SEO vs PPC – Where Should You Be Spending Your Time and Money?

Most websites require some form of marketing, and for most, the decision comes down to PPC (pay per click advertising) or SEO (search engine optimization). There are many benefits to both, but most webmasters should learn best policy for each tactic including how, when, and where to use them. Before going into detail, you can compare the two marketing options.


SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the easiest way to get natural and organic clicks. Studies show that between 40 and 60 percent of searches end with clicks on organic results, mostly because buyers are more likely to trust unpaid options. However, Google and other search engines have been inserting paid ads into search results so these numbers are going down.

SEO requires that a site have a quality social program, good usage of keywords related to their topic or niche, and plenty of quality backlinks.  The basic points of SEO include:

  • Relatively affordable
  • Offers unlimited return on investment
  • Is constantly changing
  • Allows websites to rank for quality content
  • Is reputation based
seo vs ppc


Pay per click advertisement is the most popular form of advertisement because you literally get what you pay for. You bid on the click and then you pay that much each time someone clicks on your ad and visits your site. What they do once they reach your site is entirely dependent upon how targeted your ads are and the content or products you have on the site. PPC can be cost effective for small campaigns but also very expensive for larger campaigns. The pros of PPC include that if you spend the money, you are guaranteed traffic in return.

  • You only pay for traffic you receive
  • Ads are posted in search, on websites, or on social
  • Pay how much you want per click
  • Run ads for as long as you want
seo vs ppc


SEO and PPC both have their benefits but for most websites, SEO definitely has an advantage over PPC in that it can offer more clicks and traffic for the same or less money. A good SEO campaign can direct thousands of visitors to a site for one small flat rate price while PPC costs more per extra visitor. For budget purposes, SEO definitely has an advantage.

Long term SEO programs that are intended to increase ranking and SERP (Search Engine Results Page) ranking can also be more effective over time than PPC. However, SEO is a long term strategy and can take weeks or even months to show quality results. PPC usually shows results within a few hours of the campaign being launched.

Choosing Between PPC and SEO

Many webmasters think that they have to choose between SEO and PPC but for most websites, choosing one or the other can be a mistake. SEO is a great way to build long term results and should have the majority of focus for most websites, especially those on a budget. However, including PPC campaigns can be beneficial as well, especially for sales, special occasions, or any time when a little extra traffic, more interaction, or even more sales are needed.  SEO is definitely the better choice for anyone on a strict budget, and for anyone looking for long term results, but PPC definitely has its advantages as well.



This is a guest post.

Brandy Cross is a full time tech and SEO blogger for The High Tech Society. Catch her on Twitter @MissBCross or leave a comment here to talk about your SEO.

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