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Organic SEO vs PPC Advertising | Determining the Best Digital Marketing Plan

If you’re working on creating an online marketing plan for your website, you may be having a difficult time deciding whether you should put your efforts into developing your SEO in order to obtain organic traffic from Google, or if you should use PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising instead.
In this article, we will look at some of the key differences between the two to help you determine which is the best choice for you.

Organic Search Engine Optimization

Pros of Organic Search

Long-Term Solution

If you are looking for a long-term solution for getting more customers to your site, then organic search optimization is the way to go. While PPC advertising can be switched on to attract immediate customers, it will take longer for your site to rank organically and see traffic. However, investing the time in your site’s on-page SEO factors, like titles and content, and off-page factors, like securing backlinks, will set your site up for long term rankings. If you keep up with basic maintenance, once you have established rankings, you will likely continue generating traffic from those rankings in the long-term.


Organic SEO is also more budget-friendly than pay-per-click advertising. With a PPC campaign, you are basically locked into paying into perpetuity. If your business grows to accommodate the traffic you get from PPC advertising, you will come to rely on that traffic for revenue. It will likely become very difficult to stop paying for those ads because it will mean fewer customers to your site. On the other hand, though paying an SEO marketing agency might sound expensive, in the long-run its usually more economical. Many agencies will set a fixed monthly fee and run a campaign until you see the rankings results you are looking for. Once you have the rankings you’re happy with, the campaign and accompanying payments can end. You’ll continue to see traffic and results from SEO, even when you’re not actively working on it.

Cons of Organic Search

It Takes Time

Unfortunately, there are some cons to organic search as well. With organic search, it can take months or even years to get the top rankings for keywords. When conducting an organic SEO campaign, patience and persistence are key.

Indirect Costs

With pay-per-click advertising, it’s easy to directly correlate the cost with traffic since it is billed on a per click basis. The costs of SEO are indirect, making it slightly harder to monitor results when compared to PPC.

It’s Up to Google’s Algorithm

As with PPC, organic search can be difficult to get right if you don’t know what you’re doing. While we can take educated guesses about Google’s algorithm, no one really knows exactly how it works. Getting organic ranks is much more of an art than it is a science. It can also be difficult to keep up with Google’s many algorithm changes.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Pros of PPC

Fast Results

If a PPC campaign is done correctly, results can prove to be faster to achieve than with organic search results. In a single day, you can switch on PPC ads and start getting traffic. If you’re willing to pay, it’s also much easier to get on page 1 of rankings this way.

Direct Results

Since you will be paying per click, you will be paying directly for results with PPC advertising.
Because you only pay for clicks, PPC can be great if you have a product that has high conversion rates. PPC can also be easier to monitor your results and tweak your efforts to optimize these results.

Cons of PPC

Payments Never End

The main drawback of PPC advertising is that you will need to pay continuously to keep seeing results. If you were to work towards organic results, however, the growth and traffic you see will be longer lasting and cumulative. PPC isn’t as great for your site in the long run, compared to organic search traffic. PPC advertising will only give you results while the campaign is running.

Hard for Low-Budget Businesses

PPC also isn’t ideal for businesses with a low budget. Depending on the industry, the cost-per-click can get expensive, and clicks don’t always translate to sales. Before signing up for PPC advertising, make sure to think through typical conversion rates and what you are willing to pay per customer acquisition.

For many businesses, the answer will be to build both PPC traffic and organic search traffic. They both have their benefits. Organic search optimization is the better method for developing quality traffic in the long run, but an optimized PPC campaign can prove to be great for high converting products and services. To find out more, contact Moonraker SEO Marketing to for a free assessment of your company’s digital marketing needs.

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