SEO vs. PPC: What’s The Difference Anyway?

January 13th, 2014 by Search Influence Alumni

A while back, SEO guru David McBee wrote a post in his awesome blog about how he differentiates SEO tactics from PPC strategies. In David’s mind, it can all be related to the difference between dieting and plastic surgery. SEO is a diet, and PPC is plastic surgery.

To illustrate his point, David created this awesome infographic which I think spells things out pretty well. In many ways, this categorization really gets to the root of the differences between what you would do to increase your site’s profile online using SEO tactics versus the much more immediate PPC strategies we all employ.

The SEO Diet

It is very true that SEO is like a diet for your online presence. You need to be in it for the long haul, and you really need to establish clearly defined goals before you start. In exactly the same way that a crash diet will not yield the long term results you are looking for, link baiting or deploying tons of spammy content will not help you reach your idea SEO weight.

I really like the comparison of PPC to plastic surgery because I feel like you should be putting the same kind of thought to the planning stages of a PPC campaign that you would before a procedure like a face lift or tummy tuck.

The PPC Procedure

You need to figure out exactly what you want to focus on and a lot of thought has to go into what you want to look like on the other side. Nothing is worse than not being prepared for an onslaught of traffic hitting your site on the heels of a successful PPC campaign.

What do you think of David McBee’s comparison? What would you say the SEO/PPC dichotomy resembles in your experience? Let us know in the comments! We would love to hear from you, even if you are on a juice cleanse SEO diet.

Link for infographic: