SEO vs. PPC: When to Optimize and When to Pay for Traffic

If you’re having trouble spreading the news about your new company, you’re not alone. Many business owners face a similar problem: gaining consumers in the early stages of their enterprises.

It’s difficult to strike a balance between cost, upkeep, and outcomes when it comes to marketing campaigns. Most of the time, one of two marketing techniques can help you

We’ve looked at what you can expect to get out of each of these acquisition techniques in this post. We’ve also included a list of pros and drawbacks of SEO and PPC techniques, as well as descriptive statistics and real-world situations to help you decide whether SEO vs. PPC is best for your company.

What is SEO?

SEO is the practice of enhancing your website’s visibility in order to improve its ranking and attract organic traffic from search engines.

Just as you turn to your favorite search engines, such as Google or Bing, to find out what a new marketing term or where to get excellent pizza is, so do your customers. When you invest in SEO, you raise the chances of your target audience finding you when they perform a Google search for keywords related to your product or service. In fact

Here’s an example of SEO in action.

Hubspot appears at the top of Google’s organic search engine results page (SERP) for the term “inbound marketing” in this example, thanks to our SEO strategy.

The order of the results that appear on search engine results pages is not accidental. Each search engine considers a variety of ranking variables in determining where a page should be displayed. The objective of an SEO strategy is to develop websites and content that work with the search engine’s ranking criteria in order to improve their position on the SERPs.

Are there other search engines besides Google?

Because it has 92.47 percent of the search engine market share, Google is the focus of most SEO techniques rather than Bing or Yahoo! Because of this, if you want to rank higher in search engine results pages, you’ll need to understand about Google’s 200 ranking factors, technical SEO, link building, content creation, and so on.

Pros of SEO

Here are some advantages of SEO:

1. SEO is cheaper in the long run.

Although SEO may take time and money away from your company, it is typically less expensive than PPC in the long run.

You no longer have to keep spending money to make your target clients see it when you create content that ranks and attracts traffic to your website. And, unlike a PPC campaign, there is no cost associated with these consumers clicking on your link.

The major advantage of employing organic traffic is that it is highly scalable and cost-effective.

2. You can target different funnel stages with SEO.

Not all of your audience is at the same stage of the sales funnel.

Some are just discovering your brand at the top of the funnel. Others are already at the bottom of the funnel, ready to pull out their wallets.

With Search Engine Optimization, you may develop a variety of content types (blog articles, guides, case studies) that are tailored to each part of your audience. Each time they visit your material, this gives your site a better chance of getting people to the next step in the funnel.

3. Search traffic is more stable.

You can start planning for and anticipating free traffic to your website as soon as you rank on Google.

Another benefit to bear in mind is that there is no off-and-on switch with SEO. When your PPC marketing budget runs out, your website will no longer show up on search results. Think of real estate ownership and renting when comparing SEO and PPC: This distinction may be likened to owning your traffic versus renting it.

4. Organic listings build brand authority.

Product “spotlight” articles that appear regularly in search results for keywords associated with your offerings and services help build trust and brand authority among your target audience. It also demonstrates you’re an authority on the subject or topic to Google. This can result in more external backlinks from reputable websites, which is a ranking element that search engines value highly.

Cons of SEO

Here are some reasons why you might not love SEO:

1. Search engine algorithms change.

Over the years, search engines, particularly Google, have made a number of adjustments to their algorithms. These modifications imply that you must maintain a constant eye on your marketing plan and organic outcomes.

2. You’ll need to optimize your website regularly.

When you have a website that ranks for target keywords for one month, your work isn’t over. You’ll have to continually optimize your contents and web pages in order for your site to continue to rank over time. Optimization might include refreshing old articles and removing old/expired links.

3. SEO takes time to show results.

If you’ve recently created a website or domain, it’s unlikely that you’ll see immediate results from SEO. The reason is that several elements influence how Google ranks websites, many of which won’t be determined until after the site has been live for a while.

2. It requires high-level skills and expertise.

If you’re not hiring a professional, make sure you understand your target audience’s objectives and deliver high-quality content that meets their needs to properly optimize your site for the search engines.

It’s unquestionably time-consuming and overwhelming to run a company while learning technical SEO, writing, and link-building classes, but it is feasible if you prioritize revenue via SEO.

What is PPC?

PPC, or pay-per-click, is a form of search engine marketing (SEM) where an advertiser pays a publisher (such as Google or Facebook) for each click someone makes on an ad. This model allows businesses to pay only when consumers interact with their ads. If you use PPC ads, you’ll attract people who are interested in your offer and ready to convert.

You’ve probably noticed that some of the top search results are marked with an “Ad” sign, like the HelloFresh result here. PPC advertisements for all campaigns appear alongside organic search results.

Some organizations use these search ads as part of a marketing campaign with a set start and end date. Others, like HelloFresh, bid on their own brand name as part of an overall marketing plan — regardless, this strategy is mostly associated with search engines since advertisers bid on keywords that are relevant

PPC campaigns are usually more expensive than organic search ads, especially if you’re targeting a competitive term with your ad. PPC advertising can help you keep up with the competition and get in front of your target consumers if you don’t have an organic search engine ranking authority.

