PPC or SEO – Which One You Must Choose?

A lot of marketing professionals find it difficult to make this decision – PPC or SEO. There is not one straight answer to this. Many times, a mix of both strategies help get the expected results. However, you must measure your current situation, goals as well as marketplace to conclude.

PPC and SEO are techniques used for driving traffic to websites. However, these both are completely different from one another. While the prior is a paid service, the latter is free. And they do offer varying results. 

PPC or SEO. While PPC is paid ads, SEO is free.

To understand which one will fit your business objectives, you must know how these techniques work and align them with your needs and capacity accordingly.

What is SEO?

With consistent SEO (Search Engine Optimization), users can bring their website ranking higher in search engines. 

That said, when someone will look for your targeted keywords, your website will have more chances to appear on the first page. In short, you can become more accessible and visible online when compared to your competitors. 

The good news is that SEO is free. However, it isn’t an overnight job but takes time, sometimes more than expected depending on your efforts.

Some basic Elements Concerning SEO

Search engine optimization works through your content. The better you optimize your website content and align it with SEO elements, the higher is your visibility across different search engines. 

To improve ranking with SEO, you must perfect the on-page as well as off-page SEO.

Some of the things to consider when optimizing the on-page SEO are:

  • You must include the target keyword in your H1 tags
  • Do not overstuff the keywords. It must seem natural
  • Your other titles such as H2 and H3 should include the target keyword. 
  • Make sure to use the related keyword in your meta descriptions at the beginning
  • Add Alt text for images with descriptions including the target keyword

When you get this right, the search engines understand what your website is all about and crawls whenever people search for your target keyword. 

This helps in moving the ranking of your website higher on search engines. 

On the other hand, off-page optimization is something you do beyond your website content. Such as guest posts, backlinks, social media marketing and more.


  • Enhances your company’s brand awareness
  • Helps you attract relevant audiences
  • Makes your brand look trustworthy and reliable. Some users prefer skipping ads results and going straight to the organic ones. 
  • Free traffic to your website
  • Talking about the return on investment, SEO definitely is a profitable choice with no incurred cost in its implementation
  • SEO gets simpler with time, requiring fewer efforts


  • You will require consistent efforts to stay on the first page of the search results. It’s not like once you got on the top, the job is over.
  • It takes time to find the results
  • You must concentrate a lot on creating authoritative and valuable content. 

What is PPC?

PPC also known as Pay-per-Click, are google ads that show above the organic content on search engines. 

In other words, when you pay for the ads, its priority increases over your competitors’ as well as your organic content. 

Fun fact: PPC offer faster results when compared to SEO. However, they are not free and costs money. Plus, you get the results as long as you pay for the ads. 

Just note, paid ads aren’t the only form of PPC. There are other formats as well which Include display advertising such as remarketing and banner ads (explained later in the article). 

Different Types of PPC Forms

As I did mention before, there are not just the text ads you see on search pages, labelled as ‘Ad’. There are other PPC formats too.

Social Media Ads

Facebook Ad

If you already have your company page on Facebook or other social networks, you must have already tried this format. These platforms give you an opportunity to reach more audiences and define your ad goals to boost your popularity.

Display Network Ads

Banner Ad

Often when we visit URLs, there are several ads placed on the pages like banners. These spaces are sold to advertisers who want to target audiences who visited their website in the past. 

Hence, it helps in retargeting potential clients who may need a little nudge to make the final decision for purchase. 


  • The website ranks above organic results, making your brand more visible
  • You can set a budget for your ads, for each day. This way, you know how much you will be spending by the end of the month on PPC
  • Page ranking is high
  • It is easy to reach the target audience, and retarget potential clients through target ads
  • Provides faster results


  • You need to keep investing to achieve PPC perks
  • Now that users are becoming more aware of organic searches, they often neglect clicking paid ads
  • Have you heard about Ad blindness? Well, if you come across the same ad over and over again, you will ignore it after some time

Which is Better, PPC or SEO?

It all boils down to what your marketing objective is. You might want to check with these goals before choosing one over the other.

  • Do you want instant traffic to your workshop or event?
  • Can you be patient and wait for the visible results
  • How much can you invest?
  • Do you own a high authority domain?
  • How well do the competitors rank on Google?

