SEO vs PPC | Updated Guide 2022


Maybe you have been considering SEO to help drive traffic to your website, but other businesses believe using PPC is more beneficial. You don’t know which is better or which one will work for your specific business type. Well, read on as we unpack each of these and how they can help your website and, ultimately, your bottom line.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)


SEO is a way to bring organic traffic by optimizing the website, with both onsite and offsite content. The main aim of SEO is to improve the position of your website on search results pages. So the higher up your website is on the list, the better for youR business model.

A good SEO will identify keywords with traffic potential, include relevant links from high-quality sites, and measure the results from all the search activities. SEO forms an essential part of any marketing strategy.

PPC (Pay-Per-Click)

In this model, the advertiser pays the publisher every time their advertisement is clicked on. Sometimes it is called cost-per-click (CPC) and is generally offered by search engines (e.g. Yahoo) and social network sites (e.g. Instagram).

PPC is based on keywords, meaning an online ad will only appear if specific keywords are entered in the search. Companies then research and analyze the most relevant keywords to their products and services and invest in those keywords.


●     Cost

This is the apparent difference; with SEO, there is no payment or fee by the advertiser to the publisher. But just because you aren’t paying Google doesn’t mean everything is free. You still have to pay your content creators and researchers to develop quality content for your site. The cost of the PPC model varies depending on contractual terms and where you want to advertise.

If you opt for PPC, remember once you stop paying for your ads, they also stop, and all the traffic you would have received from them disappears. Also, beware of click fraud; it’s estimated advertisers lose $60 million annually to click fraud. Publishers arrange for adverts on their sites to be clicked repeatedly to collect payments.

●     Speed and Time

With SEO, it may take months for your site to move high up on the search engine results page, whereas with paid searches, it’s days and sometimes hours. The paid searches will always appear first, and the organic searches will follow. SEO is more of a long-term investment.

The PPC option would be suitable for a start-up business that needs to get traffic fast or if you are launching a new product.

●     Credibility


There is a general mistrust of paid content, and the thinking is that anyone can pay to be at the top of the list. But SEO requires quality content and input to be at the top of a search list. And the share of traffic supports this as only 20% -30% of searchers click on paid results, and 70% -80% click on organic results.


Before you decide which one to choose for your business, remember both PPC and SEO are designed to bring more traffic to your site. And both sites bring users who have intent, which is defined by the information they are searching for. Secondly, organic and paid searches use keywords to send you the right traffic. Therefore you need to do extensive keyword research on the applicable keywords for your website. There are tools like the Google Keyword Planner that can assist you.

SEO is better for your long-term traffic as it offers more longevity than PPC. It is also more cost-effective, with better returns on investment. But if you need a short-term solution, such as reaching a new target market or expanding a product line, then PPC is a better option. It has more immediate results.

So you don’t have to choose between the two; you must know how to mix them well in your marketing strategy to achieve your short-term goals and get better ROI.