PPC vs SEO vs SMM vs TM

How is pay per click different from other online marketing: PPC vs SEO vs SMM vs Traditional Marketing

If you’re just delving into the world of online marketing, you may feel overwhelmed by the industry’s seemingly endless acronyms. For instance, what is PPC, SEO, SMM, and how are they different from traditional marketing? And most importantly, how can these things result in more conversions for your business?


PPC stands for “pay-per-click,” and it refers to online advertisements that are designed to drive traffic to your website. As its name suggests, with PPC you only have to pay when someone actually clicks on your ad, so if you are able to target your ads to your optimal audience, you can save a great deal of money by directing all your advertising dollars at those who are truly interested in your product or service.On the other hand, if your ads aren’t placed in the best online locations, your efforts can be just as hit-or-miss as traditional advertising – where you simply hope the right person stumbles across your message.

This is where the expertise of a professional search engine marketer can make all the difference.Through keyword research, market analysis, geo-targeting, and a host of other strategies, a quality search engine marketer can offer campaign management and ensure your ad gets maximum visibility to the right audience (those who are already primed for conversion). Additionally, they will perform analytics on your ads and make adjustments based on consumer behavior and ROI tracking.

What many people like about PPC ads is they provide nearly instantaneous exposure, which means as soon as your ads are listed you can start seeing greater traffic flow to your site. Also, it’s a good way to give a boost to a new website, to fill in any advertising “gaps,” or to test new markets and keywords.


SEO, or search engine optimization, is another form of search engine marketing (SEM), but it focuses on getting exposure through organic (non-paid) methods. Some assume it means getting your listing on the top of search engine result pages, but, in actuality, it is about connecting your site to those with the greatest conversion potential.

Of course, getting a top spot on search listings is great, but it means nothing if you aren’t reaching your target audience. Like PPC, SEO is fully trackable with extensive analytics, call tracking, live reporting, and more. SEO is a favorite among website managers because it is usually less expensive than PPC, it always leads to new business (when done right), and search users tend to trust organic results over paid results.

Still, there are a few drawbacks. For example, your SEO listing will only appear where Google or some other search engine feels it’s appropriate, and you often have to wait to see positive results (as compared to PPC where you can choose your ad placement and get immediate visibility). Also, some SEO companies use underhanded or “blackhat” methods to get their clients exposure, so if you choose the wrong company your website may be permanently banned from search engines.


Tied into SEO and PPC is SMM, social media marketing, which is merely another way to get exposure for your brand and increase visitors to your site. This strategy focuses on making connections with consumers through online social sites, like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, in an effort to build a loyal customer base and keep people informed about your business’ happenings.

What’s great about SMM is that through the sharing nature of these sites, your brand has the potential to reach unlimited people across the country and the world. Again, your SMM professional can help you get the most out of your campaign by monitoring social conversations and tweaking tactics based on analytic results.

With the huge number of people researching products, shopping, and socializing online, the internet is one of the best places to focus your marketing efforts. Yes, traditional advertising still has its place, but many business owners find they are able to reach a larger, yet focused audience, and ultimately achieve a better ROI, by using PPC, SEO, and SMM.


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