SEO or PPC: Which is best?

Businesses put up websites to market themselves and what they’re offering. They strive to have as much traffic as possible on their site to convert some of the visitors into clients; the higher the number of visitors, the higher the number of potential clients. There are several methods of generating traffic to websites. Some of the techniques use search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click process that produces Pay Per Click (PPC) ads. The question that bothers marketers and business owners is which method between SEO and PPC should they use. The truth is that there is no apparent answer to the issue. The plan that a business can employ to generate online traffic depends on the goal that the company is seeking to achieve, the nature of the competitive landscape for the industry in which the business operates, and the portion of the firm’s budget used for the traffic generation process. The following discussion delves into each of the methods to help you know which strategy is appropriate at a given time.

SEO and PPC demystified

SEO is the process of optimizing your content and website to rank high in an organic search. The results are ranked as listed in the search engine results page for targeted keywords on the best-rated search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. If you rank high in the search engines for a specific query, it shows that you are an authority in the field or the problem posed and that the solution that you provide is trustworthy.

Pay-per-click, on the other hand, involves paying for advertising space for specific keywords on the search results page. However, there is still a lot of search engine optimization that comes into play when making the paid ad campaign.

Advantages of SEO

High long-term benefits at a low cost

The primary task of SEO is to achieve top ranking, after which it is easy to maintain at a reasonably more economical price. On the contrary, PPC requires ongoing payments to support the top rank, and mostly the price keeps increasing.

Impressive ROI

SEO boasts the best return on investment among all the online marketing strategies.

More market share

Ranking naturally on search engines will enable you to get ahold of a significant portion of the target market rather than through a PPC search, since some people do not click on paid ads.

Higher credibility

Visitors that come as a result of the natural search are highly likely to trust a business and its products if they rank high in the search engine. The top position shows that you are a reliable and trustworthy site.

Advantages of PPC

Low initial cost

PPC search strategies require a lower cost to set up than SEO, whose upfront price is quite high.

Easy to conduct small test campaigns

PPC can allow you to carry out a short test campaign to check the viability of the strategy or to test a new market.

Allows maneuvering through competitive phrases

PPC offers the rare opportunity to make it while utilizing highly competitive keywords, for which it would be challenging to achieve ranking naturally, or using the words or phrases taken by large companies that have the resources to put into their SEO campaigns.

When to use SEO

Moderately competitive industry: This is when you have few competitors or when your competitors are not aggressive in doing search engine optimization.

When you have a high budget to start with: If you have a high initial budget, SEO is the most appropriate option. You could even have PPC campaign running for some key phrases for which you have no ranking, while doing search engine optimization.

When to use PPC

Highly competitive industry: PPC will enable you to secure some of the target traffic, even when your rivals have well optimized sites.

Low budget: If you have a small initial budget, it would be wiser to use PPC, then to reinvest the returns from the PPC into further PPC or into SEO.

Testing new markets: On occasions when you intend to check new markets to see if they can take up your products, PPC is the best option, as it can be done on a small scale and in specific geographic markets, such as some regions or provinces in an expansive country.


The two strategies are equally important, and each has its own appropriate scenario in which you can employ it. As such, they each have their own place, and you cannot use just one for every situation.