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SEO vs PPC: Which Has More Value?

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Are you trying to build traffic to your website but are unsure of where to begin?

Well, you’re in luck because at its most basic, the problem boils down to two choices: SEO vs PPC.

Each has their own benefits. But one might be better suited for your goals than the other.

In this post, we’ll dive into the SEO vs PPC debate and provide you with what you need to know so your advertising campaign can move forward. Ready?

SEO vs PPC Campaigns

The main difference between Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns is where you’re spending your money.

One helps you increase your website’s organic traffic, while the other directs traffic to your website via targeted advertising. Both are effective in their own right. But first, let’s get into the basics of SEO vs PPC.


Implementing best SEO practices has become imperative to growing website traffic.

In order for your web presence to grow, your website should be optimized for not only the user, by for search engines as well. Thankfully, though, search engines favor websites which are designed with the user in mind.

Following SEO best practices can also be a cost-effective way to build your traffic. However, it is recommended that you seek advice before making a bunch of changes to your website.

Improving your website’s SEO score, though, does take time. But if you’re willing to do the legwork, improving your website’s SEO can prove more beneficial in the long run.


Do you have money to spend and a website that needs traffic fast? If you answered yes, Pay-Per-Click advertising might be the option for you.

PPC advertising works like the name implies: you pay for every click. However, the cost of the click depends on how competitive the selected keyword is. The major search engines offer PPC advertising programs such as Google AdWords or Bing Ads.

When utilizing the ad programs from major search engines, you’re paying for your ad to appear in the sponsored results section. This appears above (and sometimes below) the organic search results.

While PPC advertising is a sure way to get your website quickly  to the top of the Search Engine Results Page (or SERP for short), it is typically more costly than going the SEO route.

What to Consider

Before you begin your SEO vs PPC debate, it’s important to take a step back and consider the different variables involved.

Each has its own advantage over the other. But there is also no wrong way to settle the SEO vs PPC argument. What matters most are the goals of your business, and how much money you plan to spend achieving those goals.

Listed below are three main considerations that need addressing before your decision is made final.

Advertising Budget

How much are you willing to spend for increased website traffic?

If you have a decent amount of cash and want quick results, you should consider PPC for driving qualified traffic to your website.

Alternatively, if you’re operating on a tighter budget and are patient, it might be prudent to give more weight to SEO strategy.

Typically, the visitors funneled in through organic search results are generally more valuable to your business than a visitor which followed a paid advertising link.

But don’t let the cost scare you away from PPC advertising, either. You can spend as much or as little as you like (some of the programs do have a minimum spending requirement). It’s a good idea to have a digital marketing agency perform an SEO/PPC audit to identify the best opportunities for your business before you identify your strategy and invest more money.

Examine the Market

One of the benefits to using a PPC program is that you get to choose how much you want to spend.

But that doesn’t mean you only throw a few dollars at a keyword and call it a day. For a successful PPC strategy, you need to determine what a fair price actually is, and what’s within your budget.

For example, if you’re trying to break into space for general keywords such as “health insurance,” you’re likely going to pay a higher price. You can avoid these higher price keywords by narrowing down your keyword to something more specific.  Consider “longer-tail” keywords, or keyword phases that are longer and more descriptive of what the searcher is looking for.  These often have lower acquisition costs and combined together with a larger number of other long-tail keywords, can produce a good amount of search volume.

Evaluate the Competition

When trying to settle the SEO vs PPC argument, it’s helpful to know how competitive the SERP is that you’re targeting.

Armed with the keywords you’re trying to target, you can use tools such as the Google External Keyword Research Tool to determine the potential level of competition.

If the SERP is filled with high authority websites, it will likely be more difficult (not to mention expensive) to break into that same space.  Again, an SEO audit can help identify this upfront.

Getting the Most Value

When it comes to getting the most value from your marketing strategy, focusing on SEO and growing your organic traffic is the safest bet. SEO isn’t free, however. It requires time and the knowledge to make your strategy successful.

Alternatively, PPC advertising can cost you as much or as little as you want. But that doesn’t mean it’s simple as throwing money at one keyword. PPC advertising also requires research, know how, and practice.

There is no definite winner to the SEO vs PPC quandary. But with the right set of tools (and carefully chosen keywords), your marketing strategy can implement either (or both) with great success.

SEO and PPC?

Unfortunately, SEO vs PPC is not a coherent advertising strategy. However, the combination of SEO and PPC is.

The SEO vs PPC question doesn’t have to be one or the other. Many effective advertising campaigns utilize both.  In fact, click through rates for combined SEO and PPC efforts are higher than if done in isolation.

SEO should already be a major fixture of your marketing strategy. With the addition of a PPC program, you’re better able to maximize the potential of both methods.


Is your website (and thus your business) on the grow? Online marketing can be tricky, especially if you’re new to the digital world. That’s okay, we’re here to help! To learn how we can help grow your business (and maybe for a free breakfast), contact us today!

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