Which to Choose: PPC vs SEO

If you are not sure whether your business will benefit more from SEO or PPC, you are in the right place. PPC and SEO work well when strategically and integrated. The two tools are Search Engine Marketing tools - the most extensive internet marketing campaign. However, most business owners prefer relying on one of the tools and not all. In this article, we will help you understand the differences and similarities between SEO and PPC. This information will henceforth help you know the tool that will best work for your business.


Search engine optimization ensures your site appears on top of the search results list for specific keywords. When your search engine is effectively optimized, your site ranks high organically. There are very many factors that Google uses to know how best the search of your website will be optimized. While you earn SEO, you have to pay for PPC. Pay per click (PPC), just from its name, refers to the tool that you pay for a search engine every time a searcher clicks on your site. One of PPC’s system is Google AdWords. Keyword relevance and content are the two main factors in PPC. In PPC, users bid on a keyword, and when a searcher looks for the keyword, Google finds the best bidder and chooses the number of keywords to feature at the top of the searcher’s page.


Generally, there are differences between SEO and PPC. The differences will help you know what your business needs. The main difference between SEO and PPC is that the organic traffic generated from SEO is free, whereas the traffic from PPC is not free. More variations are discussed below:

  • Conversion – a visitor, coming from organic search and one from PPC Ads, which one is likely to convert more? If the ads of your site are well optimized, a PPC visitor has a higher chance of conversion than a visitor from an SEO. The reason for this is that web pages rank differently for their keywords, and the inquirer may not be searching for the content presented on that specific page. If you successfully run the PPC campaign, you get clicks from searchers who have 100% interest in your products or content.
  • Traffic potential – when it comes to traffic potential, SEO is likely to be more generative than PPC. If you can rank your site for your desired keywords, you will be guaranteed to have more traffic than paying for the keywords. If you are among the top 5 positions, always expect to have a consistent flow of traffic without any fees. Therefore, when comparing the cost and traffic of the page positions for PPC and SEO traffic, the organic traffic ranks much higher.
  • Position – you can get first page positions if your web site is optimized for search engines. In contrast, in PPC, you will have to pay a high cost per click amount to get your ad ranked on the top page.
  • Cost – The cost of SEO is rather indirect since you don’t have to pay for positioning. You will only need to pay for the SEO services if you want your site to be ranked highly. For PPC, payment only comes in when searchers click on the ad on your website.  The Google keyword tool finds out the amount of money paid.
  • Ease of use – Both PPC and SEO are somewhat challenging to use, especially if you lack the essential experience and knowledge. SEO takes plenty of effort to learn and may take years to rank. On the other hand, you can only get satisfactory results on PPC if you hire an expert who will help you understand how it operates.

How to decide Between PPC and SEO

Even with the knowledge of the differences between SEO and PPC, you may still wonder how to decide between the two tools. Below are the steps to take if you want to identify the best device for your online marketing campaign;

  • Know your campaign goal – The more you get focused on your campaign goal, the better you will become. Focus on your target by knowing the marketing campaign that suits your business.
  • Know your time frame – Have a time frame for your campaign goal. Is it annual, semi-annual, or a quarterly goal?
  • Make a comparison between SEO and PPC – once you have understood the main differences between SEO and PPC, know which one will benefit your site more.
  • Go for the strategy that suits your site - for most campaigns, running both SEO and PPC is a great solution. You can, however, choose the one that seems suitable to you and for that strategy.

 So Should it be SEO or PPC?

The answer to this question depends on your goals. If you have just begun developing an online presence, PPC will work well for you. PPC is a good jump starter since it creates immediate traffic. Even though the traffic is heavy at the beginning, it becomes less consistent and of a lower quality than SEOs.

It is worth noting that SEO is the best way to go if you are looking for consistent and high quality traffic, together with high conversion rates. This latter tool is, however, too time-consuming, and if you lack quality content, SEO is not the best endeavor. Another option is working with both instruments. Professional campaigns commend this option since PPC stimulates traffic in the youthful stages of a site while the SEO generates more organic traffic on its own. The bottom line is that SEO takes time to develop, but the results are long lasting while for PPC’s traffic stops when you discontinue paying for clicks.

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