If You Are a Startup

Usually, small businesses often have a limited budget for marketing in the beginning. That said, it might be difficult to keep some bucks aside for paid advertising. 

On the other hand, with free SEO strategies, all you need to do is invest some time and stay consistent to achieve high online visibility. Plus, once you start ranking on search engines, you can expect consistent traffic.

Depending on Your target Keyword having Low or High Competition

If your business is from a niche market, it would be easier to find a low competition target with a decent monthly search volume. 

Just start fast and plan your SEO strategy to be able to improve your search engine ranking. 

On the contrary, if you have competition with giants like Amazon and Flipkart, you might have to struggle a lot longer to show up in searches. This is when PPC paid ads come in handy, offering a faster pick up.

If your Budget is Fine

When starting as a small business, you might well have the budget to suffice the expenses on PPC ads. If that is the case, why wait. 

However, do not forget to keep working on your SEO strategies alongside. This way, you can enjoy the perks from each tactic. And, when you plan to cut down the expenses on PPC ads later, SEO will keep you afloat.

The Conclusion

It is often difficult to choose between PPC or SEO. However, with a little understanding and clarification of your marketing goals, you can find out the one suited the most. And if you plan to take the middle path, taking advantage of both, the decision will certainly pay off big. 

XML Sitemap and SEO – Basics and Importance Explained!

Google has been the key motivator for marketers to learn and implement best SEO practices. It is impossible for businesses to ignore the perks of being in the good book of search engines when it comes to their online presence. And, XML sitemap and SEO go hand in hand. 

In the last few years, XML sitemaps have evolved to become the most important part of every SEO strategy. It helps in creating a foundation for every website that assists in reaping long term benefits. 

To be precise, if you quest to succeed online, the process will depend on how flawlessly you create your XML sitemaps.

Even though with such a huge contribution in SEO, XML sitemaps are often misunderstood. Therefore, many experts either forget about including it in their website root directory or fail to optimize it properly for witnessing the best results. 

So, why not learn about XML Sitemaps and SEO in detail and find out how you can utilize these terms.

What are XML Sitemaps?

In simpler terms, XML Sitemaps are the complete blueprint of your website providing its construction architecture. The sitemaps list all the URLs in one place that exist on your website. 

Here is the format of a usual XML sitemap: Example 1

<?xml version=”1.0” encoding=”UTF-8”?>

<urlset xmlns =“http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9”>









<lastmod>2021-12-04 T11:45:10+01:00</lastmod>





Is it looking alien to you? Do not worry, understanding each of the tags will make it look simpler. Here is a small description of what each of the tags means within the XML format.

The Header

<?xml version=”1.0” encoding=”UTF-8”?>

Every sitemap starts with this tag. Essentially, the header signifies the XML standard the sitemap is following. Plus, it also elaborates the character encoding being used. 

In short, the search engines would know exactly what they must expect from the particular sitemap. 

URL Set Definition

<urlset xmlns =“http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9”>

The ‘urlset’ is the superset of all the URLs included in the website. It describes the XML standard version used.

Make sure to close the ‘urlset’ tag at the end of all the URLs. 

URL Definition

As you can see in example 1, there are two different <URL> tags, listing two different links from the website. This number will depend on the actual links available on the site. For instance, if you have a total of 10 links, the number of <URL> tags will become 10, unless you decide not to list unimportant and weak links in your sitemap. 

However, what are the other tags within <URL> and </URL>? Let’s find out one by one:

Loc – This is a compulsory tag one must include. This provides the direct link to the page from your website. Make sure you include the protocol in the link (https:// or http://)

Lastmod – The date when the post was modified last. You can skip this tag if you want to. Google also refers to this tag as not very relevant to the SEO practices.

Changefreq – This defines the frequency at which the page changes. Usually, you can choose from different values such as hourly, daily, weekly, monthly as well as early and never. 

Priority – Depending on the relevancy of your own links available on the website, you can set priority from 0.0 to 1.0 for each page. 

That was about the basic way to write your sitemaps. However, now that we are putting in all the efforts, wouldn’t you like to know – ‘WHY’?

What is the relation between XML sitemap and SEO? Well, by visiting a sitemap directory, Google can find out each and every page available on your site as a list without going from one root to another. This minimizes the time taken by the search engines to crawl and index your pages. 

