PPC vs SEO—what's the difference?
Digital Specialist, Geri, takes us through a conversation about the differences between PPC and SEO and how they work together. And along the way, we enjoy a nice spicy jalapeño margarita! Give it a listen. She and Catelin have some fun tangents (promise).
- 3/4 cup good tequila (we use a nice añejo)
- 1 jalapeño pepper (you'll use 1/4 - 1/2 of it)
- 1/4 cup Gran Marnier
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (plus some slices for garnish)
- 1/4 cup simple syrup (or orange juice—try it with tangerine juice. Wow!)
This one is a spicy version of an old favorite.
- Slice 1/2 the jalapeño into circles for garnish, then dice the rest.
- Pour the tequila into a glass pitcher and put the diced jalepeño into it. (more for spicier, less for, well, less spicy)
- Set tequila/jalepeño mixture aside for 15-20 minutes at room temperature. (the longer the spicier)
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the pitcher.
- Not spicy enough? Add more jalapeño, and let it sit a bit.
- Put ice in glasses and pour!
Rich: [00:00:00] Welcome to Cocktails Tangents and Answers. We are back for another episode. I'm Rich Mackey, one of your hosts.
Catelin: And I'm Catelin Drey, one of your other hosts, but they're only two of us. So I'm just maybe the other host?
Rich: Yeah, maybe. I mean, we can have a, we could have guest hosts.
Catelin: I feel like in the off camera off mic, we should probably come up with like, Uh, a title, do we have titles? So we're just host and other host?
Rich: I mean, I guess. I don't know... I mean, I'm the, I don't know. You're the fun one. Sorry. If we blew ears out with that one, folks.
Catelin: I just have an outside voice. It's a gift and a curse.
Rich: Yeah. I don't know what that makes me if you're the fun one. Like, am I like the straight man? Which has so much irony in so many ways.
Catelin: It's just, I don't think that's it on a lot of levels. I don't know.
Rich: I don't know. Well, how about we talk about a cocktail?
Catelin: I would love that.
Rich: Yeah. So the podcast called [00:01:00] Cocktail Tangents and Answers, obviously. Uh, cocktail's the first thing. So let's roll one out. Uh today's is one I think both of us could probably make most of in our sleep. Yeah. We are doing a margarita, but not just a margarita. We're doing a jalapeno margarita.
Catelin: Yes. We asked our guest what she would prefer. Uh, we gave her a few choices and she said, jalapeno margarita. Without hesitation.
Rich: She went for spicy.
Catelin: Yes. And she is, she's like, she's a little sweet and she's a little spicy. We'll hear from Geri a little bit later on, uh, SEO, SEM and what all of that means and how they work together. But...
Rich: For now cocktail. So jalapeno margarita. So I like a margarita. I'm good with it. My margarita has to just be like fresh lime juice. Tequila and either a little triples sec. And then I like a little splash Quantro in there. Yeah. Little orange.
Catelin: I. Yes, I love a little triples sec or a little like you see you get that's. I think you're the bougie one.
Rich: Becuse I [00:02:00] do both?
Catelin: Yeah. I mean, just like the... cuz I'm like, I don't know. Triples se triples sec is triples sec, but you're like, I need quantro please. Like,
Rich: yeah, I mean...
Catelin: It's just like a little extra.
Rich: We like it. I like the orangeness to it.
Catelin: Yeah. The zest.
Rich: And I have been told, uh, at home that any orange liqueur will do. I have said, no, I need the square bottle with the Quantro and the fancy type across the front.
Catelin: Yeah. Like a design whore a little bit.
Rich: Yeah. Kind of.
Catelin: Like pleasantly.
Rich: Yeah, I just, I don't like a margarita mix. I've done it. There's a couple out there that are acceptable. Um, I can't remember the one we just bought, but it's a little fizzy, which is interesting.
Catelin: Oh yeah. I could be into that, but not all the time though.
Rich: Oh, no, no, no. And you can really have like one of those
Catelin: and then you just get the tummy bubbles.
