SEO or PPC? Tips To Help You Make The Right Decision

 SEO vs. PPC: Which One to Use?

Have you just decided to invest in digital marketing? Don’t be overwhelmed with the myriad of options that will suddenly be available to you. You can choose from video marketing to email campaigns and social media channels to promote your products and services. However, there are only two main strategies we suggest trying first to amplify your online presence: search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) ads. Are you finding yourself confused between the two tactics? Wondering what to use first for your online campaigns? Take note of the following factors so you can make the right decision:

What’s the difference?

To determine the best option for your firm, you first need to know the definition of SEO and PPC. To have a full understanding of the two tactics also means knowing the similarities and differences between them. Thus, start by taking a good look at the meaning of both tactics. SEO refers to the methods you follow to make your website rank well in the search engine results pages (SERP). When done well, SEO allows you to enjoy organic, unpaid traffic. On the other hand, PPC is an online advertising method wherein you only pay when someone clicks your ad. Since SEO involves a series of on-page and off-page techniques, you have to wait a considerable amount of time to see your website appear on the results page. Meanwhile, investing in PPC ads can get your site at the very top of the SERP instantly. While both tactics offer a great way to reach out to your target clients online, their main difference is the amount of time you have to wait before you can see results and their cost.

Pros vs. Cons

Aside from knowing the definition, you also need to assess the advantages and disadvantages that both tactics can do for your business. For example, SEO may give your firm savings on advertising costs because you do not have to pay your way to get traffic. However, not spending on ad campaigns means you have to wait for a certain period before you can see if the tactics you have applied have worked in your favor or not. Google informs digital marketers that in most cases, SEO needs four months to a year to see benefits. Another downside of using SEO is that you cannot really control the demographics of your potential visitors.

Meanwhile, you may have to allot a budget for advertising in running a PPC campaign but then your investment would put your site or landing page at the spot you want right away. Instant results and feedback aside, you can also specify the demographics of the users that can see your ad.

Consider your products and services

Knowing the best tactic to use will also largely depend on the kind of products or services that your business is offering. If you are selling something that is unique to the market, doing SEO may not be the most viable choice. As a new product, you cannot expect many people to be aware of it nor search for it. This entails that in launching an innovative product, you are better off running a PPC ad. However, if you are offering an in-demand or well-known product, you may just get lots of traffic and new customers by optimizing your website for the search engines.

Investing in PPC is likely to be the right path if you cannot afford to wait around to get results. For example, if your business is organizing promos and events for a specific period, you can quickly promote your ad and inform people quickly with a PPC campaign. 

Identify your goals

The best marketing tactics are always made in alignment with the goals that your business wants to achieve. For marketing efforts that seek long-term results, you should spend more time enhancing your SEO tactics. This is because web optimization builds your site reputation over time. Meanwhile, if your firm has no time to dwell on SEO because you need fast results, PPC is the quick solution you need. This is also the right choice if you are targeting a specific type of audience since ad platforms allow users to specify the demographics of their desired viewers.   


The factors discussed above show that both SEO and PPC hold great promise to take your marketing campaigns to the next level. Thus, if your budget will allow it, the most ideal option would be to use both tactics. Making both strategies work together can result in effective campaigns and results. However, if enjoying both worlds is not the most practical route for you, then the tips mentioned above can help you make the right decision. 

Effective digital marketing involves having the wisdom to make the right decisions in choosing tools and tactics. You can do that by receiving proper guidance and sound advice from a reliable digital marketing agency such as the Birch River Design Group. To address your inquiries, we are always available to offer a no-obligation consultation. Reach out to our team based in Scottsdale, Arizona today!

Written by Carmela Obar
Mela has a degree in Secondary Education and is a licensed teacher but her passion for words and literature led her to pursue a career in writing. With extensive copywriting experience up her sleeve, she can easily tweak and adapt her writing style to match any genre or industry. Her stints include writing and editing a 100-page published guidebook.
Published on December 9, 2020
Filed Under: Marketing Strategy