Let’s understand the same using an example:

When Google comes to your sitemap, it picks all the links included as a list and indexes it. Basically, the XML sitemap would look like this to Google:

On the other hand, if Google tries to crawl your website, and wants to index pages, it will have to reach page D by jumping through different internal links. 

Benefits of XML Sitemaps

XML sitemaps are very useful when you have a huge website that has hundreds and thousands of pages. By assisting Google and other search engines’ crawlers to index pages faster, sitemap strengthens the SEO of the website. 

You must use sitemap if: 

  • Your website has thousands of different links featuring a deep architecture
  • You are adding new pages more often than usual
  • Your content keeps changing too frequently
  • The website does not have strong interlinking 
  • Your website lacks robust external linking

However, if you do want to reap the benefit of sitemap, you can have these anyway, even if you have a small website.

The Takeaway

SEO is confusing to some. However, there are certain must-haves you cannot afford to ignore when trying to improve your website ranking. The same goes for XML sitemap and SEO. You must create an SEO and upload it to the Google search console to initiate and complete the indexing process faster. 

SEO Basics – A Perfect Beginners’ Guide

Starting out as an SEO expert a few years back was a difficult task. I was completely new to this jargon, as I felt it initially. However, with time, things took turns for the best. Recalling the memories makes me wonder – What if someone had explained the term ‘SEO – Search Engine Optimization’ in a little better or simpler manner. Simply put, what are SEO basics?

So, here I am trying to ease out things for the beginners. Talking about SEO, as we all know, the first thing that comes to mind is ‘Google Ranking’. What is different about the companies that often pop out in the few top results?

Well, the mantra isn’t that complex. Just follow the SEO guidelines outlined by Google and find a place within its favourite choices. However, you will require a little patience to keep going when the results aren’t falling in place.

If you are ready to buckle up and sit tight for the rest of the journey, let’s get to know about SEO and its hacks, more closely.

SEO Basics– A Quick Refresher  

Search engine optimization abbreviated as SEO helps bring your website to notice in the top Google searches. Definitely, for the keywords or phrases, you want to rank for. This way, you not only improve your rankings among search engines but also acquire more organic traffic, the ones you do not have to pay for.

With that being said, there are paid advertisements as well, called PPC. And, it does come within digital marketing. However, when it comes to search engine optimization, it’s all about organic search results and not PPC optimization.

Still not sure about the difference between PPC and organic traffic? To put it simply, PPC is a paid service where the advertiser pays for each click on the link to the website. On the other hand, organic traffic comes to your website when you rank good on Google.

Here is an image to explain the difference between the two.

SEO and PPC - Google Ranking - TMH

NOTE: While the PPC result is with paid marketing, organic traffic comes with SEO.

Key Components of SEO

SEO is a vast subject. The complex Google algorithm along with the difference in the search engines’ programs for returning results to the users. All that seems to be too overwhelming.

The good news is that you do not need to know everything. By covering just the major key components of SEO, you can make your web pages accessible for internet users.

On-Page and Off-Page SEO

Depending on whether or not you perform the SEO activities on the website, the on-page and off-page SEO will differ.

As the same suggests, the on-page SEO is what you do on the webpage. This includes all the technical aspects of the SEO activities. Either it’s the optimization of your well-written content or internal links.

In short, you must focus on the content quality as well as user experience while ensuring that the search engines understand what the page is about.

On the other hand, off-page SEO involves getting backlinks to your website to increase its page ranking. The various other digital marketing strategies such as social media marketing, branding and more also help in link building. Thus, strengthening the off-page SEO further.

On-Page SEOOff-Page SEO
Keyword researchGuest Blogs
Content optimizationEmail Subscriptions
Title Tag optimizationBroken Link
Internal Page linking 

Black Hat SEO and What Hat SEO

There are two different approaches to a successful SEO. One that may not last for longer and can also result in the blacklisting of your website, the other is a more legitimate method.

As the name suggests, Black Hat refers to unethical practices of SEO that may get the results faster, but won’t sustain it for longer.

In other words, you may use the Black hat approach for improving the website ranking quickly. However, as soon as search engines find out about the same, your website may be banned forever.

