SEO vs. PPC: Are You Making the Most of Them?

In the online marketing world, there are many tools that can be used to drive traffic and conversions. For example, both SEO and PPC platforms exist as tactics for a business to grow their visibility online. After all of these strategies have been implemented on a website, how do you decide which is best?

The “seo and ppc difference” is a question that has been asked for years. The answer to the question, however, is not as easy as it seems.

One of the most often issues marketers are asked is whether funds should be dedicated to SEO or PPC, or whether they should be split between the two.

This is a simple question with no easy solution since it is highly dependent on a variety of things, including:

  • Your ambitions and goals
  • Your financial situation and resources
  • Your line of work
  • Your current level of achievement

These debates, however, are not new. For many years, there has been a dispute over SEO vs. PPC. For company owners, deciding where to spend your marketing money is a challenging challenge. So, the key issue is whether you should utilize pay-per-click (PPC) to purchase your way to the top of the search results or invest in an organic (SEO) plan.

You know you can’t ignore channels that bring traffic from search engines, but which should take precedence?

It is debatable.

To decide which technique to adopt, you must first grasp the benefits and drawbacks of both SEO and PPC, as well as how they may be combined to help your company expand. In this tutorial, we’ll go over each of these methods in detail to help you choose which channel is best for you, focusing on:

The goal of SEO is to appear in the organic (or natural) results section of a search engine results page (SERP). 

When you do a Google search, the organic results are the ones that appear after any sponsored advertisements or shopping results, and are referred to as the “10 blue links” in the past. 

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Understanding how to correctly optimize your website is critical to achieving higher exposure via SEO. You must guarantee that search engines can crawl, comprehend, and index your site, as well as demonstrate that it is a major authority. 

Google’s Algorithm uses over 200 ranking variables, thus it requires a skilled marketer (or, more realistically, a marketing team) to figure out how to succeed at:

  • SEO in a technical sense
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on the Page
  • Creating Connections
  • Marketing with Content
  • UX
  • plus a lot more!

Ranking, on the other hand, is not an easy process. Because of the intricacy of SEO (at least in compared to other channels) and the fact that Google’s algorithm is continually revised, getting your site to rank highly requires a careful balance of a variety of elements.

And, as Jason Barnard explains in our “What is SEO?” guide:

The order in which you appear in the rankings and how often you appear is determined by merit; these engines will display the results that they believe are the greatest match for their customers.

— Barnard, Jason

SEO is all about getting the greatest possible result for a search query on the web, and those who can do so may get a lot of visitors.

But what are the key benefits of SEO that you should be aware of when deciding where to spend your marketing budget?

  • Organic SEO is one of the most cost-effective methods to improve your site’s exposure, and it may put you in front of your target consumers and clients when they’re looking for companies like yours.
  • Organic clicks are completely free and will not cost you anything. Of course, time and resources are required, but there are no ‘click’ fees, as there are with a PPC campaign. It’s free traffic if you get SEO correctly. 
  • You may expect to see long-term effects from an SEO plan after you’ve attained excellent rankings. Your company is visible to prospective consumers at all times, but PPC advertising are typically turned off when the budget runs out or when you’ve indicated that they should be shown during less cost-effective periods of the day. 
  • More stability is generally associated with organic SEO. If you optimize your site properly, your rankings should stay fairly stable. The position of your PPC ad might change dramatically based on your competitor’s bidding strategy. 
  • When it comes to advertising, you’ll be more likely to spend your money on middle- or bottom-of-the-funnel keywords in order to acquire as many conversions as possible. At least, for firms with limited marketing costs, this is often the case. When it comes to SEO, on the other hand, you may generate content that targets each step of the funnel without having to pay for each click.
  • In most circumstances, SEO is a more cost-effective channel in the long term than PPC, since the expenses of employing an agency or recruiting a team are often comparable even if traffic and conversions increase. This isn’t the case with PPC, since you pay for each click.
  • According to a 2019 analysis by SparkToro, Google’s organic results get more than 10 times the amount of clicks as sponsored results. This means you may gain more visitors to your website without having to worry about ad budget.