Pros of PPC

1. PPC offers quick results.

While achieving SEO success may take months, the impact of a PPC campaign can be felt in just a few hours.

2. PPC ads appear above organic rankings.

When you advertise your target keyword on a PPC basis, your website will appear first on the search engine results page (SERP). Your audience will notice you before scrolling to see other possibilities because of this ranking.

3. PPC allows you to pinpoint your target audience.

When you create a PPC campaign, you get to decide who you want to target with your advertisements. Do you want to reach people from a certain region? People of a certain age? Marital status? Or hobbies? If that’s the case, PPC is the way to go.

3. You can quickly run A/B tests on a PPC ad.

You may run two separate PPC advertisements at the same time to evaluate which one converts better. All you have to do is swap some ad components, such as the ad text, and let them run for a while. You can choose whether or not to “kill” Google advertising depending on the performance.

Cons of PPC

1. PPC ads are expensive.

You can’t have a PPC campaign without money. You must pay for each link that your audience clicks, so when your budget runs out, so does your traffic.

Also, a PPC ad can get even more expensive (as high as $40) when you’re in a competitive industry like legal or insurance.

2. Lower profit margins.

While a PPC campaign may produce quick wins, it is generally accompanied by reduced profit margins. Because PPC is a “pay-to-play” system, your customer acquisition costs (CAC) will continue to rise without a substantial increase in the price of your products and services.

3. PPC ads become stale after a while.

Because ad platforms like Google have established rules, you have little control over your pricey advertisement. As a result, the content of your ad may be comparable to that of your rivals, making it easy for your audience to overlook.

Another metric to consider is the number of people looking for your company or service every month. It’s crucial to remember that “local SEO” and “online presence growth” are sometimes used interchangeably, but they’re not synonymous. If you have a distinct objective, your SEO evaluation may be more specialist than ours.

SEO vs. PPC: Which is better?

Is there a difference between SEO and PPC, or is it all the same? It’s like comparing eating with a fork to eating with a spoon: it depends.

Is it time to bring out the pasta yet? Yes, I’d want a fork. Is there soup on hand? I’d prefer a spoon. In the same way, different situations exist where SEO is better than PPC and vice versa.

Let’s now look at some of these situations.

Use SEO if…

  • Your marketing budget is low.
  • You want to build your brand authority.
  • You’re looking to maximize your long-term return-on-investment (ROI).
  • You want to create content that reaches your audience at different stages of the sales funnel.

Use PPC if…

You’d get better results with PPC in situations where:

  • You want quick results.
  • Your product is novel or first-of-its-kind.
  • You’re promoting a time-sensitive offer, like a holiday sale.
  • You want to direct your audience to a sales or landing page.

How to Make SEO and PPC Work For You

Instead of selecting between SEO and PPC, why not employ both tactics to your advantage? Here’s how you can get the best of both worlds.

1. Create retargeting ads.

Have you been visited by someone who didn’t make a purchase? Probably the pricing or check-out page. You may easily evoke these visitors, even after they’ve left your site, to return and make a purchase by utilizing retargeting ads.

2. Promote website content with social media ads.

While you aim to rank organically, you may improve your content’s rankings by actively promoting it on social media. These types of advertising not only help with content distribution, but they may also assist you in obtaining important backlinks that will raise your rankings.

It’s also a shame to let your most recent blog piece, guide, study, or case study go by without advertising it.

3. Collect data From ads to improve your SEO strategy.

PPC campaigns provide you access to a wealth of information, including keyword search volumes, keywords your rivals are bidding on, the highest converting calls-to-action, and so on.

With all of this information, you may build better SEO techniques with less work.

SEO vs. PPC Statistics


  • Google is responsible for over 92.47% of global web traffic.
  • 90.63% of online content gets zero traffic from Google, with only 0.21% getting over 1000 visits per month.
  • 35.18% of browser-based Google searches resulted in an organic link click in 2020.
  • 99.2% of website pages have less than 100 backlinks.
  • Google processes over 5.6 billion searches per day (or 2 trillion searches per year.)
  • 64% of marketers actively invest in SEO.


  • The Google Display Network has millions of websites that display advertisements. It reaches 90 percent of the world’s internet users.
  • Online advertising expenditures are expected to surpass $600 billion in 2021, up from $208.4 billion in 2020.
  • More than
  • The insurance sector has the greatest average monthly cost-per-click (CPC) in Google Ads search advertising, with $18.57 per click as the most common rate.
  • In Google Ads search advertising, the most cost-effective CPC is in the technology sector, where a click costs 77 cents.
  • The click-through rate for Facebook Ads is around 1.1 percent in all industries.

Final Thoughts

Whether you go with SEO or PPC is mostly a question of your company’s circumstances. As a result, consider the benefits and drawbacks of both SEO and PPC to determine which is best for you. If at all feasible, combine the two methods to achieve even more outstanding outcomes for your business.