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Search Market Mentors

SEO and PPC: Understanding the Alphabet Soup Called Online Advertising

SEO and PPC logos

With SEO and PPC, digital marketing terms can look like alphabet soup to the untrained eye. However, search engines, like Google, Yahoo! or Bing are where people turn for information in this digital age, so it’s important to understand how they work, and how to use them to your advantage.

Understanding Search Results

When someone enters a query into an online search engine, two sets of results appear. On top (and often on the bottom as well) are the paid advertisements—businesses who have paid to have their names come up on top. Next are the “organic” search results. The organic results are the most relevant websites the search engine compiled based on the search terms used. You can improve your ranking on that list through search engine optimization (SEO).

SEO has become increasingly difficult to manipulate, and the various search engines use different algorithms to display results. Depending on the popularity of specific search terms or keywords, you may find you have a lot of competition for attention.

The good news is that digital advertising can help ensure a brand or company appears on that first page of search results—the best real estate online. One of the most effective ways to advertise on search engines is to use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.


AdWords is a branded process of PPC advertising used on Google and Bing (other search engines like Yahoo! have PPC platforms as well). Whether you are looking to attract new website visitors, grow online sales, get the phone ringing or keep customers coming back for more, AdWords offers a solution.

Using AdWords, you can strategize when an ad should appear based on the keywords entered into a search. You can also target the ads based on geography, allowing you to better home in on the audience you want to reach.

AdWord campaigns are budget friendly because you are only charged when someone clicks on your ad–not when they see it but don’t click. When someone sees the ad but doesn’t click, it’s called an “impression.”

Our Google-certified media coordinators track your campaign to ensure it is generating results by identifying click-through rates and impressions. If a campaign is working well, there will be a higher click-through rate. If a campaign isn’t working well, the number of impressions will be high, but the number of clicks will be low. In this case, we can make changes in real time to enhance low-performing campaigns.

Expertise Matters for SEO and PPC

Improving SEO and coordinating a PPC campaign doesn’t come easily to everyone. Google has a training process to help generate the best results. Google-certified partners have a proven understanding of the platform that goes beyond best practices for the best return on investment. Not only does a Google preferred partner understand the platform better, but they are likely to drive better results because partners have passed tests administered by Google to assess skill and expertise.

Having trouble differentiating your SEO from your PPC? As a Google-certified partner, we can help. Whether it’s your website that needs optimizing or an online campaign you need coordinating, contact us today.