PPC vs SEO : Which One is Better For My Business?


When it comes to increase website traffic through search engine, you have two basic options: Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising or Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I love SEO and PPC and have been using both Marketing strategies on a mixture of clients for over seven years, yet I'm often asked which one is better. Today I'm going to share their major differences, advantages and disadvantages with you.

Pay Per Click Advertising on Google, Bing and other sites is a quick and easy way to get listed on their search result for the keywords that are related to your website. Unfortunately, PPC is expensive and you can get traffic for free by achieving high rankings in the search engine organic search results.

In Search Engine Optimization, You will need to follow SEO best practices to get higher ranking and display more often in search engine result. It may take time to reach the top of the organic results, but the free, highly targeted traffic will probably prove to be well worth the investment.

What is the difference between PPC and SEO?

Position: Search Engine Optimization focuses on organic search results which are displayed in the main body of the search engine result pages. PPC listings are displayed as the ‘sponsored links’ at the top of the page or on the right hand side column.

Organic search results include all web pages which the search engine determines to be relevant to the user search query, while PPC reflects a targeted Search Engine Marketing Campaign and may show results only in a specific geographic area, time specific, user Operating systems, Carriers and few more.

Promotion Results: With an organic Search Engine Optimization campaign, a new website may take 1 to 18 months to show up on Search Engine Results. However, SEO results in continuous traffic over a longer period of time.

PPC can give an initial boost in traffic and is useful when launching a brand new website which is not yet appearing in organic results or you want create a buzz. However, when you stop the PPC campaign, the traffic stops immediately.

Perception: Organic Search Engine Optimization results in an Search Engine Marketing campaign are seen to be unbiased and have a higher level of credibility. SEO rankings are unpaid and based on the relevance of the webpage to the keyword but with PPC, the more you bid on a given keyword; the higher your advertisement is displayed for that search. The higher the position on the SERP page (Organic or PPC), the more trusted it is by searchers; the more likely it'll get clicks.

Price: With an SEO and/or a PPC campaign, there may be an initial set-up and ongoing fee if you engage an SEO or PPC specialist to create a campaign for your website. With an SEO campaign, there is no cost per individual click or visitor. However, with a PPC campaign, there is an ongoing cost per click or visitor – the greater your budget, the more traffic your website will receive.

But which approach is better for my business? 

It depends on your needs and budget. If you want more traffic fast and are willing to pay for every visitor you get, then PPC might be right for you. But if you're operating on a small budget, it may make more sense to invest time in chasing high search engine rankings through SEO.

In the long term, SEO is better because it delivers long lasting results.

  • To achieve high rankings in the search engine organic search results, you have to develop SEO-friendly website, original content, and related authority Links that point to your site. It may take times to get high rankings with SEO. Fortunately, most websites keep their rankings for a long time.
  • In the long run, SEO is a much better value than PPC. If you have a business that is meant to stay, SEO is the way to go.

In the short term, PPC is better because you are forced to improve your website.

  • PPC is great because it provides instant results. You will get the first visitors minutes after the launch of your PPC campaign. Unfortunately, you won't get any more visitors as soon as you stop paying.
  • If you use paid search marketing, your website will get visitors because you pay for them.

The fact is that, if done correctly, both PPC and SEO can get you on the first page of the search engines for your targeted terms. However, each has its respective advantages and disadvantages as I mentioned above.

Please leave a comment below on which Marketing Strategy you feel is best and why to help continue the debate.