Search engine optimization, or SEO, and pay per click advertising, or PPC, together comprise the bulk of search engine marketing, or SEM. SEO is all about boosting page rankings on search engines through third party links, articles, directory placements, and other means. PPC, on the other hand, involves an auction.
With PPC, an advertiser pays whenever someone clicks on an ad appearing in the “Sponsored” or “Paid” area of the search engine results page.
The more the advertiser is willing to pay per clickthrough, the higher that ad’s position on the search page.
So which is better, PPC or SEO?
All PPC providers (with Google being the largest) automatically include daily and campaign budget limits. Keywords can be easily moved up or down in search engine position by raising or lowering keyword bid rates. Furthermore, PPC campaigns are generally easier to measure and track than SEO. These factors all make it easier for advertising and marketing managers to get PPC approved over SEO. The result is that marketing managers clearly prefer PPC over SEO. According to SEMPO, The Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization, a total of 87% of SEM spending goes to PPC and 11% goes to SEO.