Rich: Yeah. The lime ones, like I could drink all day long. Not a good idea, but I could.
Catelin: Really something to be said for just a well done, anything but specifically a well done margarita. I [00:03:00] think because so many of our Midwestern introductions to a margarita is like green or red and it comes out of a slushy machine and like that's, its just is such a disservice to. Uh, an, an easy drinking, like plate tequila and some fresh lime juice and a little bit of simple, like simple syrup, I should say.
Rich: Yeah. The blended margaritas. The, is it weird to say we all grew up drinking? I mean, legally, presumably. Yeah. Um, I don't even like those. No, like it's like if I was gonna have a slushy, this is not the flavor I would do.
Catelin: No, I would pick blue obviously.
Rich: Oh, I would do a cherry Limeade from sonnic as a slushy. That would be my thing. But, um, when I was introduced to like margaritas on the rocks, it was when I was traveling in Mexico and I was like, you can do this? Like, you don't have to blend the ice? And then it was like life changing.
Catelin: And it, it doesn't like kill all the flavor profile with all that ice. Like when it's on the [00:04:00] rocks, you actually taste what you're supposed to be tasting as opposed to red dye number 12, or like just.
Rich: Did you ever, um, In let's just say college, perhaps do a Mountain Dew margarita? So Mountain Dew becomes your margarita mix and you throw some tequila in there and that's your kind of like low rent, low budget margarita.
Catelin: One of the things that you should know about me is that I was not invited to parties.
Rich: Oh, really?
Catelin: In high school or college. Uh, no, I, I got, I choose to say I got cool. I've never been cool. I am still not cool, but I got more fun as I got older. Yeah, the stigma of like, you will, you will drink alcohol and you will die from my parents in high school, really set in. And I didn't get over that until I was like 25.
Rich: Oh, I didn't really get that from my parents. My parents don't drink. Didn't drink. Um, my mom enjoys a margarita though. That is her one go-to drink. If she's gonna do one, uh, we've gotten her a little bit into wine [00:05:00] with a trip to Italy. So she's got a few wines that she likes. Um, but I never really got that from them. Like there wasn't. Fear thing. It's just, it wasn't something we did in our house. Like we didn't have a bar cabinet. We didn't have a liquor cabinet. None of that. Kind of like, you know, teen romcom kind of movie thing. That none of that was ever mine. Like replacing the vodka with water. "Nobody will notice", they'll notice like spoilers.
Catelin: One they'll notice and two like gross.
Rich: Yeah. Ew. Um, so it just really wasnt a thing. And so it wasn't something I was very interested in even so I didn't even really, I actually didn't drink at all in high school. Um, it just wasn't a thing, like friends were doing it and I was like, I didn't feel peer pressure. I was just like, eh, I don't really feel like it and now I like, I can still go out and not have anything or I can have, you know, six drinks, like I can choose it's my choice. Um, so I have a question for you. This, this specific drink is the jalapeno margarita though. So how would you inject the jalapeno flavor if you're making this from scratch?
Catelin: I think if I was gonna do it at home, I would either like muddle some fresh [00:06:00] jalapeno or just garnish with them. But I think in a garnish, you're not gonna get the full, like fresh jalapeno bite, but like a little, a little muddle. And then I would maybe. I don't know. I, I see I'd consult my, my in-home bartender, my husband.
Rich: I have an in-home sommelier. You have an in-home bartender between the two of us. We are completely covered.
Catelin: We're, we're a fully stocked bar.
Rich: But, um, I think that one thing that I've seen done really well. To make sure you get the jalapeno flavor is you use it, slice jalapeno and use the slice and run it around the rim of the glass. Oh sure. Because you don't get the seeds aren't there, obviously. Yeah. So you don't get a ton of the jalapeno, but you do get a little bit of the flavor in almost every drink.
Catelin: I think the other Midwestern thing that we get is. That jalapenos are pickled and come from a can.
