Do you know that according to statistics, 70% of marketers perceive SEO as a more successful method of driving organic traffic and generating leads than PPC?

With digital marketing maturing, it’s no surprise that businesses are getting torn between using SEO or PPC in their search engine market campaigns.  

PPC and SEO have been going on for several years. People wonder which is a better strategy to drive traffic to their sites and create their brand awareness. 

Is it by buying your way to the top of search engines ( PPC), or is it by working your way to the top by captivating a natural ( organic)  search engine marketing strategy ( SEO)?

Deciding where your marketing Dollars must go may be challenging for many business owners. 

Is there a wrong or a correct answer? Can you combine them?  To make this decision, you have to understand the pros and cons of both  PPC and SEO to help you weigh your options. 

This article will discuss the pros and cons of each strategy and show you instances where you can combine them and reap the benefits. 

Let’s get started. 

What’s SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization and includes optimizing your web page to improve its position in the SERP results. We are saying that you have to optimize your web pages to appear on the first page of the search engines.

Most people know of Google as a search engine, but others such as LinkedIn, Youtube, Quora,  being, etc., exist. 

The image below shows organic SEO results, which means that these people worked their way up the search engines to appear on the first page. They didn’t pay anything to the search engines. 

 Research has proven that most people do not keep scrolling past the fifth item on search research pages. 

Organic SEO ( natural search)  keeps changing due to changes in the industry and trends in Google’s algorithm.

 But even with these changes, SEO is about having a website that correctly explains what your business does. You have to offer helpful content to both search engine crawlers and human visitors. 

Also, you have to ensure that your website is in great shape. Similarly, you have to cultivate inbound links from other sites to determine your link authority and enhance your ranking. 

Social media marketing,  blogging, and online videos are very effective methods of getting quality links.

In a nutshell, SEO is all about using keywords and other methods to make your brand appear naturally ( organically)  when people search for it using a given keyword.  And it is a solution. 

You do not have to pay a dime to the search engines for your results to appear.  But, even when you do it correctly, SEO might take many months to drive traffic to your website. Or even your website to rank high on the search engine results page. 

What is PPC?

PPC stands for pay per click.  It means that when somebody carries out a query in a search engine such as Google, you can pay some cash for your result to appear at the top of SERP ( search engine result page). Google will mark it subtly. 

For example, if you make coffee, you can pay Google to make your product appear on the first page every time a person searches for coffee or something close to it.  See the image below.

Both PPC and SEO effectively create your brand awareness, drive traffic to your site, and improve your visibility online. 

Let’s dig deeper to decide when it’s economical to use one instead of the other and instances where each can best help you achieve your goals. 

 Pros of SEO over  PPC

1  Integrity

There is an impression that anybody can pay to appear at the top of search engine results. But you have to earn your place on the natural ( organic) result page of the search engines.

 People are likely to trust you more when your content naturally appears on the first page of Google than when they notice that you paid to appear at the top of the search engines.

2 Cost-effective

When you use SEO in your digital marketing campaigns, you don’t have to pay a penny to any search engine to display your content. 

You obtain placement on quality.

When you use SEO, you don’t have to pay search engines to feature your content. It is placed based on quality. It’s impractical to develop PPC campaigns for all of your website’s content. 

However, just because search engines don’t charge a dime, it doesn’t mean SEO is free. Suppose you do not have the patience and experience to do it yourself. In that case, you’ll have to handsomely pay experienced content creators and intelligent SEO experts to do it for you. . In the long run, SEO usually outperforms PPC in driving traffic and improving brand recognition.

3 SEO aims for high-quality traffic.

One of the most significant benefits of SEO is that it is an inbound marketing technique.

Unlike conventional “outbound” advertisement platforms, which involve reaching out to potential customers whether or not they need to hear from you, inbound marketing concentrates on making it easy for your audience to find you when they need information.

The conventional approaches, such as cold calling, spam emails, and interruptive advertisements, are carried out purely for the advertiser’s benefit.

And many customers find them downright irritating.

On the other hand, Inbound marketing is much more focused on the consumer. Rather than interrupting customers when watching TV or listening to their favorite show on the radio, it entails developing valuable tools and making sound knowledge more available.

When consumers are willing to spend some time exploring your business or learning more about their choices for a particular type of product, they will be able to find you on their own.

This is more suitable for customers and drives good leads for your business.

After all, who do you believe would be more responsive to your marketing efforts: Somebody who sees your ad on a billboard on their way to work, or someone who stumbles across a list of helpful tips you published while looking for help online?

The response is obvious.

You would be much more successful in reaching your target audience if you concentrate on attracting users searching for information relevant to your market, goods, and services.

Furthermore, you will be able to reach your target audience when they are in the process of making a purchase or contracting a particular service, raising the likelihood that your marketing messages will result in sales and leads.

Cons of SEO over PPC

 1 SEO is a Process and Takes time

SEO is much slower than PPC. It can take months after optimizing your site to see results, while PPC can get you leads right away. A study conducted in 2017 to determine how long it takes to rank in Google shows that 5.7 % of pages rank in the top ten with a single keyword within one year of publication. 

The study was conducted on two million pages randomly picked and locations for all targeted keywords recorded. 

2  SEO will take a considerable time to get a return on investment ( ROI) 

Suppose it takes a long time to see significant results from your SEO activities. In that case, it will also take a long time to see a considerable Return on Investment (ROI) from all of your efforts. 

This may not be advantageous for small companies that need significant profits in the short term, which they can use as a revolving fund to support their ongoing operations.

PPC Pros 

  • Measurable – Businesses can set up  PPC campaigns to precisely assess their efficacy.  They will calculate the exact amount of your return on investment.
  • Training opportunities – There are several (often free) online courses and training materials available to assist you in developing your skills.
  • Cost-efficient – since you only pay when a user visits your website, it can be a good investment. You can invest as little or as much as you want.
  • Targeted – You can select your audience based on demographics such as place, language, and computer.
  • Customizable – When you execute your projects, you can make various minor changes to enhance depending on what works best.

PPC Cons 

  • You can’t just put up your PPC campaigns and forget about them. To achieve the best results, you must devote time to optimizing and improving.
  • Setting up successful campaigns can necessitate some practice. Many companies choose to work with the specialized organization.
  • Costs will quickly add up if you aren’t tracking and optimizing your campaigns to ensure you receive a return on investment. PPC campaigns require a budget, as opposed to SEO strategies, which require only time and expertise.
  •  Visits and Clicks do not necessarily result in sales; you must persuade the customer to ‘convert’ once they arrive at your website.

So, between PPC and SEO, which is better for your business?

It depends.

Neither of them is worse or better than the other as you can use both to drive traffic to your site and enhance visibility.  Here are a few pointers that can help you determine the best strategy since every business is unique.

 What are your marketing goals?- do you need sales or leads? 

If you need to make sales, aggressive PPC could be a better option. However, if you need to get into a new market, SEO is a great option.  Ask yourself the following question to help you pick the correct digital marketing strategy.

  • Who are your Competitors?
  • How are you currently ranking in the search engines?
  • What kind of a budget do you have?

Wrapping Up

To summarize, neither strategy is superior to the other in any way. When deciding between PPC and SEO, it is essential to consider your specific business situation.

The best option is not either/or but rather an integrated approach in many cases. By combining SEO and PPC, your paid traffic will provide you with the increased leads you need right away, allowing your SEO strategist time to prepare your platform for a long-term increase in organic charges.

The ball is in your court. Now you have the facts with you to help decide which approach suits you best. Consider your business’s unique needs and the situation and make an informed decision based on the truth.


Percy is fulltime editor working for