Differences Between Keywords For SEO and PPC


Keywords are important for both Pay Per Click and Search Engine Optimization purposes, but what’s good for one isn’t necessarily good for the other. Many clients wonder why keywords for PPC aren’t always used for SEO and vice versa. While similar, the process for determining keywords for each method is different. It’s like trying to compare apples to oranges.

The Intentions Are Different

Pay Per Click has one primary goal…conversions. Why? Every click costs you money. If it doesn’t convert or complete a goal, then you’re wasting your money. PPC keywords are chosen based on several factors including competition, cost, etc. Businesses need keywords to place in their ads and landing pages that will attract the people that want to buy.

If a keyword isn’t converting or is getting clicks from people who aren’t interested in your product, then they need to be modified or even negative matched. You also want to make sure you quality score is high.

SEO keywords are about the big picture. It’s about understanding the customer’s needs and wants and tailoring content that not only brings them in, but meets Google’s standards of excellence. There’s no monetary investment into SEO keywords. The business doesn’t pay for it, so the SEO provider can be more liberal and use a mix of high and mid competition keywords because there’s no downside.

Since they are not specifically placed on an ad, broader more general keywords can be used on initial pages and then become more specific as you go deeper into the site. The entire website and all its pages is the canvas for SEO.

Time Is A Factor

PPC done wrong can be very expensive and have little results. Conversions need to happen fast or else, you’re just spending money for nothing. Ads and keywords are constantly tested to maximize conversions. They’re fluidic by nature and changes are done often.

SEO is more of a patience game. The impact of SEO, especially when done slowly over time, can be hard to gauge. It can take weeks or longer for Google to crawl and index the changes to the site and even then change can be gradual over months.

It’s not just about page rank as that fluctuates and takes time to go from 200 to 5, but consistent improvement over time. It’s about finding what works specifically for your website and adapting and changing the SEO along the way.

If there is one piece of advice I can give to a business that wants to do its own PPC and SEO, then it’s not lump them in together. If you do, odds are both will suffer and you will be unable to maximize your traffic and conversions.

Brock Cooper

Brock has been doing SEO, Social Media Management and Marketing for seven years and has watched the industry shift and change, providing a unique perspective to clients. Brock is the recipient of two Associated Press awards and the Richard A. Laymon President's Award for Service by the renowned Horror Writer's Association. When he isn't scouring the Internet for the latest in SEO info, Brock enjoys writing short stories, teaching his wife and children the importance of Dr. Who and writing articles for various entertainment and video game sites.

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  1. Gaurav Heera on March 3, 2017 at 2:34 am

    Thanks BROCK ……………………..For providing such an informative and helpful article. I hope this will people to take right decision about PPC campaign and SEO. Really you’ve done nice job. You’re right wrong PPC campaign leads to monetary loss but SEO takes time. I think your article will help our clients what to choose for their website. Thanks for sharing this article please keep posting such an informative article.

  2. Sherin on March 9, 2017 at 5:56 am

    Really you explain completely good about seo & ppc differences.It is exactly what i was looking for.we have learned a very powerful tips from your site. The best thing what I loved about this post was the way you have explained each point.

  3. Stalin on January 19, 2018 at 5:29 am

    Very well written!

    I was little confused about what keyword should be taken for PPC and SEO, but after reading this blog I got clear idea. You have perfectly described the difference between PPC and SEO.

    Thanks Brock, for your valuable information.

  4. 10seos on June 5, 2018 at 6:52 am

    Thank you for explaining this really helped.

    • rohini on September 12, 2018 at 1:46 am

      The keyword is the most important part of SEO. You explained very nicely which type of keyword where to use. Thanks for sharing very useful information

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