PPC vs SEO: Knowing The Differences

I Already Do PPC, Do I Need To Do SEO?

What’s The Difference?

There are two primary ways of generating traffic for a website: through pay-per-click (PPC) and through search engine optimization (SEO). When it comes to PPC vs SEO, each method has its advantages and disadvantages.

If you’ve been focusing on PPC, you might be wondering if SEO is worth your time. After all, it can be a time consuming process. Pay-per-click campaigns do provide instant results, but if it’s not done correctly, it can turn into an expense you can no longer afford.

PPC Advantages and Disadvantages

This type of business model involves paying a sum of money for various keywords. The keywords are awarded to the highest bidder and then when a user types those keywords into a search bar, the highest bidder automatically gets their website listed at the top of the search results. The fee is paid only when users actually click through to the website

The amount you pay depends on the popularity of the keyword and how much your competitors are willing to pay.

PPC advantages:

– Instant traffic

– Full control, as you get to create the ad copy yourself, as well as the destination URL to which the person who clicks on your ad is sent.

– You don’t have to worry about search engine algorithm updates, which are constantly changing.

– The ability to target your audience by controlling which geographical locations your ad is displayed in.

– You get to set a daily budget.

PPC disadvantages:

– Can be very costly, especially if you don’t do proper keyword research. Also, there is no guarantee that anybody will actually buy anything even if they do visit your site.

– You may appear less credible to search engine users since you’re paying for ad placement on the first page of results.

– You must do constant testing and monitoring. Even if you do get visitors right away, other people are competing for keywords and add placement as well. The price for a specific keyword fluctuates. Since you set a budget, you might end up with fewer and fewer clicks as the cost increases.

SEO Advantages and Disadvantages

Optimizing your website for search engines means that you are working on achieving natural results in search engine rankings. Increasing your ranking naturally means that you can receive more clicks without having to pay for them.

Optimizing can be done both on-site and off-site. On-site optimizing means to regularly update your site by adding valuable content and incorporating keywords intelligently, not just in the content itself, but in image tags, product descriptions, and other elements. Off-site optimization includes getting backlinks from other websites and users. This can include getting people to share Tweets from your site as well as sharing something on your site they like with Facebook friends.

SEO Advantages:

– Natural results that you don’t have to pay for.

– More credibility since people will see that your site is appearing in search results naturally rather than as a paid ad.

– Even if you do pay for SEO services, there is large ROI potential since the organic search results will ultimately attract more clicks, which will ultimately lead to more sales.

– Exposure on multiple search engines, and not just on Google.

SEO Disadvantages:

– Unless you’re using underhanded methods, it can take months to notice improvements in traffic, let alone sales. If you do use underhanded methods, you can get penalized or even banned from search engines.

– SEO is susceptible to algorithm changes and updates. This can lead to the search results being shuffled.

– There is a lot of competition, since there are already sites that have earned their spot in the first few pages of results naturally.


Since both have their pros and cons, the best solution is to use them both. Even if you already are getting good results from PPC, those results aren’t going to last forever and you’ll need a long term solution. For this reason, it’s recommended that you do some optimization as well.

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