SEO vs. PPC – Pros and Cons

Having a well-designed website for your business is one of the best things that you can do to increase revenue, but only if you’re able to drive traffic to it successfully.

In today’s Internet world, you have two basic options of getting traffic to your website: search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click advertising (PPC). Both can work quite well, but there are substantial differences between the two. In this article, we will compare SEO marketing with PPC to see which is better for your particular business model.

Considering Your Budget

One of the first things that you should do when comparing PPC with SEO is to consider your budget. Although it should not make or break the deal, if you do not have any advertising budget available, you will be limited in the type of traffic that you can get to your website. Fortunately, it is not necessary for you to spend an exorbitant amount of money if you do want to test the pay per click waters.

The amount that you will spend on pay per click advertising is really going to vary, depending upon your niche and the keywords that you choose. As an example, some high-end clicks from Google AdWords could cost you in excess of $300 per click.


On the other hand, if you target the proper search terms and optimize your landing pages properly, you may be able to find some inexpensive traffic that will convert quite well.

Testing the Internet Waters

Another factor that you should consider is the ability to test your website, in order to see how well it is converting. If you are not yet doing any A/B split testing, you should begin doing it now.

Making small changes on your landing pages can often make a large difference in your bottom line and your ability to convert visitors into customers.

You can drive traffic to test your website from your search engine optimization efforts, but you are going to be extremely limited in how quickly you are able to test those changes. For example, if you are getting 10 people per day through SEO to your website, you may only be in a position to make changes on your landing pages once per week, because you won’t be able to get enough reliable data. On the other hand, with PPC advertising you can drive as much traffic as you need to your website in a short amount of time.

Targeting Your Audience

One of the benefits of getting traffic to your website through the search engines is that it can be highly targeted. Rather than having people show up on your website at random, they will be searching for something specific. And if you are offering what they are looking for, it is likely that you can convert them into customers.

As you can imagine, there are some significant differences between the targeted traffic that you get from organic SEO and what you would get through PPC.

Unless you are in a position to put thousands of dollars into organic SEO, it is unlikely that you will achieve any significant rankings for competitive, profit producing keywords. More than likely, the majority of your traffic will be generated from long tail keywords, unusual phrases that are only searched for infrequently.

Additionally, you will find out that at least some of your traffic is completely unrelated to what you are offering, which is problematic, to say the least. This directly affects your bottom line and your ability to properly test your website’s landing pages.

On the other hand, if you get your traffic as a result of a pay per click campaign, you can control how targeted that traffic is in relation with your offer. It is not necessary for you to guess the type of traffic that you will get to your website, because you can be very specific in the keywords that you choose.

It is also possible to target keywords that may be very difficult, or perhaps even close to impossible to target through search engine optimization. This means that your website traffic is going to be of higher quality, and you will know very quickly if it is converting well.

Avoiding Search Engine Updates

Although there are benefits to both organic search engine optimization and pay per click marketing, there is a particular aspect that you should not ignore. If you base all of your traffic on your SEO efforts, you may see that it dries up quickly due to a Google search algorithm change, for example. According to, the number of known algorithm changes has decreased during the last few years, but their impact on search results listings has significantly increased with each update.


These updates happened periodically in the past, and today they are ongoing. You may find yourself on top of the search engines one day and when you wake up the next morning, you are nowhere to be found. On the other hand, if you use pay per click advertising, your website traffic will never be affected by a search engine algorithm change.

As you can see, there are advantages to choosing PPC advertising as a way to drive traffic to your website. Of course, pay per click ads can easily be used along with search engine optimization, to provide your website with a steady stream of traffic through multiple resources and save you money.

As long as you have some advertising money at your disposal, testing the waters with PPC is something that can benefit you now, and can even take your business to the next level, as you continue to use it in the future.