PPC vs SEO: Which one is the best for you

February 20, 2020 |
By Sotiris Sotiriadis

Wondering which option is the right one for your investment? 

When it comes to growing your website’s traffic, you should look no further than utilizing the great results that SEO and PPC can bring.  In case you’re a business owner with an online presence, you must definitely know that traffic is the alpha and omega of your existence. 

But how well are you making use of the entire marketing cycle?

Marketing cycle 101

Building a successful and attractive website with the correct buttons, Calls-to-action (CTA’s), funnels and a lot more crucial user-experience aspects, will always be step number 1. Having done this, you’re now ready to swim into the large pond of marketing. In the marketing world, we, the marketers strive to keep users in the marketing cycle or loop. 

After years of carefully examining and researching the wonders of the average user’s mind and how they act, marketing has translated their efforts into three crucial stages: the awareness stage, the consideration stage and the conversion stage. In order to help push the user into the “oh-so-sweet” conversion stage, we need to ensure that we bombard them with your business brand and offerings at the right place and at the right time. 

Regardless of the type of business you own, you should always consider how users navigate online so as to stay in front of them. Hence, dig deep into the psychology and buying behaviour and ensure that you’re always at their disposal. Then, introduce the marketing cycle; a cycle that helps business owners during all 3 stages of a customer’s buying journey.

The cycle

The average user turns to the online world to find information, service offerings and then purchase the desirable services/products of their choice. Thus, one would search the internet’s search engines, navigate and stumble upon what they’re looking for on their social media platforms, or be influenced by the different ads one is being targeted with. This opens up the 3 biggest aspects of the internet that all business owners must be present:

  1. On the organic search results of Google 
  2. On Social Media platforms where their audience hangs out
  3. And of course on the paid search results of Google

In other words, you need to make sure that your audience is being targeted anywhere they hang out. If they search for your brand on Google, you should be sitting there in top position. If they’re interested in the product offerings you provide, you should be there to remind them that you can satisfy their needs. Therefore, what better way to always be there for your audience than with Social Media, Google Organic and Paid Results?

SEO or PPC – Which one is it?

Now, the big debate is what is it going to be? SEO or PPC? Google Organic Or Google Paid?

We all know exactly how difficult it is to allocate your investment budget into something that cannot guarantee positive results. 

Let’s start with getting to know the positives and negatives of each marketing approach so we can figure out an answer to this question.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization

What exactly is SEO? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In simple words, SEO is the marketing service that allows marketers to optimize websites and their inner pages to conform by the different search engine’s ranking factors in order to rank as high as possible in the organic search results. 

Let’s dive into the pros and cons of choosing to go with SEO:


  • Loyal audience (Sticky Traffic)

SEO is achieved through a number of best practices. A proper SEO strategy involves targeting the relevant and achievable keywords that your business should aim for. In the case where the correct keyword mapping is not in place, you risk the chance of attracting the wrong audience, hence, increased bounce rates and potentially not being able to rank for the keywords you may think you’re destined for. 

As soon as you’re able to identify the appropriate keywords to optimize your website for and focus all your SEO efforts on, then you’ll be able to attract the right audience. With that comes the ability of capturing the users that will bring you closer to your goals and allow them to stick to your website by offering them what they came to you for. Hence being loyal to you and forming a ‘sticky’ relationship that they keep coming back for.

  • Free traffic

Another great aspect of SEO is that the traffic you generate does not cost you a single penny. Well, compared to PPC that is. Investment in SEO is minimal since you only pay for content creation, link outreach expenses, guest posting and the several tools you may use for tracking and website health. On the other hand, PPC is considerably more expensive since you need to constantly bid on your keywords that may be ‘attacked’ by competitors that push your target keywords high to make them even more expensive.

  • Helps you become an authority

One of the most important aspects of SEO is having unique and valuable content on your website. Search engines crawl your website to understand what you offer while looking for it to be fresh, engaging and worth linking to from other websites. Hence, while satisfying the different search engines with the appropriate content, you’re then able to satisfy your website visitors. Going back to point one in this list, visitors will then become sticky and make you an authority in your business niche. That will also be reflected in your site’s metrics – a higher Domain Authority (DA).


