H1 Tags - Phresh SEO
What Is An H1 Tag Best Practices & Examples For SEO
July 6, 2024
Google Logo - Digital Pen Touching Screen
Mastering Meta Description Optimisation: Boost Your Click-Through Rates in 2024
July 13, 2024

SEO vs PPC: Choosing the Right Strategy for Your Business


Confused about whether your business should focus on SEO or PPC marketing strategies? The debate between SEO and PPC has been ongoing, with each having its pros and cons.

In this article, we will dive into the key differences between SEO and PPC, explore which strategy is more cost-effective and offers a higher ROI, and discuss how SEO and PPC can work together.

We will also look into the skills required for SEO and PPC jobs, the difference between paid and organic search results, and why SEO may be a more sustainable strategy in the long run.

Join us as we uncover the mysteries of SEO vs PPC and help you make an informed decision for your business's marketing efforts.




the rate of PPC


Key Takeaways:


SEO and PPC are two different strategies for driving traffic to your website, with SEO focusing on organic search results and PPC on paid advertising.

Both SEO and PPC have their own pros and cons, but when used together, they can complement each other and bring better results for your business.

While PPC may have more immediate results, SEO is a more sustainable and cost-effective strategy for long-term success.


What is SEO and PPC?


SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and PPC (Pay-Per-Click) are two cornerstone strategies in digital marketing, each designed to drive traffic to websites and increase visibility for online businesses through search engines like Google and Bing, though they achieve this through fundamentally different mechanisms.

What is the difference between SEO and PPC?

The primary difference between SEO and PPC is that SEO focuses on organic search results, whilst PPC involves paid advertising campaigns to drive traffic to a website.

SEO, also known as search engine optimisation, relies on optimising website content, meta tags, and backlinks to improve visibility in search engines like Google and Bing. This method involves creating high-quality, relevant content that resonates with target audiences and adheres to search engine guidelines.

On the other hand, PPC, or pay-per-click advertising, allows businesses to place adverts on search engine results pages based on selected keywords. Advertisers pay a fee each time their advert is clicked, providing instant visibility and traffic to their websites.




of people ignore paid ads.


Which is Better for Your Business: SEO or PPC?


Deciding whether SEO or PPC is better for your online business depends on various factors such as budget, timelines, industry, and goals, as both strategies have unique advantages and can significantly boost your website’s visibility and traffic on search engines like Google.

What are the pros and cons of SEO and PPC?

SEO offers long-term benefits such as sustainable traffic and improved authority, while PPC provides immediate results and greater control over targeting, but both strategies have their own set of pros and cons.

In terms of SEO, one of its main advantages is the organic nature of traffic generation. This means that once your website ranks well for certain keywords, you can continue to receive traffic without having to constantly pay for each click. SEO helps in building credibility and trust with your audience, leading to long-lasting relationships.

On the other hand, PPC advertising allows for quick visibility and immediate results. You can target specific audiences based on demographics, interests, and behaviours, giving you more control over who sees your ads. The downside of PPC is that it can be costly and requires ongoing investment to maintain results. The traffic generated through paid ads tends to stop once you stop paying for them.

Which strategy is more cost-effective?

The cost-effectiveness of SEO versus PPC largely depends on the specific needs and budget of your online business, as SEO generally requires time and effort while PPC involves direct financial investment in ad campaigns.

When considering the initial investment, PPC typically yields quicker results as you pay for placement in search engine results, while SEO focuses on organic growth that can take time to show significant outcomes. In terms of long-term value, SEO often outperforms PPC as it can drive consistent, sustainable traffic over time without the ongoing costs of ad spending.

Effective budget management is crucial for both SEO and PPC campaigns. With PPC, you have more control over spending with options like daily budget caps and bid adjustments, but costs can quickly add up if not monitored closely. On the other hand, SEO requires continuous efforts to optimise content, build quality backlinks, and adapt to search engine algorithms, which may necessitate hiring a dedicated team or outsourcing to ensure consistent results within your budget.

Which strategy has a higher Return on Investment (ROI)?