Catelin: Like the idea of jalapeno flavor for a lot of people in our area is like, why would I ever do that? That would be terrible. But that like [00:07:00] crisp, fresh jalapeno flavor in with the lime. It just it's like. It's like, uh, like a really delightful guacamole in a glass.
Rich: Do you know what I might try when I get home? I might try actually getting a jalapeno and slicing it, taking the seeds out and putting the slices, like infusing putting 'em into the tequila bottle. And then see how that infusion goes. That might be a good experiment that we can report back on later.
Catelin: You know, one of our bartender friends does infusions. That's one of his hobbies is like infusing things and just seeing what sticks and like what's good. So I, I look forward to the thrilling conclusion of that experiment.
Rich: so there you have it folks, jalapeno margarita, how you get the jalapeno in there is your choice. We can use several options.
Catelin: You could also Google it. You choose none of these options.
Rich: I mean, there are also jalapeno. Like infused tequilas out there already. There's a habanero vodka that I've done sort of the vodka margarita...
Catelin: Its also delightful in a bloody [00:08:00] mary, it's so good.
Rich: The easiest way to do it also is, uh, trader Joe's. If you have one of those near you, or you can probably find it in a different grocery store. In the summer they do a jalapeno Limeade. So non-alcoholic, but you've kind of got it there and you just bring that home, mix it with, you know, the tequila of your choice. Or put the habanero vodka in the jalapeno Limeade and now you got a double pep thing going on.
Catelin: What is, is that just like a vodka lemonade?
Rich: I think so. A vodka Limeade. That could get dangerous.
Catelin: That's... see. That's too close to college, I think for me.
Rich: Really? See, and I never did those until I was, I was in my twenties before I ever had a vodka lemonade. And there's a bar near us. Um, Here in Omaha that serves, uh, flavored vodka lemonade. So you can get a raspberry vodka, lemonade, blueberry vodka...
Catelin: The stigma. It's been destigmatized for you.
Rich: It has. And they come in really cute mason jars. Like you can buy a carafe and they have a special, like on Sundays or Wednesdays, or I don't know. [00:09:00] There's some days that a special
Catelin: a day, a day that ends in Y.
Rich: Chard Burger Bar. If anybody in the Omaha area wants to go there, like for vodka lemonades, just look up when the special is, because I have no idea.
Catelin: Again, Google will know.
Rich: Google knows everything. So that's our cocktail and a couple of tangents in there. You got a little college history, uh, for both of us or things post college.
Catelin: Maybe some things you did or didn't need to know about me.
Rich: I think we're pretty good. So as, uh, Caitlin shared with you, our guest today is going to be, uh, Geri Bethel. She is a, uh, wizard at, uh, search engine marketing or PPC or Google ads. All of those mean the exact same thing, SEM. Um, and has been diving deeper into SEO and the relationship between those two, um, and just, just fascinating and loves a good spicy margarita.
Catelin: She's a little spicy. She's a little sweet. It's gonna be great. Stay tuned for our interview with Geri and now enjoy this musical interlude. And if you choose, a dance break.[00:10:00]
Welcome back after your dance break/musical interlude. I'm so glad you're still here. Uh, I am Catelin. I'm here with Geri Bethel, who is our... what did... tell me your job title. Let's start there.
Geri: Digital specialist.
Catelin: Perfect. And you are special. Let's let's make sure that that makes makes the cut . Um, I wanna start with like, tell me about how you got here. At the agency first and then maybe we'll peel, peel that apart a little bit.
Geri: Yeah. Um, so I started, um, to get an interest in media and advertising. When I was in college at UNL, my friends were doing the major, so I was like, oh, I'll get it a try. So I ended up graduating with, um, a bachelor's in marketing and then I joined the agency. So yeah, like a little over a year ago, it feels like almost two years.
Catelin: It is almost two years.
Geri: Two years in [00:11:00] september. It goes so fast. Yeah. um, so yeah, now I work, um, as a digital specialist, um, supporting our clients with their SEO and their paid media.
