SEO vs PPC - Which is better?

Search Engine Optimization

SEO vs PPC - Which is better?

02/24/2022 12:00 AM by TheChiefHustler in

Google has tons of web pages to show for a single user's query. Google has to examine and provide accurate results of billions of searches every day. From the search engine result pages, the top 3 web pages account for 68% of the total traffic. How would you rank higher to get the desired traffic to your website? So, SEO vs PPC - which is the better marketing method to increase your revenue?


What is SEO and PPC marketing?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO):

SEO is optimizing your web page for search engines like Google, youtube, and more. Good SEO gets you a higher position than before, above your competitors. SEO is free, but it takes a lot of time. Search engine bots crawl your site and check for trustworthiness and valuable sources for the users performing searches. It will then move higher in the position at SERP. SEO method includes content on your site that increases your online presence and credibility. It has two different aspects, namely, On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO.

SEO is a slow burner where you've to wait for months to get pretty good results. Optimizing your site, giving some value to the users, and creating backlinks, improves the authority of your site. Here, you can't pay but constantly update your website and get a win in the long term. 

On-Page Optimization Includes

Here comes the methods used inside the webpage, that help in improving a site's ranking.

  • Titles - H1, H2, H3 tags that include the focus keyword you want to rank for.

  • Meta descriptions again with the keyword related to the focus keyword.

  • Descriptive Alt text behind all images that include your keyword.

  • Naturally occurring of your focus keyword and relevant keywords in your content.


Off-Page Optimization Includes

Here comes the methods used outside the site, that also help in improving the rankings.

  • Search engines check for the quality number of backlinks as a criterion of ranking higher.

  • Sharing content on various social media platforms for marketing.

  • Influencer marketing for being the most recognizable brand.

  • Included in listicles and business directories to prove your authenticity.

  • Brand mentions in guest posting, articles, press releases, reviews, and more.

  • Give internal links on web pages of websites, to assist users navigating your site.


Pros of SEO

Let's look at the advantages of using SEO for your business and investing time in it.

SEO improves the credibility of your brand

Receiving organic traffic by becoming at page one is a reward. Being in position one won't ever make your competitors rank before you. They can never bump you down easily.

SEO boost brand awareness

If you’re on the first page of SERP, at the top, it's also a good achievement. Your business will be in the tongue of consumers every time they think about your industry. This increases brand awareness and drives relevant targeted traffic. Using long-tail keywords in your SEO tactics, also boost instant visitors along the buying funnel.

SEO builds trust and authenticity in the market that PPC doesn't

If your site starts ranking at the top positions in SERP, it will boost your brand's credibility. It can influence your perceived authenticity by the targeted visitors of your services. Most of the users tend to ignore ads and trust organic results. Being visible and including strong reviews signals more trust in your site.

SEO is completely free

All the organic traffic your site receives is cost-free. And that's a big advantage of SEO over PPC. The cost-per-click is less in search engine optimization from the time you started optimizing your site. Moreover, you get a high ROI from doing SEO. Even the return on investment from traffic earned by SEO is higher than paid media. So, you don't have to hand over a single penny to get people to land at your site. They will find you on Google search results. It just requires continual optimization by finding new keywords. Then updating content, and earning backlinks.

High click-through rates with SEO

Most of the users click on organic links rather than PPC ads in search results. You will surely generate more leads and more clicks doing SEO compared to PPC ads. You will be amazed to know that 85% of the total eCommerce traffic comes organically.

SEO keeps on giving

In PPC, when you stop throwing cash, your traffic also stops. However, you can take a long week's break from your schedule and still get traffic by SEO. So, SEO can help you win the game of receiving immense traffic to your site.


Cons of SEO

Unfortunately, there are some disadvantages to using SEO. Let us see what they are.

SEO takes a lot of patience and time

High ranking indeed brings a lot of traffic, but it's a long process of success. SEO takes a long time to get that high ranking. That's why the traffic usually arrives slowly. So, if you are a newbie, you would have a highly competitive environment to work in. With PPC, you will get instant results. An increase in web page position can take months after you have started optimizing your site. If you want to make a fast impact on a new product launch, PPC would be quicker.

SEO ranking factors change rapidly

Once you start ranking, the more traffic your site will get. However, when your position drops a few places, it's annoying. There is a cause for concern. Your page ranking can change by the change in algorithms. As the search engine adjusts its algorithm rapidly, depending on that, your site could drop its position. Or the rankings can change by altering searcher intent.

Tough Competitors in SEO than PPC

If you're doing well, there will still be high competition. If someone earns more valuable backlinks than you and creates better content than yours, will probably start to outrank you. So, you have to work on the purpose and quality of your content.