However, with benefits come drawbacks, and here are a few of the reasons why SEO isn’t always the best technique for every business: 

  • SEO takes time, particularly if you’re starting a new company or website. In reality, getting your site to rank in the top ranks for competitive keywords might take months. As long as your bids are high enough, you’ll notice results as soon as your ad campaigns go live using PPC.
  • In a competitive market, you must invest in SEO to achieve SEO success. Given that a great organic approach entails technical SEO, content production, link building, data analysis, and more, you’ll want to enlist the help of a team of skilled marketers. This might imply a significant expenditure in either developing an in-house team or contracting a professional agency.
  • SEO is a continuous process that needs continuing commitment. There may be some modifications and enhancements that need to be made, and you must accept that your site will never be completely “optimized.” There’s constantly work to be done, from content production to link building to regular technical SEO audits.
  • SEO takes time and may be stressful, particularly because Google updates its algorithm hundreds of times each year. To remain ahead of your competition, you’ll need to stay up to speed on any algorithm changes. The Webinomy Sensor may assist you in keeping track of changes.

    1636564333_380_SEO-vs-PPC-Are-You-Making-the-Most-of-Them

  • Even with a strong approach, there are no assurances that you will outrank your opponents. However, if a plan works, you’ll be rewarded handsomely. It’s an imperfect science that needs patience and endurance.

PPC refers to paid search engine advertising, which is commonly done via Google Ads or Bing Ads.

Here’s another snapshot of a SERP, but this time we’ll concentrate on the sponsored ad listings.

SEO-vs-PPC-Are-You-Making-the-Most-of-Them

Search advertisements (the text ads at the top of the SERPs) and shopping ads are only two examples of possible ad types seen in this snapshot (the product ads down the side of the main results). Other PPC options include YouTube advertisements, display ads, Gmail ads, and remarketing, all of which come in a variety of forms.

PPC advertisements, on the other hand, demand you to pay every time someone clicks on your ad, while SEO provides free clicks. This implies that firms often pay hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars each day to generate visitors to their websites. 

But what is it about PCC that makes it such a powerful marketing tool?

  • PPC enables you to see results very immediately. You’ll notice traffic, clicks, and conversions very immediately after your PPC campaign goes live. Meanwhile, achieving similar benefits via SEO might take months.
  • You’ve definitely seen where PPC advertisements appear on search engine results pages: right at the top.

    1636564337_800_SEO-vs-PPC-Are-You-Making-the-Most-of-Them

    This implies that PPC advertising are the first thing a searcher sees on both mobile and desktop searches, well ahead of any organic results. PPC allows you to appear at the top of the SERPs, at places that are impossible to obtain with SEO alone. 

  • PPC also allows you to improve your company’s search engine visibility by including things like phone numbers, callouts, and enhanced site links. You have additional options to draw the attention of a searcher to your ad. 
  • In compared to SEO, operating and administering a PPC campaign normally just requires an experienced paid search specialist and sometimes a copywriter to develop compelling advertisements and landing pages, which necessitates a smaller team of professionals. 
  • You may target your consumers with search advertisements, retail ads, video ads, Gmail ads, and more while you’re running ads. You can reach your target audience with the correct advertising formats and urge them to purchase from you or inquire. Take, for example, shopping commercials. Google has started to roll out (again) free listings, although they only appear on the shopping tab and not in the SERPs as paid ads. Organic listings, on the other hand, don’t provide the same range of possibilities for reaching your target audience.
  • Running a PPC campaign provides you with a plethora of information about the keywords and advertisements that your consumers click on before making a purchase, as well as those that don’t. This means you can make fast modifications to your campaign to increase its efficiency and return on investment (return on ad spend).
  • With Google Ads, performing split tests and A/B tests is fast and simple, enabling you to adopt a ‘always be testing’ approach to campaign management and generate continual improvements and higher returns. 
  • You can serve ads to your specific customers using a laser-targeted approach. You may build a PPC campaign to reach just the individuals you know are more likely to purchase, whether you want to target searchers based on their location, time of day, device they use, or other characteristics.
  • You don’t have to keep up with Google’s algorithm modifications as carefully with PPC. Because you’re fighting for the top slot, your organic rankings aren’t as important.

While PPC has a lot of advantages for organizations, it also has some disadvantages:

  • PPC advertising, unlike SEO, does not provide free visitors. You must pay for each and every click from an ad that leads to your website. While certain businesses have modest click prices, others might cost as much as $10 per click (see our CPC Map for more insights into estimated click costs). You may also use the Term Magic tool to find out how much a keyword is worth.

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  • To achieve results from PPC advertisements, you must invest money. And the more money you put in, the better the outcomes in terms of clicks and conversions will be. You should keep an eye on your conversion rate since if your traffic isn’t converting, you’re squandering clicks and money.
  • Click prices may continue to grow as more rivals begin to advertise. To drive a conversion, you may need to spend more money over time. 
  • Unlike SEO, where you won’t have to spend to launch a campaign or plan, you’ll require a larger upfront expenditure since you’ll be paying for clicks.
  • You’ll need to factor in human expenses in addition to click costs. To handle your campaigns, you’ll need to hire an agency, a freelancer, or someone on your team. 
  • When you turn off adverts, your traffic comes to a halt. If you have to switch off your PPC efforts, consider if your site will be able to survive without the leads. It’s possible to grow too dependent on PPC to make your website successful, but a well-balanced approach to strategy may guarantee you don’t run into any problems in the future.

