Most business owners know the importance of online marketing, but where your hard-earned money goes to online advertising and marketing is a difficult choice for many. Two of the more traditional forms of marketing in the online world come in Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO.) The goal of both PPC and SEO is to drive traffic to your website, so is one better than the other? Do you need both?

Let’s look at the differences between SEO and PPC to give you an idea if you need one, the other, or both.

Does Your Business Need a PPC Campaign and SEO?

Like many other questions in online marketing, the type of advertisement and promotion you need depends on your individual website and your end-goals. Let’s review the merits of both PPC and SEO to discern what matters to your site.


With PPC you pay a company such as Google AdWords for every click that your ad gets. Most PPC ads come in “above the fold” on a search engines results page (SERP), so your ads are visible at all times. PPC is good for companies with a sizeable budget, companies that are in very competitive industries that make the top three organic search results very difficult to get, as well as industries and regions that have a low cost-per-click (CPC.) PPC is also not affected by changes in search engine algorithm updates; you paid for the placement, you’re getting it.


SEO concentrates efforts on organic or naturally-occurring search results. In SEO you pay for SEO services, but you do not pay Google or any of the search engines, as the results and rankings are naturally occurring within the engine’s algorithms.

SEO is a better tactic for companies with smaller budgets, companies that are starting with online marketing, industries and regions with a high CPC, and other reasons. SEO can be more of a rollercoaster than PPC, and you’re not likely to see results as quickly with SEO as you are with PPC.

Do You Need Both PPC and SEO?

If you have the resources, it’s in your best interest to do both. PPC always guarantees that you have a visible ad for your site and you don’t have to worry about changes or fluctuations in search engines results. The majority of search engine users click on organic search results over paid ads. When you have both PPC and SEO implemented in your campaign, you can have your cake and eat it too.