SEO (Search Engine Optimization) vs. PPC (Pay Per Click) – Which One Should You Choose?

Traffic is a website’s lifeline. Boosting it is a challenging task. You have two effective options: Pay Per Click or PPC and Search Engine Optimization or SEO.

SEO and PPC are subcategories of Search Engine Marketing or SEM. SEM is an effective tool in internet marketing focused on presence in search engine and its results when users pose a query.

You should consider both an investment of not just money, but of time and effort as well. With PPC you pay for traffic from search engines. Examples of PPC systems are Google AdWords, Yahoo Search Marketing and other search engine advertising programs.

On the other hand, with SEO, results only manifest after time and that is, if the trend you followed still applies. You invest time and effort with SEO unless you the resources to have an expert help you.


The Difference

If you are wondering which you should invest in, let’s take a look at the two concepts first and see how they differ.


Pay Per Click means you pay a specific amount to the search engine for each user click on your advertisement. The search engine displays your keyword-rich advertisement in the sponsored results area of the page.

The keywords you identify can be the same as your competition, so you are to bid on the keywords in order for a potential customer to be redirected to your website whenever he or she clicks on an ad in the results’ page.


Traffic coming from your SEO efforts is called organic and it is free. The idea is to rank high in search results naturally, in order for traffic to be directed to your website.

By following SEO’s best practices, your website will be displayed prominently in organic results, but it does take time.


PPC and SEO is also a question of where you want your website’s presence to be prominent in, organic results or on sponsored part of search results? If you are operating on a limited budget and want to be sure where you invest your resources, it is natural to wonder which works faster and easier.



Google AdWords usually appear above the organic search results, but they have a little label that says ‘Ad’. You can make sure your ads are on the first page of results by paying or bidding with a higher fee for PPC.

The cost of PPC depends on how competitive or popular the keywords are, the number of related websites and so on. The fee will only be paid when a user clicks on your ads and not based on how many times your ads will appear in the search results.

This system allows you prepare a budget in advance because you can calculate the average cost per click for the keywords you are using.

On the other hand, depending on how optimized your website is, you can also get first page listing in results when you apply SEO. It may need a lot of effort  your part, but the thing is – it’s free. You work hard and get rewarded with free traffic from your prominence across various search engines, not just one.

There are many SEO companies that will say there’s a shortcut. But there isn’t. The only shortcut is hiring an SEO expert to do the optimization for you.

You can learn SEO and apply it to your website  yourself for free. After all, there a wide variety of resources online you can immerse yourself in.

In case of the traffic they can direct to your website, SEO brings in solid and continuous organic traffic should you be ranked among the top 5 of results. You don’t have to worry about paying the search engine anything if you are organically ranked among the top results.

When you talk about PPC, the more traffic you want, the more you have to pay for it. You can get more traffic than SEO and faster too, but the cost will just keep getting bigger.


The Question on Conversion

Highly optimized advertisements clicked by a visitor is more likely to be a product sold compared to a visitor coming from a search.

A search engine user who clicks on an ad is interested in buying the product. That is primarily the reason why they clicked on the ad in the first place.

Organic results when clicked usually involves a lot of reading. You should engage your visitor enough to take him or her to your shopping cart, but that isn’t always the case. Users usuall

istend to visit related or similar sites to check their options.

In terms of traffic, SEO is obviously the better choice plus the fact that it is free. When it comes to conversion, PPC is the better choice but it will cost more each time a user clicks on your keyword rich ads.


Ease of Use

Both search engine optimization  and pay per click are concepts that are not exactly easy to use when you’re not knowledgeable about internet marketing.

Applying SEO to your website may seem like a lot of effort and time, but it will benefit you in the long run. PPC, if it’s a matter of choice between the two, seems like the shortcut, but you will have to allot budget for it. The bigger your budget, the more beneficial it is for your business or website.

If you don’t have the background and experience for both concepts, you will have to hire an expert to do the work for you.


When Choosing…

  • You should know your advertising budget. Can you support a minimum of $10 a day for PPC?
  • If you don’t have enough financial resources, you can stick to SEO instead.
  • Will you want a regular report on conversion and traffic? If you do, you can invest on PPC. With SEO, you are basically going to do things yourself (or your expert will). If you want to find out your selling products, how many subscribers you have on your mailing list and so on, you are going to prepare the report yourself.
  • You should be aware that SEO changes or evolves. Back in the day, it was enough to stuff your content with keywords repetitively. Now, it’s a matte of quality content. When you pay for traffic, you don’t have to worry about the trends that much.
  • With PPC or AdWords for example, you have Google Analytics and other useful tools to help you out.
  • You should also know that popular keywords are often dominated by established and authority advertisers. They’re the big name competition your going to find hard to bid against. In this case, generating traffic to your site is your best choice instead of using keywords/ads that might end up in oblivion with big names hogging the spotlight.


Then again, it isn’t always a question of which is better. Sometimes, well most of the time, a little of both works much better. PPC and SEO are useful search engine  marketing strategies that will be beneficial for your online store or website.

If you can determine the optimal mix of PPC and SEO, you can us both for your website. For example, many website apply PPC first and SEO after. PPC will help your online presence and drive traffic to your site without waiting for months. You use this for faster results as use the same keywords through SEO application for steady high ranking even with popular keywords.

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email

More To Explore

Call Now ButtonCall Now