SEO never stops. Target new keywords and try to use both inbound and internal links. Also, try to make sure the loading time is faster than before. Thus, maintain your site properly to keep your page ranking.

Technical issues are to be faced doing SEO

Indexing and crawling by search engine bots is a process that takes technical knowledge. If they are not able to crawl and index your site, your ranking will drop. This doesn't happen in PPC ads. Just check web pages that are dropping if you've spotted a massive change in your ranking.

SEO requires authoritative content

Users want to talk to experts in the field. For instance, whom they will talk to buy a car, you or the famous companies that are actually selling their brands? The content of your site has to be unique, and proper. Moreover, it must prove your expertise. Try to prove your business is leading in your industry. This isn’t a con, but it needs time and effort. It's about maintaining your business in the industry as a subject-matter-expert.


Pay-Per-Click (PPC):

PPC is the paid advertisements that appear above or below the results we get from SEO in the SERP. PPC ads are done by banners, remarketing, or Google ads. PPC requires more time and money. Every time you have to pay a fee when someone clicks on your PPC ad. Your ads can target users’ interests, age group, gender, geographical location, profession, etc. You can promote a special offer with your product/service, deal, or event. Pay-per-click ad campaigns bring immediate results, unlike SEO campaigns. You don't have to play a waiting game with PPC as in SEO. The most widely used and reliable platform for PPC ads is Google Ads. Here, You can identify the ads as per their performance and ROI, and the ones that need some more work. You can find out how many conversions you’re getting from the lead generation from paid ads. You see quick results in PPC, however, it entirely depends on how much you have invested. Search engines judge your ads, like with SEO. This is why testing, tracking, and tweaking your ads is crucial. So, set your budget according to your goals and monitor results, otherwise, you will end up wasting money. Thus, PPC costs are high but win in the short term.

There are many kinds of paid advertisements:

1. Text ads

Text ads are easy to spot because of inclusion of the specific keywords. These appear in the search engine results when someone puts a query. They are labeled as ‘ad’ either at the top or at the bottom of the result page. However, these are not trusted by most people. We tend to ignore them and scroll straight to the organic results.

2. Social media ads

Social media ads require an infographic having a call-to-action button. It also includes headlines, meta descriptions, geolocation, and the link pointing towards your landing page. 

3. Display ads

Display network ads are the graphic banners that you see on various sites. These ate just the spaces on that particular site that is being sold to advertisers. These you can place on sites that you find relevant to your brand. It is also used for retargeting users to the product page that weren't purchased earlier.


Pros of PPC


Let us see what is the need of splashing the cash for PPC ads. And where would these be beneficial rather than the organic search?

PPC provides better brand visibility than SEO

Paid ads allow your website to display at the top of result pages. It is shown above organic search results. That's why users can see your site before they see someone else's brand. You can also invest some pennies on display ads where your PPC ads are shown on relevant websites.

However, set your goals for how much you want to spend on PPC ads and stick to them. Now, whether you click on them or not, you have seen them clearly. Every time you search a term, you will get the ad above and below organic results.

PPC targets only the potential users

Displaying your content in front of people is necessary, but only with the right people! Only potential customers are the cinch with PPC ads. It targets only relevant keywords, geographic location, language, device, and many more factors. So, you only invest in the users you really require at your site.

You can have complete control over the content on PPC

PPC ads are versatile, based on the assets you have put in. It is with regards to the - targeted geography, CTA, bullet points, links to your site, pricing, and more.

Thus, it's up to you, where you want your users to come. So that users can click your paid ad and end up coming to your landing page.

Visual product ads

Having an infographic as ads is super cool if you have an excellent product. Google can allow you to create product listing ads for your brand. This you can upload on various sites to make your site aware and more engaging than before. This you can not do in organic results. And your click-through rate gets a boost as users would see the thing they are searching for.

Immediate results in PPC

Ranking content by pay-per-click ads is a short-term game that gives instant results. Achieving page one rank by optimizing for search engines, is however a long game. Paid ads can be built within a day and we can get immediate results. These results are so beneficial when you are promoting the latest product. Earning clicks so quickly is a great achievement for instant events or promo goals.

Marketing insights

You can get great insights from Google Analytics and Keyword Planner. This will track your conversion rates, which keywords convert, & the cost used. Use these marketing insights to boost paid ads, and perform tests with your paid campaigns. It may be your content, landing pages, images, or Call To Action buttons, to improve performance.


Cons of PPC


Now you know the pros of paid advertising, that is, where you should use them. Now, take a look at PPC cons to having its complete knowledge.

