SEO vs. PPC – Which is Better?

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Optimizing websites for search engines has become an essential part of the online audience, perpetuated by technology that has introduced solutions to almost everything. Some sites like SerpBook have marked high traffic flow for the services they offer for websites, to check and share their rankings on search engines.

It all rolls down to boosting traffic to websites, and for this, there are several options, in this case, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising or search engine optimization (SEO).

What then is the difference between PPC and SEO?

PPC advertising involves paying service providers for PPC programs, like Google Adwords and Yahoo Search Marketing, to get a traffic flow on your website for particular content. The PPC programs allow you to display ads in the sponsored results section of SERPs. As is suggested by its wording, whenever someone clicks through from your ad to your website, you pay a fee.



SEO, on the other hand, involves continuous efforts put in place to optimize your site through different approaches to naturally rank on search engines. Building traffic through SEO is for free, and the results show up according to the performance of your site in comparison to other websites’ content for the same results. The listings are usually displayed following the sponsored results (PPC).

Now, if you are asking which of the two approaches is better, here is a break down to guide you:

Why SEO?

Relatively inexpensive

SEO is a more natural approach for attracting traffic to your website, which is the main advantage of this method. It is more cost effective in comparison to PPC because, although you might chip in to access SEO tools to help out with the process, a lot of SEO practices are free yet offer the best results.

Long-term ripple effect

The good thing with SEO is that it is a process rather than a one-time solution. SEO allows you to work on making your website the best in all dimensions and focuses on creating networks and building relationships, all of which have a long-term advantage to your brand. Your brand may exist for a long time online because of the sustained SEO efforts that make your site and brand more likable.

High audience satisfaction

SEO is concerned with more than just optimizing for search engines. SEO involves optimizing for audiences by increasing audience engagement, improving user experience, among others. SEO practices allow the website owners to be present in the lives of the target audience by creating personal messages and responding to their feedback and reviews promptly, all of which contribute to higher audience satisfaction.

Domain authority

Link building and link earning, coupled with quality content, are SEO practices with the potential to boost your domain authority. SEO allows you to present the best of what you can offer to the audiences which over time builds your brand as a credible source of information, which can make your audience go from searching for random content online, to typing in your domain name directly for results.

Audience targeting and targeted content

SEO will set you in the eyes of the right audience, one which is genuinely interested in the type of product or service you are offering. The traffic you build from SEO is likely to keep revisiting your site for the reason that they are already interested in your brand.

While SEO practices involve a lot of sustained and continuous efforts that might be tedious and time-consuming, evidently, there are a couple of sure ways in which to benefit from it. However, SEO has a few disadvantages, the primary one being, your site might perform well in one search but poorly in another, depending on the topic area and how much competition there is for that position. The other challenge is the constant changing of search engines’ algorithm for indexing and ranking sites.

Why PPC?

Increased visibility

Your brand receives of high profiling on search engines by being positioned top on the sponsored section on search engines. If you are in a competitive field, PPC might be the solution you need to stand out and have a significant presence online.

Large audience reach

Search engines generally account for more than 30% of a website’s traffic flow, which means that with proper positioning, your marketing messages and advertisement reaching out to a massive audience. The better news is that, if you properly craft your content and well establish your ads, you can account for many click-through rates and ultimately, higher conversions from PPC.

Beating competition

Some industries are overpopulated, and with the high number of new websites being launched every day, it can be frustrating to deal with too much competition. PPCs position you top on search results, placing you ahead of your game for you to grab the first audience attention.

High conversion rates

PPC campaigns generally account for more conversion rates than SEO, given that the click-through rates are also higher for sponsored results.

Although PPC accounts for a lot of traffic on websites, the better option would be organic traffic, especially with the understanding that PPC needs to be done correctly to give better results, and therefore can get very expensive very quickly. Typically, organic results are more accredited and respected in comparison to sponsored results. Audiences tend to judge sponsored results, say, on social media platforms like Facebook, as self-gaining for the brand. The same effect might be felt for PPC campaigns on search engines.

SEO comes across as better than PPC especially if you are looking at the longevity of the traffic flow for your brand’s sustainability. Before you decide, consider the budget you have set aside and how competitive your industry is for search engine rankings. Either way, you can embrace both approaches for your site.

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Alisia Watson
Alisia Watson is a brand strategist at My Ultimate Success Tips a.k.a MUS Tips.

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