Catelin: Yeah. And you're kind of our Google ads guru. Like we count on you to like really dig deep into what is working and what's not working. And if I may. You do a really great job at that. Like you break it down and also make it easy for people to understand, which is another reason that it's great. You're here because we're hoping we can answer some really burning questions about how pay per click advertising or SCM advertising as I'm learning. Uh, can indirectly boost organic SEO efforts. So tell me first the big difference between SEO and PPC or pay per click.
Geri: Yeah, definitely. The biggest difference [00:12:00] is one you're paying for and one you're not so organic and again...
Catelin: Its in their name!
Geri: Thank you for you'll never forget. So yeah. Organic SEO, you're really focusing your efforts on trying to appear in search result pages. Organically without paying for it. And then, uh...
Catelin: And thats trough things like blog posts or content on your website, it can be content on your social media? Like those types of things, right?
Geri: Yes. It's really about putting the effort into your content, to where it's relevant and, um, needed by the audience enough to appear in some of those top spots. And then, um, you know, pay per click advertising, you're paying to appear in those spots.
Catelin: And that's through like keyword selection and, um, like where you might appear on like a trade associated website, those types of things, right?
Geri: Yeah. Yeah. Just kind of the order of those [00:13:00] listings in Google search results. When you search any type of keyword or keyword phrase.
Catelin: Perfect! See all of these things that I'm repeating are things that Geri has taught me in the past. Right?
Geri: This is a review session
Catelin: Stick with Geri and she will not steer you wrong. Okay. So how does pay per click advertising, PPC advertising impact SEO? Talk to me about that.
Geri: Yeah, so it actually does not impact it directly. But it supports it. So both strategies have the same goal. You know, we wanna be in like the number one spot. Everyone does. They just get there in different ways. So together they really support each other. And when you do a pay per click strategy with your SEO initiatives, it's like a boost. It's like, like I always think of it as like say you and I are working out. Yes. Okay. Which, you know, I'm not, but maybe you are. [00:14:00]
Catelin: I'm not doing that. We need a different analogy.
Geri: I know this might relate to someone out there.
Catelin: Maybe it'll inspire us. Let's stick with the... We're working out.
Geri: OK. We're working out. You're using dumbbells. You're using bands, whatever. And I'm using nothing. I'm just using my body weight resistance. Okay. So you are going to see results a lot faster than I am, because I'm not using any equipment. You know, I just have my body weight. Okay. But you have all this extra equipment, so it's kind of the same thing.
Catelin: So the equipment in this sense is the dollars that I'm putting towards a search or a display ad?
Geri: Yes. Your pay per click advertising is helping your organic SEO. Which is, you know, getting fit, whatever your end goal is, you know, getting to the top of the SERPs page, you know, it's.... it's that extra...
Catelin: Just for those of us at home, spell out SERPs for me one time.
Geri: Oh yes. Search engine results pages.
Catelin: Perfect. Thank you.
Geri: It's a [00:15:00] mouthful.
Catelin: It is. And it, um, SER... like you say SERP and I'm like maple? or...
Geri: Maybe a little bit of a lisp going on in here.
Catelin: No way. No, it's just because I'm always thinking about food so, okay. So we kind of understand the difference. We understand how they can work together. What are the benefits of running a PPC campaign alongside your organic initiatives?
Geri: Yeah, so. They've actually done studies on this and...
Catelin: I love a study. Nerd out with me. Tell me!
Geri: So, um, they found that searchers are more likely to click on one of your organic listings if they've seen an ad for you. So like in search results, ads are at the very top. That's the first thing anyone's gonna see, but so say they scroll down. They don't care about the [00:16:00] ads, but they see your ad and then they go down to the organic results and they see you again, you know, think about seeing like two different sources of information from the same company. It seems more reputable.
Catelin: As I say, you're just... that ad is establishing you as an expert or like putting you top of mind. That's fascinating.
Geri: Yes. Yeah. It's like, uh, thinking of it as like real estate, like you are taking up more real estate. Yeah. You know? Yeah. That spot is you instead of your competitor. Mm-hmm , you know, you have two spots instead of one.
