Which One Is Better? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Pay Per Click (PPC)?

By: Sameer Somal |  November 21, 2014

Both SEO and PPC actually share the same objective: search. So why can we only choose one method?


Why Do You Still Need PPC Campaign After Achieving an Organic Search?

Your rank on search engines may not be stable because of an SEO stunt or change of algorithm in search engines, so you need a PPC campaign to maintain your ranking on search engines. In addition, it will be helpful if you have both organic search links and PPC ads that benefit your business.


Which One Is Better for Brand Building?

It’s always hard to appear on the first page of search results. You should optimize your website while waiting for enough traffic to become better established. Today, appearances on other online platforms will also be considered by search engines, and these cannot be achieved within a short time.


PPC campaigns can help you immediately, since they increase visibility on search engines. If your ads appear on other popular websites, you will increase traffic to your site and benefit from an increase in brand recall. This approach can be applied when launching brands or when promoting new products.


It may also be true that your competitors’ paid ads are just above your organic search results. If this is the case, the only way to solve the problem is to apply a PPC campaign and bring your paid ads to the top.


Can SEO and PPC Campaigns Be Complementary?

After SEO, relevant keywords can generate traffic consistently without any maintenance costs, unlike a PPC campaign, where costs are determined by the number of clicks. In some situations, not every keyword can perform well, so a PPC campaign is most effective when popular keywords are used.


You will find keywords that bring you stable traffic from your Google Analytics account, so SEO can help you find keywords for a PPC campaign. In addition, before conducting SEO, you can also test some new keywords through PPC to see if they can benefit you.


Sometimes, organic search results may not be desirable due to negative comments. If this happens, you have to manage your online reputation by applying a PPC campaign to decrease the effect of such bad reviews.


Is PPC the Best Way to Target Local Searches?

PPC campaigns like AdWords allow you to focus ads on particular locations. Google Adwords Express is not that well known, but it can reach your targets within 15-40 miles of your business. You can also advertise on local websites and social media websites to achieve the same result.


You may lose business if you think SEO cannot perform local searches. Google’s Penguin 2.0 can help you get the attention of your local targets much more easily. This involves providing SEO for your website, improving content online, and using different social media.


Can We Measure Return on Investment (ROI) on SEO and PPC?

People still choose PPC because they can get ROI easily through statistics like click-through rate, cost per conversion, and bounce rate. You can also control the campaigns as desired.


You can also measure the return from SEO through your Google Analytics account. You can determine which organic search results, third-party blogs, or social media result in the most traffic. SEO is beneficial, provided you consistently apply ethical SEO techniques.


How Much to Spend?

You should strike a balance between SEO and PPC campaigns among different marketing stages. At launch, websites will not immediately perform well on search engines. In this case, you can assign equal weight to both SEO and PPC. After this, you can adjust your spending to ensure consistency with your desired outcome.



Published by Sameer Somal

Sameer Somal is the CEO of Blue Ocean Global Technology. He is a frequent speaker at conferences on digital transformation, online reputation management, search engine optimization, relationship capital and ethics. Fundamental to his work at Blue Ocean Global Technology, Sameer leads collaboration with an exclusive group of PR, Law and Management Consulting agency partners. He helps clients build and transform their digital presence. Sameer is a published writer and Internet Defamation subject matter expert witness. In collaboration with the Philadelphia Bar Foundation, he authors continuing legal education (CLE) programs and is a member of the Legal Marketing Association (LMA) Education Advisory Council. Sameer serves on the board of the CFA Institute Seminar for Global Investors, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and Girl Power Talk. He is an active member of the Society of International Business Fellows (SIBF).

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Sameer Somal
Sameer Somal, CFA, CFP®, CAIA

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