SEO vs Paid Ads

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When it comes to boosting traffic to your website, you have two basic options: paid ads also known as pay-per-click (PPC) or Search Engine Optimizations (SEO).

A question that most people ask is, “Which is better: SEO or PPC?” This question cannot have a general answer, as it depends on your current situation, objectives, and marketplace.

The two key differences when considering SEO or PPC are:

  1. Paid ads appear at the top of the page, above the organic listings influenced by SEO, and
  2. The traffic from SEO is free, whereas traffic from PPC has a cost for each click.

But which approach is better? It depends on your needs and budget. If you quickly want a higher volume of traffic and are willing to pay for it, then PPC may be right for you. But if you happen to be on a tight budget, it may be more sensible to invest time in chasing high search rankings through SEO.

The three questions that one needs to consider when deciding whether SEO or PPC is best for the business are:

  1. How big is your advertising budget?

You first need to decide the size of the advertising budget your business can support when choosing between SEO and PPC.

If you do not have enough money to commit to advertising, you should stay with free SEO methods.

  1. How high are the average CPCs in your industry?

You need to see what other people are paying for ads in your industry.

PPC platforms typically allow users to bid what they are willing to pay for a single keyword click – a fee that is referred to as “cost-per-click” (CPC).

  1. How competitive are the SERPs in your niche?

You also need to determine how competitive the search engine results pages (SERPs) are for your target keywords. For this, you need to enter your keywords into the Google External Keyword Research Tool that will then tell you the estimated competition level, the number of advertisers bidding on your keywords and the average CPCs.


You are not always required to make an “either-or” choice. Both PPC and SEO can be quite powerful when combined together.  Results get enhanced in each channel by utilizing both paid and organic. This might not be true for all business, but you need to develop a holistic search engine strategy rather than look at SEO or PPC in isolation for higher growth, and aggressive marketing.

Jamal has 10+ years of digital marketing experience. Specializing in SEO he has helped many small-medium sized businesses and private practices grow and get more exposure.

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