In terms of ROI, SEO tends to offer a higher return on investment in the long run due to its sustainable impact, whereas PPC can provide higher short-term gains.

While PPC campaigns can show immediate results with paid visibility and instant traffic, the costs can add up quickly if not managed effectively. On the other hand, SEO requires patience and consistent efforts in optimising content and building quality backlinks, but its benefits can compound over time, leading to organic traffic growth and sustained ranking improvements.

Metrics used to measure SEO success typically include organic traffic, keyword rankings, conversion rates, and bounce rates. In contrast, PPC success is often evaluated through metrics such as click-through rates, conversion rates, cost per click, and ad position.


Do SEO and PPC Work Together?


Combining SEO and PPC can create a powerful marketing strategy, as the strengths of each can complement the other to maximise visibility, drive traffic, and achieve better overall results for your campaigns.

How do SEO and PPC complement each other?

SEO and PPC complement each other by covering both organic and paid search results, which can increase overall visibility and traffic to your website.

While SEO focuses on improving organic search rankings over time through content optimisation and link building, PPC allows for immediate visibility in search engine result pages through paid advertisements. By leveraging both strategies simultaneously, businesses can achieve a higher click-through rate, as they cover a broader spectrum of search queries with targeted ads, while also benefiting from long-term SEO efforts to maintain consistent traffic.

Integrating SEO and PPC campaigns enables a more comprehensive keyword coverage. SEO helps identify high-performing keywords with long-term value, while PPC provides valuable data on immediate keyword effectiveness and user behaviour. This combined approach allows for better understanding of customer search intent and preferences, leading to more tailored and effective ad campaigns.

Aligning SEO and PPC efforts can result in enhanced campaign performance. By analysing data from both strategies, businesses can identify trends, optimise content, and refine targeting, leading to improved ROI. This synergy also allows for better utilisation of budget allocation, as businesses can invest in both long-term organic growth and short-term paid reach, maximising impact across different stages of the customer journey.

What are the benefits of using both strategies together?

Using both SEO and PPC together can provide benefits such as increased traffic, improved keyword data, and enhanced visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).

When integrated, SEO and PPC campaigns can complement each other by sharing valuable data insights. By analysing keyword performance and user behaviour from PPC ads, businesses can optimise their SEO strategies effectively. This collaboration not only enhances the overall search visibility but also strengthens the brand's online presence.

Combining SEO and PPC efforts helps in achieving a balanced marketing approach. While SEO focuses on organic rankings and long-term sustainability, PPC can deliver immediate results and drive targeted traffic. This dual strategy allows businesses to cover different stages of the customer journey, from awareness to conversion, leading to a more holistic marketing presence.


Is SEO Better Than PPC?


 Determining whether SEO is better than PPC depends on your business goals, as SEO generally offers more sustainable and long-term benefits, while PPC can deliver quick results and higher conversion rates in the short term.

Which strategy is more sustainable in the long run?

SEO is typically considered more sustainable in the long term because it builds organic authority and traffic that can maintain high rankings on search engines over time.

By focusing on creating valuable, relevant content and optimising website structure, SEO helps websites attract users who are genuinely interested in their offerings. This approach not only drives traffic but also enhances user experience, which is favoured by search engine algorithms in the long term. As a result, websites that invest in SEO gradually establish themselves as trustworthy sources of information in their niche, earning credibility and visibility that can persist over time.

Which strategy has a higher conversion rate?

SEO Generally Outperforms PPC in Conversion Rates.

Contrary to popular belief, SEO typically yields higher conversion rates than PPC advertising across most industries. This trend is particularly pronounced in certain sectors:

  1. Financial Services: SEO converts customers at an impressive 7.3 times the rate of PPC
  2. Real Estate: SEO's conversion rate is 3.5 times higher than PPC
  3. Medical Devices: SEO outperforms PPC by a factor of 3.4
  4. Legal Services: Similar to medical devices, SEO converts at 3.4 times the rate of PPC
  5. Manufacturing & Distribution: SEO shows a 3.0 times higher conversion rate than PPC

While these industries may seem diverse, they share key characteristics. All five heavily rely on trust and prestige.

