A man creating an SEO or PPC marketing strategy.

If you need to bring visitors to your business website, there are plenty of ways to do it. However, most companies decide to go for either SEO or PPC. Both are well established, and we know that both work, but what’s best for your business? Well, that’s what you’re here to find out. 

If you ask an expert to explain the difference between the two, in short, they’ll tell you that PPC costs money but brings results quickly, while SEO takes time, but it doesn’t have to cost you a dime. So, in theory, choosing the right strategy should be easy. However, it’s a bit trickier than we all might want it to be. 

In digital marketing, every tactic has some pros and cons. So, we can’t generalize. Instead, you’ll have to think it through and figure out the right path to follow for your case. And to help you do it, we need to start from the top.

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of enhancing your website’s visibility in search engines like Google. It’s not something you can just add to your website, but the things you do to it. It involves marketing, web design, and public relations, all in small doses.

In essence, the better your SEO score is, the higher you’ll rank in the search pages (SERPs) when people search for keywords relevant to your business. And the goal is to get to the first page of Google, ideally to the top three results.

Of course, it takes time to get there. But once you do, you’ll stay there for some time, even if you don’t add to it. It helps your website on a fundamental level, making it more trustworthy and authoritative. And the more you work on it, the more organic traffic you’ll get.

A man looking at SEO campaign results.

SEO will bring you lots of organic traffic, but you’ll have to wait for it.

What is PPC?

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is a different animal altogether. It’s a method where you pay for each visitor that clicks on your site. As soon as you set it up, you’ll see results. However, it’ll work only for as long as you pump money into it. The moment you stop, people will stop coming in.

That said, PPC brings plenty of benefits to the game. Learn how to set it, start the campaign at the right moment, and you can make your revenue skyrocket. It’s great to put your name out there or as a boost to an ongoing marketing strategy. Just make sure that your PPC campaign is mobile-friendly and that you adjust it to mobile users. If you follow the proper practices, it’ll help your company grow.

What’s the Difference Between the Two? 

As you can see, these two are nothing alike. However, no matter if you go for SEO or PPC, you’re trying to drive traffic to your website. Thus, they’re doing the same thing, but how they do it is different.

Here’s an analogy to help you wrap your head around it. Think of PPC as renting a great home and SEO as building your dream house. In each case, you get a fantastic place to live, but the terms under which you get it aren’t the same. If you rent it, you can move in right away, but you can use the space only for as long as you’re paying rent. On the other hand, building the house will take time, but once it’s done, it’ll be yours.

So, PPC is great for achieving short-term goals. You don’t have to worry about maintenance, and you can ride the wave of traffic for as long as you need it. But to bring things to another level, you’ll want to work on both PPC and SEO. And here’s why.

A person researching the web for PPC tactics.

Both SEO and PPC bring you visitors, but they do it differently.

Does PPC Affect SEO?

Technically, PPC doesn’t affect your SEO. However, it gives it a boost in a way you wouldn’t expect.

Chances are that users interested in what you offer will frequently search the terms you want to rank for, and every time they do it, they’ll see your PPC ad. So, even if they don’t click on it, they’ll probably click on one of your organic results once they see it. They might be ignoring PPC ads, but they’ll be familiar with your business and see you as a credible source.

Think of SEO and PPC as channels that feed off of each other. Naturally, you want to get as much organic traffic as possible, but following the best practices isn’t always easy. PPC makes it easier, and it helps you maximize your SEO efforts. It’s a shortcut to great results, and if you can, why wouldn’t you use it?

What Should You Go For? 

As we mentioned, it would be best if you could find a way not to choose between the two. That said, if you’re at the beginning with your business or you’re new in the world of digital marketing, you might want to start with PPC.

It’ll help you get the ball rolling and make your first money from online advertising. However, you should also work on your content and create relationships with other experts from your niche so that you can hope for some results from SEO.

On top of that, PPC is great for testing out your keyword groups. Use your favorite keyword research tool, find the phrases your audience searches for and wants to click on, and use that knowledge to bring your SEO a step up. Of course, once you’re done with one group of keywords, move on to another one. It’s a fantastic trick for improving your content and growing your reach, and you can use it all the time.

A man and a woman high-fiving in an office.

Combining the two will bring you the best results.

The Bottom Line

So, SEO or PPC, what do you think would be best for your business? The former is a marathon, while the latter is a sprint, and they both bring their share of good things for your company. If you aren’t looking for an integrated marketing approach and want to go with just one, make sure to think your choice through. SEO is the way to go if you’re not in a rush and are looking for long-term results. But if you’re after a quick spike on your sales curve, PPC will get it for you. Decide what you need and choose wisely.