PPC needs ongoing investment than SEO

Once you stop spending money, the ads also stop. And eventually, you will no anymore be making more revenue. When the ad stops, the visitors also stop. However, you can control the amount of money you're spending. Optimizing your PPC campaign takes time, and the price to do it instantly mounts up. Especially when you target a competitive keyword.

Not everyone’s trust PPC ads

It’s clearly a paid ad, and this everyone knows. Because there’s an ad tag in front of every PPC ad, many people do not like to open it. As a consumer, do you ever open ads that are ranked by money? Or would you believe in the organic search results? You may be blind to PPC ads- always scrolling down to the organic results? Likewise, most people don’t trust them. Even 65% of the users tend to ignore them and jump to the organic results.

PPC ads lose effectiveness

Running your PPC ads for a very long time will eventually make it stop working. Ad blindness is reality. People don't trust sites with long-run ads. After some time your ads start to irritate people, and it's a reality no one can run out of. Next what happens is, users just use ad blockers. So, keep your ads fresh with updated content, CTAs, and images.


Which is better - SEO vs PPC?

The answer is, it completely depends on your business needs. One key point is clear till now that the long-term strategy SEO will give constant traffic once you start ranking. While the short-term strategy PPC will give instant results depending on your investment. But you've to consider some other factors also when deciding which is better; such as:

a. Whether you have just started a small local business?

b. How much domain authority do you have?

c. Do you want to generate instant leads for any event?

d. How much time do you have to get the results?

e. What’s your budget?

f. How much is the competition in your industry?

e. How are your competitors getting revenue?

SEO and PPC both are efficient methods at their own places. They both are proven to bring results and drive immense traffic whether working separately or together. But, some situations come where one is preferred over the other. So, after deciding many parameters, how would you decide which is better - SEO vs PPC. For that, just read the rest.

  • If you could find a relevant keyword in your niche that has low competition, then doing SEO is good. However, remember to choose the keyword with an excellent monthly search volume. Start developing your SEO strategy fast before anyone else starts with it to rank for that keyword.

  • If you have an eCommerce website and want to compete with famous brands like Amazon, then PPC is a better option. In this case, your site will have great difficulties outranking organic search results. Thus, PPC paid ads can be proved as more beneficial for your brand awareness campaign.

  • If you have a good budget for your marketing strategies, PPC ads are excellent to do right away. It will give you generous and immediate results. Businesses with a high budget get miraculous results with the PPC live ads. You can target specific audiences based on geographic location, age, gender, and many more. It will give you only relevant 10 out of hundreds of passers-by.

  • If you have a time-restricted promotion or a seminar scheduled for next month, PPC is a clear winner. If you're availing promo time only for some weeks on any product with some % off, no way is SEO the right strategy for this. The promo will get over automatically before you have started thinking about ranking. So, get PPC live ads asap for any deadline-related marketings.

  • If you have launched a unique product and want to make it aware, you could use PPC ads. Earning organic traffic from the content that is already popular is a way of SEO. It includes optimizing your product page with keywords, H1, H2s, meta tag, alt tag, and more. But, if there would be less searched volume for a recently launched product, SEO could be wrong. Getting immense traffic in a short period is the PPC business and doing SEO will get you severely limited traffic.

  • If you've created an engaging landing page and want the users to download any report. It’s a matter of PPC ads to promote it. It is because the landing page with short content without backlinks usually does not rank to get enough traffic. Or what you can do is write a blog post, and tease that report to offer a download. This time, you have to rank in SERP to get your goal done. Otherwise, use PPC for quick results to drive traffic to your landing page and start counting them.


Conclusion - SEO vs PPC (Which is better)

Each business has its own strategies and goals to grow and increase sales. Everyone aims to expand their business in the industry. With the evolution of the internet, came huge opportunities for organizations to bloom in the market. Driving traffic and advertising products to sell is achievable in the digital world. Our SEO vs PPC guide will assist you in selecting the best strategies for expanding your business.

So, will you choose one or both?

If you believe that trust and authenticity are a must, then you should go for SEO. If you don't want to put much effort, you can try out a pay-per-click ad campaign to market your products. I personally recommend that SEO should be the primary method. You can use PPC when you are waiting for the results to come out of SEO. However, you have launched a new product, promo, or event, start with your PPC live ads and get immediate attention.

SEO and PPC working together can have the best possible effect on your marketing strategy. You will surely rank higher than your competitors and boost sales. Both PPC and SEO marketing increase brand visibility. They can help each other, creating a combined powerful marketing tool that helps in generating high revenue. Go optimize now!


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