For instance, potential clients seeking attorneys or investment advisors tend to place significant value on a firm's perceived industry leadership. High organic rankings are often interpreted as a sign of authority and expertise in the field, whereas PPC advertising is seen as a marketing tactic accessible to any business willing to pay. This is one of the reasons we specialise in SEO for Accountants and can offer expert advice on this subject.

This perception contributes to SEO's superior performance in these trust-dependent sectors. Users are more likely to convert when they believe they've found a top-ranked, reputable service provider through organic search results, rather than through paid advertisements.

It's important to note that while SEO generally outperforms PPC in conversion rates, both strategies have their place in a comprehensive digital marketing approach. SEO provides long-term benefits and builds credibility, while PPC can offer immediate visibility and targeted reach for specific campaigns or promotions.




of website traffic, with paid ads accounting for 27% (Yoast)


What is the Difference Between SEO and PPC Jobs?


SEO and PPC jobs require distinct skill sets and responsibilities, with SEO roles focusing on optimising content and improving organic rankings, while PPC roles involve managing ad campaigns and analysing paid search performance.

What skills are required for SEO jobs?

SEO jobs require skills in content creation, keyword research, and data analysis to improve organic rankings and drive traffic.

Understanding search engine algorithms is crucial for SEO roles as it helps in deciphering how search engines rank content and what factors influence those rankings.

Proficiency in keyword research is another key skill required for optimising website content to attract relevant traffic.

The ability to analyse website performance metrics is vital as it allows for data-driven decision-making to improve overall SEO strategy.

Combining these skills creates a well-rounded SEO professional adept at navigating the constantly changing world of Google.

What skills are required for PPC jobs?

PPC jobs demand skills in campaign management, keyword targeting, and performance analysis to optimise ad spend and achieve high conversion rates.

Managing ad platforms efficiently is crucial in PPC roles as it involves setting up, monitoring, and optimising campaigns across platforms like Google Ads and Bing Ads. Understanding how to navigate these platforms and leverage their features is essential for a successful PPC specialist.

Having a strong grasp of keyword targeting is key to reaching the right audience at the right time. From conducting keyword research to implementing negative keywords, this skill helps drive relevant traffic to websites.

Analysing and optimising campaign performance involves interpreting data metrics, identifying trends, and making strategic adjustments to improve ROI. A PPC professional should be adept at using tools like Google Analytics and other data analysis software to measure success and make data-driven decisions.

What are the job responsibilities for each role?

The job responsibilities for SEO roles include optimising website content and improving search engine rankings, while PPC roles focus on creating and managing ad campaigns to maximise return on investment.

SEO professionals often work with keyword research, on-page optimisation, and backlink building to enhance organic search visibility. They aim to drive traffic through unpaid or 'natural' search results.

On the other hand, PPC experts handle tasks like keyword selection, ad copywriting, bidding strategies, and budget management for paid advertising campaigns. Their success is measured by click-through rates, conversions, and ROI analysis.


The average small to medium-sized business invests


more in PPC than they do in SEO


Is SEO Paid or Organic?


SEO is primarily an organic strategy focused on improving a website's visibility in search engine results without the need for paid advertisements, relying instead on optimising content and building authority.

What is the difference between paid and organic search results?

Paid search results are sponsored listings that appear at the top of search engine results pages, whilst organic search results are earned through SEO efforts and appear below the paid adverts.

When a user enters a search query, they are presented with a combination of paid and organic search results. Paid results are distinguished by labels like 'Ad' or 'Sponsored,' clearly indicating their promotional nature. These listings typically target specific keywords and audiences, offering immediate visibility for advertisers willing to pay for placement. In contrast, organic results are determined by search engine algorithms based on relevance and authority. Users often perceive organic results as more trustworthy and credible, leading to higher click-through rates and potential long-term benefits for websites.

Which strategy requires a budget?

