SEO vs PPC 2019: What Agencies & SMBs Need To Know – Which is Better? Differences, Pros & Cons

Posted By on April 11th, 2019 in Search Engine Optimisation

SEO vs PPC which is better for Search Engine Marketing?

Search Engine Marketing has proved itself a game changer in revolutionising how products, goods or services are marketed through search engines.

Most people turn to search engines to expand their business presence. But most likely they aren’t quite able to decide on the next steps (or a marketing plan) to effectively use their online marketing spends.

With search engine marketing (SEM) generally, its either you go with the SEO or PPC route. Both of which are ideal for quite a good number of marketing situations.

There are certain factors to consider before you decide on your search engine marketing approach.

Ready to learn more on what you should choose this 2019? Let’s dig in.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization, in a nutshell, is a way to drive visibility on the search engines. Here, your business, goods or services are ideally shown to customers that are looking for the value you have to offer.

This method of ranking is usually free. You can be sure that most people who come across to your business through SEO have a higher possibility of making a purchase or becoming a potential client. This is predictive due to the high search intent at the time of the online search.

Pros & Cons of SEO

  • It could usually take between 3 to 6 months to work through the SEO setup and get tangible results. If patience isn’t your strong point, then this method of digital marketing might not be for you.
  • The results trickle in slowly, but this method establishes you in a SERP position for long term ROI.
  • With the many factors that affect ranking on SERPs, it is usually a herculean task to have definite control over positioning and placements.
  • You will be required to invest more of your time and effort to work the setup. It is quite a long and detailed process to meet over 200+ ranking factors and 1500+ unconfirmed algorithm changes in a single year.
  • There isn’t a definite way to quantify the keywords with the infamous ‘not provided’ keywords from Google Search Console.
  • Saves you quite the sum as it is very affordable in the long run.
  • There is usually a keyword limitation with SEO plans; you are usually limited with 20 to 30 transaction or informational keywords.
  • It requires content that’s tested, liked and shareable to really get ranking eventually.
  • The traffic you get to your business is limited to the set of keywords you enlisted on your website content.
  • Can attract penalties through bad (or toxic) backlinks and unethical SEO techniques.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

With the Pay-per-click or PPC side of things in digital marketing, it takes more of your money than time and personal effort.

With PPC ads, you only pay to get shown to people searching for your brand, product, business, good or service on the internet. You only pay when a prospective buyer or client clicks through to your website. These type of paid or sponsored ads could be run via Google Ads or Facebook Ads Manager. With Google Ads, your ads are shown to people who show intent at that moment (Pull Marketing). Whilst with Facebook/Instagram ads, ads are shown based on your audience’s interest over time (Push Marketing).

Pros & Cons of PPC

  • It’s quite quick and set up is usually a one-time thing. Except maybe you need to make a few optimisation tweaks now and then on a routine basis.
  • You get near instant results which are usually geared towards a short-term return on investment.
  • You have easier control over the placement and positioning of ads. As they are independent of the impact of Google search algorithms.
  • It is dependent on the likes of ad rank computations like CPC bids x quality score and the auction itself.
  • You get some level of measurement and quantification in regards to search terms and auction reports.
  • In PPC,  you spend just a penny higher than your next competitor bid to outbid in the auction.
  • You require recurring budgets to keep the process going.
  • Traffic trickle can be fairly controlled with keyword match types and negatives.
  • PPC traffic helps SEO via increasing brand searches.

Why Should You Choose PPC Over SEO?

  • SEO has an extended time requirement to kick in. With SEO, search engine algorithms have to get acquainted with the subject matter, theme and industry niche of your website. To get your website indexed and categorized into Google’s Rank Brain.
  • PPC ads provide faster results than with organic SERPs. Lots of businesses would appreciate this quick turn over.
  • The strong point of the PPC is its quick setup, and expansiveness. Getting on page 1 for your keyword is instant.
  • The results with PPC are top notch, in real time and include keyword variations, competitor insights and audience insights. 
  • PPC can be re-engineered to amp up your SEO.
  • With PPC, the path to conversion is linear from awareness to consideration to sale/lead.
  • With PPC, targeting options can be hyper-targeted with demographics, interests, behavior and geolocations, etc.

Why should you choose SEO over PPC?

  • Great for a low budget unlike PPC.
  • Great for brand building, low term ROI, building organic visibility, authority, and readership of your website.
  • With SEO, you have a non-linear path to conversion from awareness to consideration to a sale/lead.
  • Getting traffic/ an audience to unconventional content that is most times prohibited on PPC is great with SEO. Content like adult, alcohol, gaming, healthcare, medicine, financial and legal content.

Let us know your thoughts and comments below on what you feel should be your priority for 2019 SEO or PPC.  As a free giveaway, here’s a link to a free analytics tool with heatmaps, and scrollmaps for measuring and analyzing your SEO and PPC efforts.


Bruce Clay AdministratorPerson