PPC Vs SEO? 4 Notorious Questions All Online Business Owners Ask

The debate between SEO and PPC is an old one.

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What is PPC and What is SEO?

While paying extra to rank on top positions on Google Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) makes sense, search engine optimizing (SEO) delivers long-lasting value proposition of organic results that significantly cost lower. The tussle between the two practices has been debated for their apparent leverages in digital marketing and how efficiently they help in achieving the business’s goals. But for a layman, it becomes imperative to understand and analyze the functionality of the two models based on what the business needs and wants for its online marketing strategy.

This often entails several variables that determine how well the product/service can reach its target audience and generate revenue. Many of them also dictate if the marketing practice will effectively yield results immediately or help in the long haul. To determine which method could be a good fit for your online business, let us first take a brief overview of two practices and what they do.


Pay Per Click (PPC) uses Google Ads for advertising and directs first-hand traffic to the company’s landing pages. It works by showing sponsored ads on top of Google SERPs for a fee paid by the online business for specific keywords added in the ad copy. Depending on the competitiveness of each keyword, the amount gets automatically deducted from the keyword’s budget when a user clicks on the ad.


Alternatively, another approach to gain exposure, build traffic and channel users organically to an online business’s pages is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO uses organic practices that allow the online brand to gain visibility for its website by ranking on top of Google SERPs. Although SEO approach takes time to bring traffic and thrust the website’s rankings, the results are firmer and tend to last a lot longer than PPC.

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However, both techniques can cultivate results differently for different business activities. To help you decide which solution can work best for your online business, we have shared 4 major questions that are notoriously asked by business owners when selecting a marketing model for their website.

  1. How Do I Allocate My Marketing Budget?

When a company decides to start its marketing operations, a budget is usually allocated to cover the expenditure. Before opting for SEO or PPC, it is crucial that the company conducts a detailed audit to calculate its spendable capacity and other overhead costs associated with the operations. A company that is concerned with budget constraints can go quite well with SEO since little investment is involved and the output has a great value proposition for the cost.

For an E-commerce website, particularly new one, companies often favor strategies that involve an aggressive approach to sell its products and services and establish a robust digital footprint at the same time. To achieve that, a consistent flow of traffic must pass through to help the website maintain its rankings, build its corporate identity and increase conversion rate. While PPC is a suitable answer to getting immediate traffic from landing pages and converting customers, there are also affordable tools and plugins you can integrate with your e-commerce store. These plugins such as Ultimate SEO extension can help the store punch above weight without compromising its online marketing budget.

  1. How Can I Overcome Google Updates?

Periodic search engine updates are often frowned upon in digital marketing. Search engines such as Google use algorithms to crawl web content, index it and rank its position on SERPs. Each time when these algorithms update, sites that are ranked with one-way optimization fall under grave risk of losing their rankings overnight. PPC, however, remains unaffected from these updates since the results are sponsored and do not rank based on SEO metrics.

PPC works by binding the brand’s ad campaigns with Google Analytics account. This helps segment different types of traffic the website receives from ad campaigns, allowing the brand to identify if the ROI is worth the expense on PPC or not.

  1. How Important is CPC in My Campaigns?

CPC referes to the actual price that you can pay for each click in your pay per click (PPC) marketing campaigns. Experts depicts that cost per click is important as it helps to determine the financial success of your paid search campaigns, and even how much AdWords will cost for you! Well, you can try CPC calculator to find your cost per click also the number of clicks & cost that you would need to get a specific CPC.

Other than the budget, another key determinant is Cost Per Click (CPC). CPC is directly responsible for determining the financial success of the company’s PPC campaigns since with each click, cost adds up fast. A good CPC is a result of your maximum bid, the Quality Score your campaign has, and the ad rank of your peers who are bidding for the same keyword. The idea is to identify and target keywords that are valuable but cost-efficient at the same time.

Average CPC reflects the business type and industry the company belongs to, but the standard is mostly around $2. However, stronger keywords may demand a much larger budget. For example, companies that target customers from the legal consultation industry may have to afford a CPC of $50 a phrase. In such situations when the CPC is too high, SEO comes a sound alternative for online marketing.

  1. Can I Use SEO and PPC the Together?

Using SEO and PPC together is not a bad idea at all, given you have an abundant budget to allocate on both. PPC generally does not require a large department and can be run through a dedicated in-house resource or even freelance PPC expert. SEO, however, demands specialized departments with sub-specialty resources to conduct specific SEO practices. This may be divided into on-page and off-page activities which allows the brand to systematically generate traffic, improve its rankings, and start making sales for from its website. Using PPC and SEO together is a holistic approach and may require the expertise of a qualified digital marketing strategist.


Making the right decision for your business’s online marketing needs is not simple. Every aspect must be carefully vetted before implementing any model to your website. While it’s also true that element of chance also plays a critical role in digital marketing, you can always increase odds to your favor by using PPC, SEO, or both within the frame of right circumstances. By following the analytical advice, we have shared in this article you can surely put yourself in a firm position to control the ultimate success of your website.

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Bilal Afzal

Bilal Afzal is Online Marketing Specialist with more than 3 years of experience in Digital Media and is currently SEO Executive at United sol, a leading e-commerce web design and development agency. Over the years, United sol has successfully delivered projects in Magento, WordPress, WooCommerce, Joomla and other CMS/shopping cart platforms. You can also find him on Linkedin.    
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