PPC requires a budget for running ad campaigns, whilst SEO typically involves a time and resource investment in content creation and optimisation rather than direct financial expenditure. The use of a third party SEO agency like Phresh SEO does require investment though, but you can always do it yourself. 

With PPC, companies have more control over their spending, as they can set daily or campaign-specific budgets and adjust them as needed based on performance metrics. On the other hand, SEO demands ongoing efforts to create high-quality content, optimise website structure and meta tags, build backlinks, and engage in other strategies to improve organic search rankings.

Whilst PPC delivers quicker results and can generate immediate traffic to a website, it can be costly in competitive industries where bidding wars drive up ad prices. SEO, on the contrary, offers long-term benefits by establishing a strong online presence and driving organic traffic over time, though it requires patience and consistent optimisation efforts and a modest budget in comparison to the rising CPC's in Google Ads.

70 %

of surveyed respondents say that SEO is better than PPC (DataBox)


Does PPC Help Boost Your SEO?


PPC can indirectly enhance your SEO efforts by enhancing your website's visibility and attracting more traffic, which can result in improved organic rankings over time.

How do PPC campaigns affect SEO?

PPC campaigns can positively affect SEO by driving more traffic to your website, which can increase user engagement and signal to search engines that your site is valuable and relevant.

When users click on your PPC adverts and land on your website, they are more likely to interact with your content, products, or services. This interaction, such as spending time on your site or exploring different pages, sends a positive signal to search engines about the relevance and quality of your website. The increased traffic generated by PPC campaigns can lead to more backlinks, social shares, and overall visibility, all of which contribute to improving your site's SEO performance.

Can PPC help improve your website's visibility in search results?

PPC can improve your website's visibility in search results by placing your adverts at the top of SERPs, complementing your SEO efforts and ensuring your site appears more frequently to users.

When users search for specific keywords related to your business, PPC adverts have the advantage of being prominently displayed, catching their attention instantly. This can lead to higher click-through rates and increased traffic to your site. By strategically targeting PPC adverts, you can enhance your overall search presence and attract more qualified leads. The immediacy of PPC campaigns allows you to quickly adjust and optimise your advert copies based on performance data received, giving you a competitive edge in the digital landscape.


Why is SEO Better Than Paid Ads?


SEO is often considered superior to paid adverts for long-term success because it builds organic authority and provides sustainable benefits that continue to drive traffic and visibility without continuous financial investment.

What are the long-term benefits of SEO?

The long-term benefits of SEO include sustained organic trafficimproved search engine rankings, and enhanced authority in your industry, which can lead to ongoing visibility and credibility.

With SEO, your website is more likely to attract highly targeted traffic that is genuinely interested in your products or services, leading to higher conversion rates and increased revenue over time. As your site establishes itself as a trusted source within your niche, you'll start to gain backlinks from reputable sites, boosting your credibility and authority in the eyes of both search engines and your target audience.

Why is SEO a more sustainable strategy?

SEO is a more sustainable strategy because it focuses on building organic results that do not require continuous financial investment, leading to lasting improvements in search engine rankings and website traffic.

Unlike paid advertising, which stops the moment you pause your campaigns, SEO efforts continue to generate organic traffic over time without ongoing costs. This long-term approach helps websites establish credibility and authority in the eyes of search engines, leading to a steady increase in visibility and click-through rates. By consistently optimising content and following best practices, websites can maintain their position in search engine results pages, attracting valuable organic traffic that is more likely to convert into leads or sales. This continuous flow of organic traffic provides a solid foundation for sustainable growth and online success, making SEO a vital asset for any digital marketing strategy.


What is the ROI of SEO vs PPC?


The ROI of SEO versus PPC can vary significantly based on factors such as industry, campaign execution, and time frame, with SEO often providing a higher return on investment in the long term while PPC offers immediate but potentially less sustainable returns.

How do you measure the ROI of SEO and PPC?

Measuring the ROI of SEO involves tracking organic traffic growthkeyword rankings, and long-term revenue impact, whilst PPC ROI is measured through metrics like click-through rates, conversion rates, and immediate revenue generated from ad campaigns.

