Should You Use SEO or PPC

Should You Use SEO or PPC

Should you use search engine optimization or pay-per-click? This question has been asked so many times in online advertising circles that it has become an internet cliché. The answer to this question is a bit more complicated than the typical response of “it depends”.

To understand why this question is important for your business, let’s take a moment to discuss what benefits each marketing method offers for your business and whether one method is more effective than the other for your business. 

Should you use SEO or PPC?

Search engine optimization is free and organic, whereas pay-per-click requires payment in order to begin working. With SEO, you don’t have to pay in order to be found, but with PPC you do. Google will rank relevant websites on their search engine results pages (SERPs) for free but will only show your advertisement once you have paid. Essentially, your business can appear in the results for “free” if it ranks highly in the keywords that your customers are searching for. Whereas if someone searches for the same keyword and ends up clicking on a paid advertisement, that company has paid for the traffic that they will receive. Much of search engine optimization consists of investing into long-term growth in contrast to PPC ads, in which success is measured through conversions.

PPC is instant; SEO takes time. With PPC ads, your website appears at the top of search engine results pages as soon as your campaign goes live. However, because each click costs money, you will also be paying for non-converting visitors as well. Your competitors can also click on your ads to use up your advertising budget and make your business spend more money. While you can reach the top of search engine results pages through SEO too, it usually takes a few months before your site begins to climb the rankings organically. It can take a long time for your website to reach the front page of Google search results. While it is more time consuming, SEO is far more sustainable than pay-per-click advertising.

What is SEO?

It is a good idea to have at least a basic understanding of both SEO and PPC before you decide upon which of the two is more applicable to your business. We’ll start by explaining what SEO is.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This refers to strategies that are used to increase a website’s traffic through organic means. This means that by using SEO, you won’t have to pay to show up on search engine results pages. The payoff can be significant with this strategy, but it can be time-consuming due to the fact that it can take months or even years before your website begins to rank highly on search engines. It also requires immense patience to wait for your website to climb up the rankings in order to gain exposure and authority. In general, however, this strategy is worth investing in because it builds brand recognition without having a negative impact on your bottom line (once your site starts ranking). SEO is a proactive way of making sure your website can be found online.

What is PPC?

PPC is a form of online advertising where you create advertisements and bid on them to be displayed in search engine results. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad and visits your website.


Since you are only paying for people who visit your site, PPC allows you to make the most efficient use of your budget. There is also less risk involved with PPC as it does not require content creation or any major changes to your website, unlike SEO. In addition, PPC provides instant results by allowing companies to attract customers in the very moment that consumers are searching for products or services their company offers! With PPC you can immediately begin to bring in traffic to your website and gain the opportunity to convert people into paying customers.

Know if PPC is right for you:

If you have a limited budget and want immediate visibility in search engines, then PPC may be right for you!

What are the pros and cons of each method?

The pros:

  • SEO: Organic traffic is great for brand awareness. Because you’re not paying for your clicks, they cost your company nothing while giving your brand more visibility. Additionally, you’re building a long-term foundation that will continue to deliver benefits long after the initial effort.
  • PPC: You can enjoy near-immediate results and enjoy much more flexibility in your search campaigns than with organic efforts.

The cons:

  • SEO: It takes time to see results with SEO because of how Google’s algorithm works and how complex it is to make changes to improve your rankings. Additionally, SEO requires more expertise than PPC marketing because it requires a different set of skills. 
  • PPC: You’ll need to pay for every click—even if they don’t convert into leads or sales—so this model may not work if your profit margins aren’t large enough to finance your ads. Also, managing a successful campaign requires an understanding of targeting strategies, bid management, and negative keyword optimization that most people don’t have adequate knowledge on in order to generate the results they are looking for. PPC can become costly if it is not executed properly.

Which one should you choose for your business?

The right decision for your company really depends on your business objectives, budget, and timeline.

  • If you’re looking for quick results or if you need to gain quick visibility on a specific keyword or phrase, PPC is the way to go. PPC is also a great option if you’re promoting a sale or new product line for an online storefront.
  • If you don’t have a large budget but want to secure long-term benefits from your search engine marketing efforts, SEO is the way to go. With SEO, it takes more time to see a ROI but once you achieve the ranking that you want, it will continue to benefit your business indefinitely.
  • If you have a limited budget and need immediate results as well as long-term benefits, it may be best to use both SEO and PPC. You can focus a portion of your budget on driving traffic through PPC while working on improving your rankings organically in order to reduce some of the costs associated with PPC when possible. The combination of these two strategies can drastically increase the amount of traffic that visits your site and converts into customers.


At the end of the day, most businesses use a combination of both SEO and PPC to generate the best results possible from their inbound marketing campaigns. By using both strategies together, businesses can drastically increase their conversions quickly while also working on building up their rankings organically.

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