SEO vs. PPC (Which is better for my marketing strategy?)

When it comes to SEO vs. PPC, it is a common misconception that SEO and PPC are mutually exclusive marketing…...
SEO vs. PPC (Which is better for my marketing strategy?)
January 29, 2022

When it comes to SEO vs. PPC, it is a common misconception that SEO and PPC are mutually exclusive marketing strategies. In reality, they can be complementary strategies for promoting your business online.

It is also true that each strategy has its own strengths and weaknesses, so choosing the right one for you requires an understanding of what each one offers. To help with this decision-making process, we’ve created this blog post to provide information on both SEO vs. PPC including their benefits, how to choose which one is right for you, and tips for improving your strategy in either area.

I hope my insights will give you a better idea of which strategy might work best for you between SEO vs. PPC!

What is SEO and what is PPC?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a marketing strategy that focuses on improving your organic search rankings. Organic search refers to the unpaid results you see in a Google, Yahoo, or Bing search.

Paid search advertising, also known as pay-per-click advertising (PPC), involves paying for an advertisement to appear on the top or side of a search engine results page. Those advertisements are often based on the keywords you choose, so these ads might be relevant to people searching online.

The main difference between SEO vs. PPC is that SEO will take time to create content, whereas PPC puts your ads right in front of your customers for a price.

The benefits of SEO

SEO vs. PPCSEO is a long-term marketing strategy that can help your business increase revenue over time.

As opposed to other types of advertising that can be expensive, implementing an SEO strategy is usually a relatively affordable investment for your business.

An SEO strategy will also help you generate more inbound traffic to your site, which means you can potentially increase sales and conversions.

SEO is considered a long and tedious process as it requires a lot of content creation, research, and monitoring. Because there are so many details involved in SEO, it can be difficult for new businesses to effectively implement an SEO strategy on their own.

The benefits of PPC

PPC is a quick way for your business to start generating traffic immediately. That’s why many businesses choose paid advertising over SEO, especially when they’re just starting out online.

Since there’s less research and content creation involved in a PPC strategy, your business can save time and money when you opt for this type of advertising.

A PPC campaign is also a good way to conduct A/B testing on various pages since you can see how each ad performs before it gets published.

In addition to being a fast and convenient marketing strategy, PPC also allows you to track your return on investment (ROI) more accurately than SEO. You can use this information to measure the success of your campaign and decide whether or not to continue investing in paid search advertising or one of its variations

Since you pay whenever someone clicks on your ad, this type of marketing can be much more expensive compared to using SEO or other types of advertising.

Additionally, the competition in the paid advertising realm is extremely high. It’s not uncommon for businesses to have to pay a lot of money just to secure a top spot on search engine results pages.

How to choose which one is right for you (SEO vs. PPC)

SEO vs. PPC are both great ways to promote your business online, but they do have some differences and it’s important to choose the right one for your business.

If you have a lot of time and resources, opting for an SEO vs. PPC strategy might be a good choice since it can help boost your rankings over time. If you want to quickly get in front of people searching online, then PPC may be more up your alley.

In a nutshell, SEO will cost you time, whereas PPC will cost you money. So if you have time but no money, work on your website’s SEO. If you have money but no time, create some PPC campaigns.

SEO costs

Even though SEO can be a “free” way for you to increase your website traffic, you could outsource SEO work to save you time. You can hire a freelance SEO consultant to develop and implement an SEO strategy for your website. You can also hire a freelance SEO consultant to knock out some of your SEO tasks, like keyword research and on-page optimization.

These costs will vary based on the amount of experience that the consultant has and how many projects you have them working on at once.

PPC costs

SEO vs. PPCIf you’re wanting immediate traffic, the PPC is the way to go when you’re debating between SEO vs. PPC. To create a PPC campaign, your business will need to find the right keywords for your ads. You can pay an assistant or intern to do this research if you don’t have time yourself.

