SEO and PPC: How to Decide Which One Is Better

Many people think SEO and PPC are more or less the same, but doing a little bit of research before going for a conclusion is never a bad thing.

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is not just optimizing the website to get higher page rankings, it is also about identifying a problem, analyzing it and providing a solution to it.

While in a shorter perspective, SEO is about targeting keywords and optimizing them on the major search engines, it is also about a lot more in the broader perspective.


All the major search engines like Google, Yahoo, etc. continuously monitor websites to check how visitors are behaving at your site, how much time they are spending and if they are coming back at all to your website.

Pay per click or PPC is when websites pay different advertising sources like Google AdSense to advertise their keyword-based ads on different other web pages. But even in PPC, a huge deal of SEO is involved.

That is the basic difference between SEO and PPC. This does not solve the question of which is better for your website. Nor do these basic definitions give any deep insight into how these two concepts actually work.

Before we delve deeper into the discussion, let us first decide which is better for your website.

SEO and PPC- Which Is Better For Your Website?

Before we go deeper into the debate, let us have a better understanding of these two ways that boost traffic on your site. PPC is when you pay the different advertising programs to post your ads and they generate traffic for you instead.

When you pay Google AdWords or Yahoo Search Marketing(YSM), they give you permission to display your ads on their search engine result pages under the sponsored results section.

Then when a user clicks on those links and is redirected to your website, these advertising programs pay you the revenue that is generated from this click and keep a certain part of that for themselves as commission. This is called paid traffic.

On the other hand, as a website, you can get organic traffic when your website has a high ranking in search engine pages. The results that come in the section right after the sponsored results area are the ones that have the highest rankings.

Those websites are search engine optimized, wherein they follow the best practices in SEO to get such high rankings.

High page rankings do not happen overnight, it takes time and patience. Also, SEO is completely free of cost and the organic traffic that is generated generally has high conversion rates. So all the patience is paid off.

But in order to determine which method of approach is better for your website, there are few factors that you have to consider. Ask yourself the following questions before arriving at a conclusion.

What is the budget for advertising?

Depending on the size of your business, you have to determine an advertising budget. You cannot go out of your way to advertise your business if your revenue is really low.

If you are going for the PPC way of advertising, you get to decide your daily budget and you can spend as low or as high as you want. Although the average daily budget, in the beginning, should be ideally between $5 to $15.

The PPC form of advertising has a few benefits, like – it gives faster results, and hence faster conversions on the website and also it frees the website from the limitations of the constantly changing SEO algorithms.

On the other hand, if you do not wish to spend any money on advertising, you can go for Search Engine Optimisation methods.

What is the average cost per click in the industry?

Apart from setting an advertising budget, you also have to research how much your competitors are actually paying for an ad online.

All PPC advertising platforms allow website owners to choose how much they want to pay for a click on a keyword. This amount is known as CPC or cost per click. There are online tools that let you check the average CPC for a particular keyword or a phrase.

But for the keywords or phrases that have really high demand, the CPC can go up to as high as $30 per click.

For a new website that much amount might be difficult to invest in the beginning. In such scenarios, websites settle for SEO which is certainly a better choice here. But its results are slow and take time.

How much are the SERPs competitive in your industry?

To check if there is high competition for your targeted keyword, use the Google external keyword research tool and enter your keyword in it. This will show you the estimated level of competition and also the number of advertisers who are bidding on your keyword along with the average CPC for this keyword.

Among the competitive industries, you will see that the search engine result pages for the keyword of your choice are mostly dominated by the biggest names in that industry. The CPC will inevitably be higher.

If you do not invest a high amount of money and also a lot of time, it will be pointless. So in such cases, many websites opt for SEO.

The argument is that when you have to invest time, why not invest it somewhere which gives equally fruitful results absolutely free of cost?

So there is really no fixed answer to which is better for your website, SEO or PPC.

Different websites have different needs and targets and these two ways to boost traffic work differently for different websites.

However, if you want maximum results, you can go for both. You do not really have to choose one between SEO and PPC and can get the best of both worlds.

