PPC vs SEO

May 11, 2022

Read NUOPTIMA’s pros and cons of PPC versus SEO and book a free consultation call with our experts if you’re looking to hire a professional, qualified SEO agency to promote your website.

Key Points

  • PPC stands for pay-per-click and is an advertising method where you bid to get your adverts to show up in sponsored results. You have to pay for each user that clicks on your promoted ad. Advantages of PPC include fast results, the ability to run A/B tests, and visual product adverts. Disadvantages include the cost, ‘click fraud’, and the fact that you will only receive benefits from PPC for as long as you pay for it.
  • SEO is search engine optimisation, and it refers to a group of techniques utilised to get a website to the first page of major search engines. In a nutshell, a fantastic SEO strategy creates web pages and content that complement the ranking factors of search engines so you can rise within SERP rankings. Pros of SEO include stable search engine positionings, it has fantastic effects in the long-term (unlike PPC), it can lead to increased brand awareness, and it is more cost-effective. Cons include that it takes some time for SEO results to show, it is an ongoing process, and it can be time-consuming. For this reason, it is an excellent idea to invest in an expert and knowledgeable SEO agency.
  • Deciding the best option depends on your individual situation. Both PPC and SEO have pros and cons, and it comes down to you to determine what is best for your circumstance. To learn more about SEO services and how they can benefit your website, book a free discovery call with NUOPTIMA today.
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What is PPC?

PPC — or pay-per-click — is an advertising method used for search engine results pages (SERPs). This is when you essentially buy visitors to your website. You bid to get your ads to appear in the sponsored results whenever someone enters a query that includes your keywords. Advertisers pay a fee every time someone clicks on their adverts. This is why it is called ‘pay-per-click’; you have to pay for every user who clicks on your promoted ad. Examples of popular PPC advertising platforms include Facebook’s advertising platform, Bing Ads, and Google Ads (formally AdWords). But, what are some of the pros and cons of using PPC?

There are pros and cons of using PPC as an advertising method on SERPs, such as instant results vs. high costs

Pay-Per-Click Pros and Cons

Advantages of PPC

  • Perhaps the most significant benefit of using PPC is that it produces instant results. As soon as your PPC campaign begins, you should be able to see more traffic, clicks, and conversions virtually immediately.
  • By using this method, you can take advantage of visual product adverts. This is useful as it can help users see what they will be clicking on. It will also improve your click-through rate as it has a visual feature that an organic search will not offer.
  • A third advantage is that you don’t have to concern yourself about a search engine’s algorithm and how it might impact your position. Your organic rank is irrelevant because you are bidding on the top spots.
  • With PPC, you can estimate an accurate budget for digital marketing. This is because you can control your budget and have a reasonably informed idea of how many leads you are receiving in return.
  • You can run A/B tests on a PPC ad fast. You can run two different adverts simultaneously to see which one converts better. All that is required is to change some ad elements such as the ad copy and let them run for a period.
  • A final pro is that PPC lets you stringently target potential customers. You can target adverts by using geography, certain times of the day and week, and search keywords. Essentially, you can personalise your PPC campaign to target a specific group of people.

Disadvantages of PPC

  • A big con to PPC is the cost, especially compared to SEO. You have to pay substantial sums of money to get good results. The more you pay, the better the results will be. Plus, because competition for keywords has never been greater, you might have to pay more later for the same results you’d get now.
  • A second significant disadvantage is that the moment you stop paying for PPC ads, you will stop receiving leads. The pros of PPC will only last for as long as you pay for them.
  • Choosing PPC can mean a lot of work and is highly time-consuming. You have to research and select effective keywords to bid on. Furthermore, you have to manage how much money you’re spending on keywords, adjust how much you spend, and measure returns.
  • Another disadvantage is that ‘click fraud’ is very much prevalent. Some companies use damaging software or manual clicks to simulate human clicks from various IP addresses worldwide. This means that competitors can build up your click charges rapidly. While Google is able to detect some of this fraud, it still occurs pretty commonly.
  • Clicks do not necessarily equate to sales. While PPC ads allow you to draw traffic to your website fast, it does not guarantee your visitors will buy your products. You need to convince website visitors to want to buy your products.

What is SEO?

SEO is short for search engine optimisation. SEO refers to a collection of techniques that are used to propel a website to the first page of major search engines. It works to enhance the visibility of your website to make it rank and bring more organic traffic from search engines. Using SEO techniques increases the chances of your target audience finding you when they make an inquiry on a search engine for keywords relating to your service or product. A key aspect is to ensure the search engine crawlers understand what is on your web pages, so they rank your website higher than your competitors. SEO’s aim is to create a website that explains clearly what the business does and provides valuable and appealing content to both visitors and crawlers. For instance, SEO techniques involve using search engine friendly content and clean codes. Ultimately, a comprehensive SEO strategy creates web pages and content that complement the ranking factors of search engines so you can rise within SERP rankings.

