The Difference Between SEO & PPC

Search-Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click Marketing (PPC) are both techniques for driving traffic from search-engines to your website. At Soho Strategy, we’re a London SEO agency and PPC agency, specialising in both forms of generating traffic.

Pay Per Click Marketing

Pay Per Click Marketing, or ‘PPC’, involves websites advertising direct on search-engines and other websites, and paying a ‘per click’ fee every time a visitor taps on an advert.

Not all PPC marketing occurs on search engines.  Although PPC-backed search advertising can be a highly-effective way of appearing to users searching for specific key-phrases, users aren’t always searching on Google. Sometimes they’re on news websites, or blogs, having already clicked-through to a results page. Other times they’re on social media.

  • Display advertising: banner and text adverts are often displayed on websites. Sometimes these are billed on a ‘CPM’, or ‘cost per thousand impressions’ basis. Other times they function similar to an ordinary pay-per-click campaign, where you only pay when visitors actually click-through to your website.
  • Paid social: PPC conducted on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is often referred to distinctly, as ‘paid social’. At SOHO, we offer paid social campaign management in addition to pure PPC search strategy.

Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation, or ‘SEO’, meanwhile, is the science of ranking a website organically in a search engine for any given search-term.

What this means is that rather than pay ‘per click’ any time somebody searches for a keyword related to your brand, and clicks through, a website owner’s site might be returned naturally in a search engine’s results page itself. No money changes hands between the website owner and the search-engine, as the search-engine is simply fulfilling its duty to users to return the most relevant results for any given search term.

SEO is therefore about making individual webpages and whole websites seem trustworthy, authoritative, and relevant to search-engines for the given keywords and terms which you expect your customers and readers to be searching.

About Search Engines: Google vs The Rest

In the vast majority of the world, Google is the dominant search-engine, and the terms SEO/PPC are often primarily used to refer to activity on the platform. Other search-engines such as Yahoo! and Microsoft’s Bing may hold significant footholds in your market, depending on your target-demographic (with their users typically considered to less tech-savvy, and older). In certain countries around the world, other players may process a dominant share of search-terms, including in China (Baidu), Russia (Yandex), Japan (Yahoo!), and South Korea (Naver/Daum).


If you’d like to learn more about PPC or SEO, and what they can do for your business, reach out to the SOHO team and ask us anything, or arrange a chat.