Search Engine Optimization vs Pay Per Click

By Srikanth
8 Min Read

If you are a beginner in Digital Marketing or you already started a business online, you must have come across the two well known Digital Marketing Strategies, Search Engine Optimization and Pay Per Click. So, what are the differences between these two strategies…? Which one is ideal to boost your business online…?


Well, let’s dive into the details.

In this article, we’ll discuss the various key differences between SEO and PPC. SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization and PPC is short for Pay Per Click. PPC is usually referred to as Google Adwords as it is one of the major PPC advertising firms which is why we’ll use the terms PPC and Google Adwords interchangeably in this article.


  1. Free.
  2. Slow to change.
  3. Unpredictable.
  4. Cumulative.
  5. Hard to Split test.
  1. Paid.
  2. Can start immediately.
  3. Quite predictable.
  4. One-off.
  5. Required to Split test.

Free vs Paid


In the case of Search Engine Optimization, if someone clicks on your website and explores your site, you need not pay a single penny to the search engine. However, to show your website on page 1 of the search results, you need to do a lot of background work.


When it comes to PPC, as the name itself suggests, you need to pay every time a user clicks on your advertisement. That’s really useful because unlike the traditional advertisements in Television or Radio where you pay regardless of how many people actually watch your ad. PPC is far better because you pay only for the people who can be your potential customers.

Slow to change vs Can start immediately


Usually, most of the Search Engine Optimization campaigns require a minimum of six months to a year to actually show the required results as it involves a lot of background work like link building, keyword research etc., Even after that one year you have to work hard enough to show your website constantly in the first page. After all, there’s is a huge competition for page 1 search results.


In the case of PPC, you can actually see the results for your PPC advertisements within a few hours of posting the ads. PPC is a great option where advertisers want new leads as fast as possible.

Unpredictable vs Predictable


Search Engine Optimization is very unpredictable in nature. Even after so much effort kept on SEO, there is no guarantee that your website shows up on the first page of search results. This might be because of constant updates in the algorithms of respective search engines.


In the case of Google Adwords, you can keep track of every single user that gets into your website. You can also draw insights from the Google Analytics and more or less you can exactly predict the boost in your business.

Cumulative vs One-off:


Search Engine Optimization is cumulative in nature. Suppose, you followed SEO campaigns like blogging and link building over a long time. Even due to some reasons, if you stopped the campaign, you will get the organic traffic due to the blogs you have written. As long as your blogs exist on the other websites, there’s still a chance for you to get the organic traffic. Thus, SEO is cumulative.


Unlike SEO, if you stop paying for PPC advertising, you can no longer get traffic from the users no matter how long you were advertising through PPC.

Split test


It is practically not possible to split test in SEO. If you want to try out something of which you are not sure of working out, it takes a lot of time to collect all the necessary data to validate your idea in SEO.


When it comes to PPC, it definitely requires a split test because you need to validate your idea before you invest a huge amount on PPC advertising.


It is simply not feasible to answer this query without taking the exceptional situation of a specific company under account.

A hyper-local firm with minimal competition and a necessity for only a couple of leads each week could probably develop decent visibility from the organic and local search results using a small spend or a few DIY SEO.

A brand new e-commerce store that’s competing with a couple of results in Amazon, eBay, and other big department stores and internet retailers is probably going to battle from search (at the brief period, at a minimum).

Do you want leads today? Are you looking at the extended game? Have you got much in the method of site power? What’s the competition like in the search? What’s the price per click paid search?

Definite digital marketing and advertising strategy and apparent short- and – long-term goals are crucial in creating an SEO or PPC choice.


In a perfect world, we’d look at both the SEO and PPC. They both have pros and cons also operate best when encouraging each other. Where you can buy SEO and PPC working collectively, you may often have the ability to drive more extensive results than their parts.

The Advantages of conducting SEO and PPC together comprise:

  1. Keyword and conversion information from PPC may be fed to organic search (search engine optimization ).
  2. The entire quantity of visitors can be raised by targeting clicks paid and organic for high-performing keywords and phrases.
  3. High-cost keywords and phrases, high-volume or low-converting (nevertheless still significant ) keywords could be transferred from PPC to search.
  4. A/B testing of advertising copy and landing pages may be fed to a natural record and landing pages.
  5. Remarketing lets you remain in front of traffic following a first touch via natural search and personalize messaging about their participation with your website.
  6. Examine your keyword plan in PPC before committing to long term search engine optimization strategies.
  7. Goal users at all phases of their customer journey from study compared to buy commercial keywords.
  8. Boost confidence and consciousness of having both powerful organic and compensated visibility.

Within our experience with countless companies, an integrated lookup approach that appears at both SEO and PPC will be the perfect strategy. Outcomes are enhanced in every station by using both organic and paid. It won’t be ideal for each company; however, for high-growth, competitive advertising, you will want to develop a holistic research engine plan instead of considering SEO or PPC in isolation.


Thus, if you want to get new users as soon as possible and willing to invest in advertising, then PPC is ideal for you. Otherwise, you can go with SEO.

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