Catelin: That's really fascinating. I am always interested in like the psychology behind stuff. So it's like, are they our clients or potential customers seeing you like that level of expertise? Is it because they saw it first where they're like, oh, I have subconsciously like digested this. I wanna re... I'm gonna find that study. I'm gonna read it because it sounds super interesting.
Geri: Yeah. And in the same. Um, Google [00:17:00] supports this and they found that sites that have a stronger organic presence in search results, have a better paid click through rate. So people who put a lot effort into their organic SEO get more clicks on their paid advertising.
Catelin: That's fascinating.
Geri: So it goes both ways.
Catelin: Yeah. Is that like an endorsement then for like stronger content? I mean like, is it, is it, is it strong content? That's. Like resulting in those, like ben-benchmarks. I'm trying to think of like the, you know what I mean?
Geri: It's more or less just having a holistic strategy and really hitting the market in, in both instances. Like using all the tools in your toolkit. Is really, but yeah. Content is a huge part of organic SEO. Because you really have to earn that top spot. You know?
Catelin: Yeah. That makes a ton of sense. Um, are there drawbacks that we should know about to pay per click [00:18:00] compared to organic?
Geri: Um, yes. So for pay per click, obviously it is not free. It costs money.
Catelin: Yeah. You have to have a budget.
Geri: Yes. Yes. but it's an investment um, and it's not sustainable. So as soon as you turn off a Google ads campaign, a pay per click campaign. That traffic is gone, like it's, it's gone. But with organic it's a long term incremental growth. You're paying in a lot of time. Mm-hmm but it's sustainable for growth and more traffic and sales. It's just gonna take longer to see those results.
Catelin: Sure. So like one is the sprint and one is the marathon?
Geri: Yep, exactly.
Catelin: So we are getting fit.
Geri: Making me sweat thinking about it.
Catelin: Somebody asked me the other day, they're like, oh, [00:19:00] you look like you're going for a run. And I was like, I only run if I'm being chased. I'm not interested in your marothon or your sprint. Yeah. So how would like what's a quick win? How could a business get started with pay click advertising? Is there like a quick hit, easy way in. What do you recommend?
Geri: I think for... Say you're a small business and you're just, you're not familiar with Google ads. You just wanna test it. You haven't hired an agency. Um, I think an easy way to get started would launching a brand campaign. So you can start a Google search campaign and just bid on your brand name and variations of your brand name and, um, to take this a step further. Something we actually do deploy for our own clients is bidding on competitors, brand names alongside that. So yeah. You know, if you have a huge competitor say like you're Caitlyn's pet store.
Catelin: Im alergic to [00:20:00] everything outside, I love how this goes.
Geri: oh, thank God this is a hypothetical.
Catelin: I have hives already. This is a common theme. I get hives a lot.
Geri: Um, so you're trying to compete with PetSmart. PetSmart is huge. They, everyone knows PetSmart. Yeah. So you would wanna...
Catelin: It's where... oh no I was like thats where the pets go but that's Petco. I wanna bid on PetSmart and pet to compete with them, even though they're gigantic.
Geri: Exactly, exactly. And you're not only, you know, trying to take some of their traffic, but you're driving up the cost for them to bid on their own...
Catelin: Ah, alittle supply and demand scenario.
Geri: Yes. You're driving their cost up for their brand campaigns, you know, and, and we have actually seen, um, conversions on...
Catelin: Competitor keywords.
Geri: Yes. For our own clients. It's actually something I, I always do. And it's, it's proven successful and it's [00:21:00] something super easy that you can just, you know, throw $10 in and just make sure you're at least owning the search traffic for your own brand name. You know, that's something super simple to get started.
Catelin: That is easy. Wow. What? Oh... that's a huge win. What have we missed? Did we forget anything?
Geri: Um, I do have some more benefits. If we wanna keep going with that? There's just so much good stuff. How can we stop? Um, so. They're so we already went over. So users are more likely to click on your ads and your organic search. Um, the more they've seen your brand okay. So more brand awareness, more, um, real estate. But more eyes you're getting seen. Um, so another really good thing about. Doing SEO and pay per click advertising is you get faster results for optimizing your organic keyword targeting.