Organic traffic growth is a critical component in determining the success of SEO efforts as it reflects the increase in visitors coming to the website through non-paid search results. Monitoring keyword rankings helps assess the visibility of the website on search engine result pages, indicating the effectiveness of optimisation strategies.

On the other hand, PPC campaigns rely on click-through rates, showing the percentage of users who click on the ad after seeing it. Conversion rates play a pivotal role in PPC ROI measurement, indicating the proportion of users who take the desired action after clicking on the ad, ultimately impacting revenue generation.

Which strategy has a higher Return on Investment (ROI)?

SEO generally has a higher ROI in the long term due to its lasting impact on organic traffic and search engine rankings, whilst PPC can provide quick returns but requires ongoing investment to maintain results.

When comparing the two strategies, it becomes evident that SEO offers sustainable benefits that continue to drive traffic and visibility over time, even after initial optimisation efforts. This means that the website can attract relevant visitors steadily, leading to a consistent flow of leads and conversions.

On the other hand, PPC yields immediate results by placing adverts at the top of search engine results pages, attracting clicks and conversions swiftly. Once the advertising budget is paused, the flow of traffic also diminishes rapidly, emphasising the transient nature of PPC campaigns.

It's crucial for businesses to strike a balance between the two approaches, leveraging SEO for long-term growth and supplementing it with PPC for short-term boosts in visibility and traffic.


Frequently Asked Questions


Which is better, PPC or SEO?

It ultimately depends on your specific goals and budget. PPC can provide instant visibility and traffic to your website, but it requires a constant investment. SEO may take longer to see results, but can provide long-term, organic traffic without ongoing costs.

Do PPC and SEO work together?

Yes, PPC and SEO can complement each other. While PPC helps with immediate visibility, SEO can help improve your website's organic search ranking, resulting in potential cost savings in the long run.

Is SEO better than Google Ads?

It's not a matter of one being better than the other, but rather understanding their differences. Google Ads (formerly known as AdWords) is a PPC advertising platform, while SEO focuses on optimising your website to improve its organic search ranking.

What is the difference between PPC and SEO jobs?

PPC and SEO jobs may have some overlapping responsibilities, but they require different skill sets. PPC jobs often involve managing paid search campaigns and analysing data, while SEO jobs involve optimising website content, building backlinks, and monitoring website performance.

Is SEO paid or organic?

SEO is considered an organic marketing strategy, as it focuses on optimising your website and its content to improve its organic search ranking. This means there are no direct costs associated with SEO, unlike PPC which involves paying for ad placements. Using an affordable SEO agency like Phresh SEO does incur costs, but at a fraction of the cost of most agencies.

Does PPC help boost your SEO?

There is no official direct correlation between PPC and SEO. However, PPC can help drive traffic to your website, which can potentially improve your website's performance and increase its chances of ranking higher in organic search results.

Why SEO is better than paid ads?

SEO has the potential to provide long-term, sustainable results without ongoing investment. While paid ads can provide immediate visibility, once you stop paying, your visibility will also decrease. SEO also helps improve the overall health and performance of your website, which can have long-term benefits for your online presence.

What is the ROI of SEO vs PPC?

The ROI (return on investment) for SEO and PPC can vary greatly depending on your specific goals and industry. However, SEO typically has a higher long-term ROI compared to PPC, as it can provide sustained organic traffic without ongoing costs.


Author: Dunc Cole

Dunc Cole is an SEO expert with over 15 years of experience in both agency and client-side roles. Dunc's strategic insights and hands-on approach have consistently delivered organic growth in any industry.

The best place to hide a dead body is the second page of Google.


After years of experience in larger agencies, we noticed a significant gap in the market for smaller companies and startups that didn't have a massive budget to allocate towards SEO. Many SMEs and startups understand the importance of SEO but find the barrier to entry too high.

Free SEO Audit

Get in touch now for a free audit for your website. We offer free advise on how you can gain the most visibility for your website, even if you choose not to come on board moving forward.