SEO vs PPC - Which One Is Right For You?

Difficulty: Beginner

Not sure whether your business should be focusing more of your efforts into SEO or PPC? It’s not quite as easy as asking which one is better than the other.

Which one you need to invest more in will depend on the individual situation and what your digital marketing strategy is. What goals you’re wanting to achieve will impact on what you use SEO and PPC campaigns for, as each has pros and cons. There are a few questions you should ask yourself to find out which is best for your business and its needs.


One of the first things people will consider is their budget, particularly if the budget is tight.

You want to know whether or not you can afford something before you plan and undertake it. So which option is the better for you if you’re trying to work on a small budget?

If you’re looking at PPC advertising, you can start with a small budget, which can be allocated for a daily allowance. Constantly monitoring your daily allowance allows you to see where you are making progress, and you can alter your campaign to achieve the best results. This means you can keep your budget within your allocated amount and you will have a more accurate picture of the results you can achieve.

Meanwhile, SEO is more of a long-term strategy, and you will be unable to see direct results of your spending quickly. It often takes a few months to be able to measure whether you’ve achieved a positive ROI.

Therefore, if you’re looking to achieve fast results on a small budget, you may want to consider investing in PPC before SEO.

CPC's in your industry

Before you get completely sold on PPC, you need to do a bit of research.

Have a look at your industry and how much your competitors are paying for their ads. You can use tools such as the Google Keyword Planner inside Google AdWords to see the average cost-per-click (CPC) within your industry.

Costs can vary dramatically for different industries - while one industry may have relatively low costs, others can be fairly expensive. If your costs are high, it can be difficult to achieve a profit. Make sure to undertake keyword research before deciding whether or not to choose to run a PPC campaign.


You need to think about the way in which you are driving traffic to your website.

There are two primary ways of doing this - organic and PPC. However, these are perceived differently, with organic often being viewed as being more legitimate. So if you’re looking for a way to increase your authority and legitimacy, SEO can often be the preferred choice.

Undertaking an SEO campaign can be an effective way to increase your authority within your industry, and therefore increasing traffic flow to your website, without having to pay for advertisements.


If you’re looking to have complete control over a campaign, your best option is to choose PPC.

While PPC won’t give you control on how your campaign ends up being perceived by the general public, you do have more control over factors such as your budget and when you can modify the campaign. You can pause an ad at any time and stop spending, therefore saving money in your budget.

Meanwhile, you don’t have as much control with SEO because it completely depends on organic results. While you can learn about algorithms and know what white-hat strategies you can use to increase your search engine rankings, you can't just press pause on your campaign like you can with PPC.

In the end, there’s no easy way to choose whether PPC or SEO is the right choice for a certain business. It all comes down to individual preferences.

Make sure you consider important factors such as your campaign’s budget, the CPCs within your industry, whether you’re wanting to increase your authority, and how much control you want over your campaign. Just make sure whatever decision you make - PPC or SEO - that it helps you to achieve an increase of traffic flow to your website and helps you to achieve your business’ goals.


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