Catelin: Okay. So say those words again, in [00:22:00] another way.
Geri: Yes. So when you're deciding what keyword to maybe write in your title tags of your blogs or to insert in your meta descriptions, like those descriptions in the search results.
Catelin: That stuff matters.
Geri: It's hard to know which keywords are working. Because organic SEO takes so long. Like it feels like you get gray hair, it takes so long.
Catelin: I'm already doing that.
Geri: The job is never over. Um, so when you are running a pay per click campaign. You can test keywords and see "okay, this one's con... this keyword's converting really well in my campaign". The results are immediate.
Catelin: So you can make, then you can make content around that that helps you rate organically. As well.
Geri: Yes, exactly.
Catelin: Easy, easy. She says.
Geri: Yes. Well , you can make better informed decisions this way. Um, and same thing, like if you have, if you have in your [00:23:00] campaign, like a high volume keyword that you know, people are searching for a ton that you really wanna bid on. But it's just not working for you. Like, you're not getting there.
Catelin: Maybe the cost cause it's too expensive. Yes. Or it's like too popular.
Geri: Yes. Yes. Too competitive, too expensive. You don't wanna pay for it. It's not working. You can switch that to your organic initiatives and like focus that and work on it there. Without paying for it.
Catelin: That's brilliant.
Geri: Yeah. So that's pretty much all the benefits. I think we could just go on forever. I, I feel like those are really the main ones.
Catelin: And you've given us some good, like I say, easy, knowing that it does take time and it does take effort, but some really like digestible quick wins for people that maybe aren't ready for an agency. But are looking for some things that they can implement on their own. And like in any blog platform, you have your [00:24:00] meta description. And your title tags. It like those things, breaking that down and making that a little bit easier for people to understand is, is really helpful in what we're here for.
Geri: So, yeah, that's true.
Catelin: And we got to drink a, oh my gosh, we forgot something.
Geri: I have a closing statement to the points. Um, so this is, this is through a Google webpage, you know, so you know, this is, ya know credible.
Catelin: Right. As Google says, this has to be true.
Geri: If, if it's on Google it's right, you know?
Catelin: The Internet is always right.
Geri: All right. So Google says, just to wrap us up in a bow here and I'll let Catelin finish. Um, using SEO and Google ads together may give you the best chance of bringing traffic to your site in the short term and enhancing your business' presence online for long term success.
Catelin: Which is exactly what you've been saying this whole process.
Geri: Yes. What everyone wants. Yeah.
Catelin: That's perfect. I love it. Thank you so much for these easy, easy wins and for [00:25:00] inspiring our sweet and little spicy cocktail for today.
Geri: Yes. Thank you.
Catelin: It was a real pleasure having you, Geri. Thank you so much.
Geri: Thank you.
Catelin: Here's a quick tip on search engine optimization and pay per click advertising. Each have their own distinct advantages and disadvantages, but using both simultaneously is more effective. By only doing one or the other, you could miss out on potential leads and traffic.
Rich: That's it for another episode of cocktails, tangents, and answers.
Catelin: We hope you enjoyed listening. We enjoyed recording and this week's cocktail.
Rich: You can find me on Twitter or Instagram at Rich Mackey. I try not to make it too difficult. It's just my name. And you can find our agency at antidote_71. That's A N T I D O T E underscore seven one on Twitter and Instagram as well.
Catelin: And you can find me at home sipping a craft cocktail prepared by my in-home [00:26:00] bartender. It's my husband.
Rich: We'll be back next week with another episode and a whole new cocktail recipe, plenty more tangents. And of course, answers to those pressing marketing questions.
Catelin: And if you'd like to send us a question, you can go to CTApodcast.live to get in touch.
Rich: Or you can call our hotline at (402) 718-9971. And leave us a voicemail. Your questions might be used for future episodes of the podcast.
Catelin: For now, like and subscribe and we'll see you next week.