  • SEO’s results are gradual

With SEO, you need to bear in mind that results will not be achieved overnight. SEO brings in long-term results and not short-term. Hence, you cannot rely on SEO if you want immediate results. Due to the fact that SEO depends on the search engines to pick up the changes and adjust rankings, this process may take many months to show benefits. In the meantime, search engines perform updates every now and then by which you need to conform by so as to not lose your rankings and visibility. 

  • SEO’s overpowered by the search engines

The search engines are actually responsible for your rankings. You use SEO to influence the engines to rank you over others yet you have no power over the different updates and algorithm changes that may occur. Thus, whatever we do is to chase the search engines and abide by their rules and not the other way around. In other words, you are relying solely on a single entity for your business success. 

  • No guaranteed results

No SEO’s out there can guarantee you will be ranking at 1st position at any given time. As we mention in our second point, no one can be responsible for your rankings asides from the search engines themselves. All you can do is perform all the right actions to influence rankings and wait for the search engines to catch up.

PPC – Pay Per Click

PPC or Pay Per Click refers to the ability to advertise your business and business offerings in an exchange of a fee each time a user clicks on your ads. The biggest difference between PPC and SEO is that the former is responsible for the paid results while the later for the organic results. In other words, one is ads and the other is unpaid search results. 

The below PPC pros and cons can influence your decision on which service best fits your business and will better assist in meeting your business goals:


  • Quick and easy results

Unlike SEO, PPC can definitely bring immediate results since it is a practice responsible for short term results. You only need a Google Adwords account and identification and targeting of the best keywords that will bring you the right website visitors and roll out engaging ad copies that will lead users to a landing page that will hopefully be enough to make them convert. 

  • Real time Trackable actions

Whether that is a lead, a purchase or a website action, Google Adwords allows website owners and marketers to track results to evaluate the performance of their ads. Based on how users react and engage with your ads, these behavioural data metrics can change your entire strategy and refine your processes. This can provide insight in order to apply changes to your website/landing page to make them more in-line to what your users are looking for.  All these are available on Google Adwords or any other search engine’s ad platform. 

  • Control is in the hands of the advertiser

With PPC, you can take over what’s visible on search engines when any user searches for your brand, services or even competitors. Unlike SEO, your ads can be location based (show different ads for each location/region/country), target specific audiences with specific needs, and exclude any audiences you may wish not to target and waste budget on. Thus, the PPC investment you have available can be as targeted as possible to increase your Return on Investment (ROI) and avoid wasting it on ‘budget-eaters’. 


  • PPC can be expensive

Even though SEO may require some investment towards link building and content creation, PPC can really eat into your investment since you need to pay for every ad click you receive. The trickiest part of PPC is the setup phase in which an advertiser has to allow budget to be wasted for the purpose of receiving enough data on what works and what doesn’t. This allows for solutions regarding the best approach of bidding and targeting specific keywords that convert over other keywords that bring no conversions.

  • PPC can only yield short-term results

As long as you have got ads running and budget to spent, you do not have to worry about your short term results. But in case you would like your ads to take effect over the long term then PPC is not ideal. That is since once you turn your ads off; you will be nowhere to be found. In simpler words, ads will not be there for the future just because you were first for a long period of time. No long-term budget = no long term results.

  • PPC cannot guarantee sales

Many times, advertisers claim to make easy money and instant sales to business owners through the use of PPC ads. That is not accurate. Here’s why; for your ads to be successful sales-wise, you need to take into consideration a number of factors, and no…. budget is not the only way to succeed. Other factors that can affect your ad performance and sales are your keyword and audience targeting, your landing page quality and much more. If you are not able to identify the effect of these factors, you will not be able to perform your best through your ads and you’ll likely end up losing investment rather than increasing your ROI.

Which is best for you?

Having said all the pros and cons of both services, we can safely say that it all comes down to your business goals and how urgently you would like to achieve them.  To further assist, ask yourself; do I want immediate short term results or should I be patient and invest in long term results? If you’re able to answer these questions then you definitely know which way to go. 

In case you do not have an answer for this question, we can help identify the right path for you and your business. Simply contact us and we will be more than happy to assist.