When you are talking about Search Engine Marketing (SEM), the most common question arises “What is the better option between SEO and PPC”. This is not a simple question with a specific answer to follow but it all depends on your objective, resources, current situation, and the marketplace.

What should be the best approach for your business will be based on your digital marketing strategy. Understanding your client’s needs and how they use the web is an answer to determining whether paid search, organic search, or a combination of both is the right channel for your business.

In this article, I am going to highlight the major differences between SEO and PPC by using some parameters. At the end of this article, you will be confident to choose the best option for your Internet Marketing campaign.

Difference Between SEO and PPC

The major difference between Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC) is that traffic generated from SEO (organic) is free. On the other hand, traffic generated from PPC is not free (as the name suggests you must pay a cost per click).

Let’s explore more differences on the bases of these parameters:

Position in Search Results

Position in Search Results

From the above screenshot, you can expect to find PPC Ads above the SEO results. PPC Ads can also appear at the bottom of SEO results. SEO results can only take the middle position of the web page.

The position of your Ad entirely depends upon a few factors:

  1. Keywords that you are targeting
  2. Keywords that are placed in your Ad copy
  3. Keywords in your landing page

One thing is clear that your Ad will either appear on top of the organic search or at the bottom.

SEO results or organic results will always appear in the middle of the web page. To get an idea if your listing is on the top position or the first page, you should know the degree of optimization of your website regarding both the on-site and off-site SEO.

Cost Estimation

As we know the traffic generated from SEO is free and the one coming from PPC is paid, you need to know how difficult it is to get free traffic from search engines.

There is a high competition for almost every keyword that you search on search engines and to compete with them your web site should a high-quality content with an effective SEO plan to get the top positions of the web page listing.

We have seen that some SEO companies are trying to sell the shortcuts on how to get the top position in a web search but in practice, it is not a piece of cake. If you have not a better understanding of how search engines work and don’t have prior knowledge of SEO then you need to get the services of an SEO expert to be hired in your company.

Having said that, if we talk about pay per click cost, it entirely depends upon on a number of factors. Let’s take an example of the cost per click of advertising with the most popular PPC system i.e. Google Adwords, the position of your Ad based on the usage of the keyword, the number of advertisers who are interested to use the particular keyword, the number of related sites that have ad positions for the particular keyword and many more.

The great advantage with PPC is that you only pay for the clicks that your Ad collects and not for the views.

Also, you can get an idea in advance of your day by day spending plan and pay no more than that besides, you can estimate the average cost per click for the particular keywords in which you are interested.

Generated Traffic

If we take traffic into account, the most common yet difficult question arises, what approach can get more traffic to your website? Either it is SEO or PPC.

By comparing the generated traffic from both SEO and PPC, it is clear that SEO traffic is more in numbers than PPC traffic. The key is to rank your website for the keywords you are interested in, only in that way you will get much more traffic rather than paying for those keywords you want.

This happens because when you acquire the position among top five rankings ( as top five positions are more critical, getting a majority of search traffic visits according to the statistics) you may expect to get a constant flow of traffic 24×7 without paying anything (the actual amount of generated traffic depends on keyword’s popularity)

By comparing the cost and traffic of first page positions for both SEO and PPC, SEO traffic is much better than PPC. Some researches claim that PPC Ads get more traffic than SEO, but this also depends upon the higher cost which is a major disadvantage in PPC.

Although, you should always keep in mind that it is not an easy task to get first page positions for a keyword. Paying for traffic may leave the only option if you could achieve a better SEO optimization and being end up on second- or third-page positions which will possibly bring zero traffic.

Which Approach is Easy to Adopt – PPC or SEO

Either you adopt SEO or PPC, none of the approaches is effective if you don’t have the basic knowledge and experience in this domain. SEO is a low-cost solution but requires a lot of time and strategies to rank for specific keywords while using PPC, you may spend a large amount of dollar to get you some good results but it may not happen and you might lose your amount if you do not have a PPC professional who can guide you to the right direction.

And the Right Option for Your Business Is?

If I conclude the whole discussion, the main idea is you need both techniques as a part of your digital marketing campaign. So, a better option is to go with the hybrid approach i.e. a combination of PPC and SEO. PPC can get you faster results so at first you may run a PPC campaign and test what are the keywords that convert better, then apply SEO to rank for those keywords.