search results for the people who are looking for your brand, product, or service via search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

What’s the difference between organic vs. paid results?

  • Organic results are the results that appear in search engines, for free, based on an algorithm. Paid — or inorganic — search results appear at the top or side of a page. These are the links that advertisers pay to appear on different search engines.

If I’m willing to pay, why can’t I have it by Monday?

  • I think that it’s time for a discussion about Search Engine Rules. Google, Yahoo, MSN are competition with each other. Their single most important Key Success Factor is the Relevance of Search Results. If you search on Google and consistently don’t find what you’re looking for, then you will switch search engines. If everybody does that, they’ll go out of business. If they budge on their policy of not allowing advertisers to manipulate the organic search results by paying their way to the top, they will go out of business. And your $10K, $100K, whatever you’re willing to pay isn’t worth risking the BILLIONS that they’re currently making. So, no. You can’t have it by Monday.

What’s the difference between internal and inbound links and why do I need them?

  • Internal links are links on a page on your site that go to another page on your site. Inbound links are other websites that link to your content. Both are valuable for SEO.

How long will it take to see increases in traffic?

  • Traffic is typically a direct result of an increase in rankings. Once your rankings begin to increase, you will also start to see gradual improvements in traffic to your website. Keep in mind that new rankings and website visits are not instantaneous; it takes a few months to complete the necessary updates and get them indexed before you will begin to see these increases.
  • While you will see results more quickly with PPC advertising, these types of leads will also increase gradually. You will also see, slowly, a decrease in cost-per-click as they become further optimized. It takes awhile to optimize your ads fully for the best results. The best marketers monitor your ads daily and use A/B split testing with ads and keywords, and monitor which get the best conversion rates to improve your ROI.

Why should I continue SEO once I have gotten a good ranking?

  • Achieving the rankings is only half the battle. Since the search engines are continually evolving and updating their algorithms, your rankings can fluctuate from one day to the next. Maintaining current rankings is just as involved as getting new ones; it takes constant research, updates, and testing to keep your URL ranking in the top positions. Discontinuing SEO after you’ve achieved rankings will result in a loss of rankings quickly. The best strategy is to use an excellent SEO specialist who keeps up with the hundreds of algorithm changes that search engines make to ensure you get the most relevant results when you search.

Great SEO takes a lot of work for both on and off page SEO.  Many factors go into getting top rankings.  Content management (the reason we continuously stress posting frequent, preferably SEO copywritten blogs), back links, inbound links, keyword management and more are all essential to improve your rankings.  A large part of the work is continual optimization that goes on behind the scenes.  Because SEO optimization takes time to rank, we do recommend PPC ads.  PPC ads enable you to get you calls and leads sooner than you would get with SEO alone.  However, even with PPC ads, the leads you receive are gradual.  Many believe that you throw an ad on Google ads and you get instant results.  Not true.  We look at your reports, clicks, click-through-rates, keywords, and many others frequently to provide you with the best strategy to improve click-through-rates and conversion rates for your ad accounts.

When you see one of your competitors on the front page of Google, they have been applying great SEO techniques for months, or even years.  No one gets those results in days. Especially not with highly competitive keywords. 

We use hundreds of keywords for your search engine optimization.  We do this because while you may never wind up on the front page with one keyword, others you may.  It is often useful to have some keywords that are what we call “low hanging fruit.”  These keywords don’t get as much traffic, but still an acceptable amount, and you have a better chance of appearing on the front page.  In PPC ads, “low hanging fruit” comes in the form of more reasonably priced ads during the auction bidding. 

PPC ads will not show on every search for that keyword.  These platforms mostly use a system called auction bidding for placements of advertisements.  Using an educated strategy, we work to raise your quality score for the keywords on which you hope to rank. Quality score is the determining factor, at auction, for what you pay for that click. Quality score is a combination of factors that helps Google decide how useful and relevant your content is to the user’s search. Just because you have the highest bid, your ad still may not be placed at the top of the results.

Another consideration with PPC ads, especially, but also with SEO is the use of negative keywords. If you are finding you are getting too many calls and leads that aren’t relevant to your business, your SEO specialist and Ad manager will utilize what is called a “negative” keyword list. The negative keywords tell search engines that which keywords are, and are not relevant to your business.


For the best results in helping potential customers find you, a continuing commitment to your marketing is necessary. No one strategy can be put on autopilot and left alone. Most agencies use multiple experts to ensure your success. At Christy’s Marketing Solutions, our experts continually market for your results.