Benefit From SEO and PPC Working Together:

3Now we know that there is no specific way between the two that is proven to be better for a given website. That is why websites opt for both PPC and SEO working together to bring them huge traffic.

There are many more advantages of adopting both the methods, apart from increased traffic.

1.  It saves you from the unpredictability of SEO:

Google is constantly changing its algorithms and that is why even organic traffic and page rankings can change drastically even within a short period of time.

In such cases, a website which has secured its position in the top three rankings in the search engine today might not even be found in the first page of Google result the next week.

So websites have to continuously research and keep a tab on Google’s changing algorithms and modify and optimize their website according to it. But if a website gets late, these unforeseen circumstances will badly affect the website traffic.

In such cases, PPC comes to the rescue. When you have your ads setup right in the sponsored section of search engines, it makes up for the fact that the organic ranking might not be in the first page. The traffic will not go down drastically as you still have PPC to back you up.

2. It significantly increases your visibility:

To be specific, it doubles your visibility. When you adopt and run both SEO and PPC campaigns together, there are chances that your website will appear more than once on the search engine results page. This really adds to your website’s credibility and catches the users’ attention. This helps you to stay up in the game where there is such high competition.

3. Better traffic means higher conversion rates:

Everything you are doing to boost traffic on your website is with the ultimate motive of getting higher conversion rates.

When you use both the PPC and SEO forms, there are more visitors to your website and that increases the chance of having higher leads and conversions.

But you have to make sure that the landing page where the user lands are interesting enough to keep the user glued to your page for a longer time. If the user immediately exits your page after landing, then there is no point.

4. The performance of a PPC ad copy will help you plan your content better:

When you test your targeted keywords with PPC, the results are immediate. As a result, you will be able to monitor which exact ads are doing great and better than others when you get high conversions.

From this performance result, you will get to know which keywords work best for your target audience.

Then you can build your organic content for SEO, and use proper meta tags, meta descriptions and titles using those particular keywords. This will drastically increase your organic traffic sooner.

5. You can deal with negative reviews about your website:

There are times when users give your company a negative review. In a competitive world like the web world, this can really prove negative for your business. When this happens, PPC and SEO can jointly take care of the unforeseen situation.

You already have doubled your visibility when you combined SEO and PPC campaigns together. You can use these two tools to tell your side of the story.

What you can do is, you can create a page where you share your side of the story and pay for that page’s keywords to search engines.

So when someone makes a Google search using that keyword, the user will see your website in the sponsored section and when he clicks it, he will land on the page that has your side of the story. This is how you can combat negative reviews.

6. It increases your social media visibility as well:

In the last few years, the social media scene has changed a lot. This change is the result of the advertising opportunities that have a highly targeted audience and results.

When you use social media ad platforms, you can target just one specific group of audience, for example, you can particularly target 18-year-olds living in Delhi who want to buy treadmills.

This kind of PPC gives you extremely filtered details about each user and you can use that data to design your SEO.

7. SEO makes a webpage concentrated with keywords that have high CPC, without paying for it:

In the previous section, we discussed how it is always not convenient for newer and smaller websites to bid for targeted keywords that already have high CPCs by industry giants. In such cases, the SEO team uses these keywords in organic content and stuffs it wherever possible.

The budget which was allocated for PPC’s is then used on other highly effective keywords which do not have very high CPCs. This way the SEO team lists all the expensive keywords and use them organically.

Hence, these keywords generate the same kind of traffic that PPC would have, only it takes a little longer. In the meantime, the PPC budget is used somewhere else that will get high conversions.

8. You can learn from the ad copy of ads which perform exceedingly well:

When we create meta data for some client, there are some rules for that, like, proper CTAs, prioritizing the keywords, etc.

But we know that creating and optimizing content for search engines is a lot different from doing that for humans.

So, when an ad performs well, we get an idea from the ad copy about the keywords which brought such high traffic. Then you can use those keywords to optimize and write good content.

Wrapping Up:

Now, at the end of this article, you know what is best for you.

Both SEO and PPC their own huge advantages that individually contribute to a great extent to a website’s growth.

But when these two are combined, they bring in their own pros and work wonders for a website’s traffic, conversions, credibility and ultimately earning revenue

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