Now that we’ve looked at both SEO and PPC, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each, it’s time to answer the big question: which is best for your company?

The truth is that it all depends. However, there is a hybrid option here as well; you may combine the two.

To summarize, here’s a short side-by-side comparison of various channels:

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If you’ve opted to invest in just one channel, you’ll need to consider your company’s unique circumstances, as well as the cost and investment vs the time with which you’ll see results. 

Here are some frequent cases, along with single-channel recommendations:

  • Choose PPC if you need to get results immediately at any cost. 
  • Consider SEO if you’re currently generating sales from other sources and want to increase your long-term profits.
  • PPC is a great way to test a new product or service. You may establish a preset budget and switch advertisements off if required, making it simpler to swiftly drive visitors to your site.
  • Choose SEO to concentrate on a great content strategy if you want to increase the awareness surrounding your brand with top-of-the-funnel traffic.

The truth is that for most organizations, choosing between SEO and PPC is almost difficult, simply because the two work so well together to create search success. It’s not always a case of SEO versus. PPC; when used correctly, one channel may compliment the other. And if your budget permits it, you should definitely utilize both, even if it’s only to balance short- and long-term returns.

But first, let’s look at how you may combine SEO and PPC…

Did you know that you may target individuals who have previously visited your website with ads?

This is referred to as retargeting or remarketing, and it allows you to create and segment lists of individuals who have visited your website. For example, if a user visited a certain page or placed a product to their shopping cart and then left the site, you may target these people with advertisements on the SERPs or banner ads on the Google Display Network to urge them to return. If you raise your bids for someone who abandons their cart, your product(s) or advertising will be more apparent when they return to the SERPs and search again since you’re bidding higher for this audience.

Your PPC activity might provide you with useful information that you can include into your SEO strategy. You may utilize PPC to your benefit from an SEO standpoint since it delivers speedier, real-time data to develop better advertising.

Prioritize your SEO approach on the keywords and keyword groupings with the highest conversion rate using data and results from conversions, ad headlines, messaging, and calls-to-action (CTAs). Your PPC campaign analytics provide you with a glance into areas that may need further focus in order to scale success. Want to make more successful commercials while saving time on copywriting and testing? Webinomy’s AI-powered solutions can collect information, text, graphics, and even keywords from your landing page and produce hundreds of alternative ad copy combinations automatically. You won’t have to spend hours producing ad text in various forms, and you’ll be able to concentrate on more important responsibilities.

It’s fairly unusual for another corporation to make a bid on your brand name.

That’s right, you read it accurately. Businesses often use advertisements to bid on the brand name of another company. You’ll almost certainly get the top organic result for your brand name if you depend purely on SEO. On the other hand, a rival that bids on your brand name may appear above you in the SERPs.

As a marketer or company owner, this is aggravating.

In situations like these, you may utilize PPC to bid on brand keywords to increase your exposure, which means that a searcher should end up clicking on your site regardless of how they got there (clicking ads or organic).

If you own an eCommerce store and sell things online, you can’t afford to ignore shopping advertising. You’ll need to design a compelling and successful pay-per-click campaign even if you rank well organically thanks to a fantastic SEO effort.

Consumers are statistically attracted to product listing advertising because they offer photos and pricing directly on the SERPs. A customer may easily identify which goods are available and at what price they are. To ensure that you’re optimizing your exposure on SERPs and covering all choices for how your consumers want to locate a new provider of goods or services, you should use shopping advertisements in conjunction with SEO.


The truth is that instead of fretting about SEO vs. PPC, you should be focusing on a plan that incorporates both SEO and PPC to gain more SERP real estate. Use our Keyword Overview tool to design a plan that intelligently targets the correct keywords. 

Look for the correct keywords.

utilizing the Keyword Overview tool from Webinomy

ADS illustration

However, keep in mind that each is its own channel, and it’s uncommon for two to be handled by the same individual, given that each requires its own set of skills and expertise to provide results. 

Read our guide ‘SEO & PPC: How Advertising Data Can Improve Your Organic Results (and Vice Versa)’ to learn more about how SEO and PPC can work together in harmony.

The “seo vs sem” is a question that many people have been asking recently. The two terms are often used interchangeably, but they actually mean very different things.

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