White Hat SEO is completely the opposite of Black Hat SEO. It uses genuine SEO techniques, sticking to the guidelines. As already discussed before, you must have the patience to reap the fruits of this approach. And, being a long-term strategy, you need to be consistent about your content posting, optimization and more.

White Hat SEOBlack Hat SEO
Keyword researchKeyword stuffing
Quality Content StrategiesHidden texts
Natural link buildingManipulation of links / irrelevant links
Brand buildingSpamming comments

The Conclusion

The digital age has made it essential for every business to take SEO seriously. Either you are freelance like I am, or a business, selling products and services, ranking on Google among the top results is necessary.

Therefore, you must take some time out to figure out and plan your strategies, in a useful way for making every SEO approach count.

What is SEO – Search Engine Optimization? – Briefly Explained

We often hear businesses working day in and out to improve their website ranking on search engines. That does make sense, doesn’t it? Without visibility among the target audience, there is no meaning in having a digital presence. And, if there is anything that can help make that possible, it’s SEO – search engine optimization. Wondering, What is SEO?

In simple terms, SEO amplifies the chances of your website occurrence when someone looks for products or services related to your business online. So, you get free of cost organic traffic landing right on your website every month.

All you must do is, get in sync with the search engines’ algorithm and enjoy the perk of high visibility among your users. But before taking any step further, it is imperative to understand the working of these search engines. Fair enough?

So, let us dive a little deeper into the world of search engines and the way this works.

How Does a Search Engine Work?

Search Engine Working - THM
Google Search Engine

The easiest answer to define search engines is to consider these as libraries for storing copies of the different web pages.

Therefore, to search through its vast database, users must type their keywords (queries) into their selected search engine. In return, the search engine goes through the saved pages in its index to find the most relevant results. And all this happens with the help of the algorithms defined specifically for each of these engines.

Undoubtedly, Google has got the most reliable algorithm being the most popular search engine out there. Oh yes, no one knows the complete program on which the searches work within Google. The good news is that the company does offer some glimpse of what really matters for SEO.

Such as, the query words that are often termed as keywords, relevance as well as the usability of pages, location and many other settings. When returning the results, the Google algorithm applies varying weight to each factor according to the type of your query entered.

For instance, when looking for current topics, Google considers news as the best match. Similarly, when searching for research, the search engine returns studies and academic papers to the users.

You must have got an idea of how a search engine works? If that is so, let’s move on to SEO and it’s working.

What is SEO and How Does Search Engine Optimization Work?

As already mentioned, SEO works to ensure that your content is visible. In other words, it encourages Google’s algorithm to choose your content when searching for the keywords related to your business.

SEO - Search Engine Optimization - TMH

So, why am I stressing over Google and not Bing? There is nothing personal. By far, Google is the most popular choice with over 92% market share worldwide. Knowing that, isn’t it wise to just focus on one search engine instead of stumbling around and going nowhere?

Hence, if you are looking to increase your Google ranking, you must optimise your web pages accordingly. Precisely, there are many factors that come into play. For instance, crawlability, responsiveness, page loading speed, backlinks and more.

Let’s find out briefly about the major factors helping increase web pages visibility.


This is how Google knows that your webpage exists. So, it’s very important to align with this factor to get a place within this search engine’s pool of web pages. The engine makes use of Spider, a computer program to crawl websites.

Consider, you have created a new website. So, how would Google know about it? Well, it will simply use Spider to find out about the newly launched sites. In short, Google picks up all the links from the pages it already knows to find the new ones.


According to a study, Google’s highest searches come from mobile phones, cumulating to 61 percent.

Therefore, in 2018, the company switched to mobile-first indexing. Now you know why it is crucial to have a mobile-friendly website.

Page Loading Speed

To ensure that the users are happy, Google likes to return the web pages that are faster when loading.

Page ranking on Google depends on the number of backlinks you have for your web pages. The greater the number of links to your page, the higher is your page rank. Hence, the better is your chance to be picked by Google anytime.

The Conclusion

That was a brief introduction to SEO and it’s working. However, this is not it. To properly put everything in practice, you must delve a little deeper. With proper techniques, you can certainly help your pages rank on top Google results. So, practice and explore what is SEO to improve your website performance.