Once you have those keywords selected, it’s time to create your ad copy and landing pages. Since ads and landing pages often need to be tweaked to get the best results, it’s a good idea to hire someone to do this for you.

Since we’re running with a pay-per-click strategy, you’ll get charged every time someone clicks your ads. And depending on what you’re advertising, the target location of your campaign, and the keywords you’re targeting, your click costs can vary from $0.001 per click to $20+ per click.

If you don’t want to spend $20+ per click, be sure to do diligent research on the keywords you put into your PPC campaigns.

SEO vs PPC Example:

Let’s say you’re an automotive detailing company. You make cars nice and shiny. You want to know which will give you the most bang for your buck, SEO vs. PPC.

Let’s start by looking at SEO with the keyword phrase “Auto detailing”.


For SEO, there are about 625,000,000 search results for the keyword “auto detailing”. This is considered a high-competition keyword and will be very difficult to rank for, even with a lot of great content and backlinks.


For PPC, it costs between $1.23 and $3.10 per click with low competition and an average search volume of 10k to 100k. This means that any given month, the keyword phrase “auto detailing” will be searched between 10k and 100k times and your ad can be seen whenever someone searches for this phase.

In this case, PPC wins because you’re not competing for ad space as much as you would compete for SEO rankings. You’ll be able to get in front of your customers quickly (at the cost of the clicks to your ads) and you’ll only pay for the clicks that you receive.

Tips for improving your SEO strategy

Create unique, helpful content: create blog posts, infographics, videos, and case studies to help provide value for your customers and show Google that you’re a resourceful website.

Install and set up an SEO plugin for your WordPress website like Rankmath. This will help you optimize your website pages for the keywords you wish to rank for.

Get backlinks: backlinks help improve your website’s page rank. You can use tools like Moz’s Open Site Explorer to find places where you can get backlinks.

Add more content: the more pages you have on your website, the better idea Google has of what your site is about and how useful it will be for searchers. Make sure that this new content targets different keywords and keyword phrases than the other pages (don’t use the same keyword phrase twice on 1 website).

Improve your website design: add a blog section to your current website, add some photos of you and your team, change the color scheme of your site to help it stick out more on Google searches.

Set the title, slug, and meta descriptions: When you create a new page, be sure to use the keyword phrase you’re targeting in the title of your page, permalink, and meta descriptions. You can improve your chances of ranking for that term by doing this.

Tips for improving your PPC strategy

Choose relevant keywords: make sure you target brand terms, competitor brand terms, broad match keywords (these include variations of the keyword phrase you’re targeting), long-tail keywords (these are longer variations of your broad match keywords, like “best car detailing company” instead of just “car detailing”) and negative keywords (negative keywords are words you want to exclude from your paid search, like the words “free”, “cheap”, or even more specific words like “free estimate” or “cheap labor”).

Do thorough research: it’s best to do keyword research with tools like the Google Keyword Planner. You’ll get a much clearer idea of how many people search for your keywords and what the competition is like in your industry before you start running your PPC campaigns. This can help give you a clear picture that is more ideal for the keywords: SEO vs. PPC.

Don’t be afraid to experiment: there are a lot of different factors that come into play when deciding which keywords you should use, the cost per click you’re willing to pay for each keyword, etc. This is why it’s good to test out different strategies with PPC and see if they work well for your business/website.

SEO vs. PPC Summary

SEO vs PPC, which is better? It depends. Be sure you’re creating content that’s valuable for your customers and do research to see if the keywords/keyword phrases you’re targeting are actually searched for by people (and how often). Don’t be afraid to experiment!

How do SEO vs. PPC affect your business’s marketing strategy! Or If you have questions about SEO vs. PPC, feel free to drop a comment below so that I can address it!

If you’re stuck and need help with your SEO strategy or PPC campaigns, reach out to me so that we can work one-on-one to get your advertising where it needs to be.

*Please note that some links on this page may be affiliate links. I may receive a small commission when you purchase anything from these links.

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