SEO brings more and long-lasting organic traffic from search engines, but results take a long time to show up

Pros and Cons of SEO

SEO Pros

  • Organic SEO is fantastic for the long-term. If a website is efficiently optimised, it can maintain a high position in search results for a long time. Unlike PPC, its benefits do not stop when you stop paying for it.
  • SEO builds a sense of credibility and trust. Some users have little interest in adverts and barely acknowledge them. Therefore, when your website pops up in search results organically, it increases your credibility to an audience looking for your products or services.
  • Very commonly, SEO can lead to improved click-through rates. The majority of the time, you can receive more clicks from a well-placed organic listing instead of an expensive advert you have paid for.
  • A major advantage is that SEO is highly cost-effective compared to a PPC campaign. SEO should cost you a lot less than both setting up and managing a PPC campaign.
  • You can target different funnel stages. Different customers will be at various stages of the sales funnel. With SEO, you can make different content types such as blog posts and case studies that meet each segment of your audience precisely where they are in the funnel. This improves the chances of getting visitors to the next step in the funnel every time they look at your content.
  • SEO can raise brand awareness. By constantly creating quality content for your site, your SEO rankings should increase over a period of time. Therefore, more people should find your website on search engines.
  • A final but substantial pro is that search engine positioning is relatively stable with SEO. But, with PPC, ad positions can constantly change depending on your competitors and their bidding tactics. A well-optimised website with great content and good link authority can hold its search engine positions. This is fundamental.

SEO Cons

  • One con of SEO is that it is slow when compared to PPC. It usually takes several months after site optimising for results to show. However, as mentioned, you benefit much more in the long term.
  • SEO is a process that is ongoing. You can continue to make your website more and more optimised, but it will never be 100% optimised. But, SEO will improve your rankings, and you will reap big rewards from investing in SEO.
  • SEO can be very time-consuming, which is why it is not recommended to undertake this process by yourself. Plus, search engines’ algorithms evolve over time, which can make the process much more difficult. This is why it is a great idea to acquire an SEO agency to do this work efficiently for you.

Is SEO Better Than PPC?

Deciding whether you should choose SEO or PPC is entirely down to you. For instance, if you have the money and need an immediate impact, a PPC campaign might be your best bet. However, it is important to remember that PPC can still take time and fine-tuning to get the right adverts that convert without overpaying for the results. If you have a more extended timeframe and don’t need instantaneous results, SEO presents the best results and returns over time. Plus, you do not need to pay constantly for ads and website traffic to draw more visitors. Of course, there is also the choice of utilising both where you get the best of both worlds.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to you. There is no superior option because it depends on your individual circumstance along with your objectives and marketplace. At NUOPTIMA, we offer a free 15-minute discovery call about our SEO services. If this is something you are considering and would like to explore your options further, book a call with our expert SEO agency today.

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FAQ

What is PPC?
PPC (or pay-per-click) is an advertising method used for SERPs. This is when you buy visitors to your site. You bid to get your ads to appear in the sponsored results whenever someone enters a query, including your keywords. Advertisers pay a fee whenever someone clicks on their ads. Examples of popular PPC advertising platforms include Facebook’s advertising platform and Google Ads (formally AdWords).
What is SEO?
SEO is short for search engine optimisation and refers to a group of techniques that are used to propel a website to the first page of search engines. It works to improve the visibility of your website to make it rank and bring organic traffic from search engines such as Google. Essentially, a comprehensive SEO strategy creates web pages and content that complement the ranking factors of search engines so you can rise within SERP rankings.
How do I know which option is best?
There is no overall better option per se as it depends on your individual circumstances. If you have money to spend and require fast, instant results, PPC is probably the best course. But, if you are in no great hurry, SEO is definitely the choice for you as it presents the best results and returns over time. You can also opt to use both methods if you so wish.
How do I find out more about SEO services?
If you are interested in SEO services and want to know more, NUOPTIMA offers a free discovery call. You can book a call with our experts today to find out how SEO techniques can be used to assist your website in ranking higher within search engines.
Author's image

By: Viktor Bartak

Head of SEO

Linkedin

Viktor has 15 years of experience in SEO, having worked on over 300 businesses across B2B and B2C, including cybersecurity, social media, eCommerce, tourism, SaaS, fintech, private clinics, agriculture, clothing manufactures, real estate and more.

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