Which One Is More Important For My Business - PPC or SEO?

Which One Is Better – PPC or SEO?

Business owners often ask which one is more important; PPC or SEO? What are the pros and cons of each strategy?

This is a question that often comes up in discovery meetings with clients. They all want to know which one will yield better results and be better for their business overall. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of each.

Pay Per Click

PPC ads have taken over the marketing world in the last 10 years. They allow a marketer or business owner to bid for digital ad space at the top of search engine results and pay a cost per click if their ad is clicked upon. While the average cost per click varies greatly between industries and levels of competition, this can produce massive returns when done right. Here are some of the pros and cons to PPC advertising:

  • Fast Launch Time – Google ads have been revamped over the past few years and are no so user friendly that your mom can set up a quick start ad campaign and have ads live within the hour. Google takes the reigns on most of the set up and you can bare the fruit the same day.

  • Controlled Spend – Google ads allows you to pick a daily spend limit. While it fluctuates a little here and there because of keyword traffic volume, at the end of the month you are always fairly close to your monthly budget. Just take your total ad spend budget for the month and divide by 30.4 to get your daily spend limit.

  • Keyword Research Help – Google Ads have a keyword suggestions help section for quick launch users and a keyword research tool for manual setup. This helps you find out which keywords and phrases are being searched the most in your geographical area so you can plan your ads accordingly.

  • Great Support – If you’re having problems with your ads, Google Ads experts are just a call away and are very helpful and patient with whatever problem you’re trying to fix. They will also email you a few weeks into your campaign and offer a free call with an account strategist to help improve your ads.

  • Lack of Control – If you are not particularly tech savvy with Google Ads, then the easiest method is to choose the “smart campaign” quick ad creation process. As we all know, the easiest way is not always the best way. Google makes lots of the choices for you with this route and leaves out some very vital decisions that can greatly effect the cost you pay per click and the quality of traffic, and therefore the success of your campaigns.

  • Option Overload – For those that are detail oriented, the manual Google Ads setup gives you control over a seemingly endless amount of choices and options. While Google does their best to guide you through this, their advice is not always as transparent and robust as you would hope. It’s way too easy to overlook some crucial components during set up, and let me tell you, they have no problem taking your ad spend money and leaving you with the blame for your campaign’s lack of results.

  • No Longevity – Your ads only run as long as your account is in good standing. If you have a bad month and you can’t pay google what you owed last month and need to cut off your marketing spend, your traffic stops immediately. When your funnel of new clients dries up your bad month will likely carry into next month as well.

Search Engine Optimization

SEO has been a buzz topic over the past few years. With Google’s traffic numbers clocking in at approx 63,000 searches per second (Yes, that’s about 2 TRILLION searches per year!), it’s easy to see why business owners have been steadfast in their pursuit of this golden goose. Here are some of the pros of SEO:

  • Organic Traffic – If you pick your keywords right and climb the SEO ladder, organic traffic is the long term jackpot goal. Unlimited, free, relevant traffic driven to your website will quickly turn your website into the most important asset that your business owns.

  • Perpetual Growth – Once your SEO is doing it’s thing and you’re climbing the charts, you’ll start noticing other websites and blogs linking to yours without you having to ask them. People will reach out to you and connections will blossom all over the place. Essentially what this means is scalable growth without the accompanying scaling expenditures.

  • Difficult to Measure – SEO is a long term game. The changes you make to help build your SEO can often take 6 months or more to return results. This makes it very difficult to gauge if what you’re doing is working, and can be extremely frustrating if you don’t know what you’re doing, and you find out in 6 months that you changed something and it made things worse.

  • Expensive – Playing the SEO game will cost you, both in time and money. This is especially hard to justify when it doesn’t show an immediate return. There are many moving parts that rely on each other. Having someone make edits to your website, write blogs, keep up with social media content, secure guest posts, etc, all add up.

  • Lack of Control – If you are not particularly tech savvy, then the easiest method is to choose the “smart campaign” quick ad creation process. As we all know, the easiest way is not always the best way. Google makes lots of the choices for you with this route, and leaves out some very vital decisions that can greatly affect the cost you pay per click, quality of traffic, and therefore the success of your campaigns.

  • Changing Algorithms – Google changes it’s rules and factors for how it ranks websites regularly. The methods you used to help you climb up the SERP rankings yesterday could have you penalized or temporarliy suspended from search results tomorrow. The difference between white hat and black hat SEO strategies is a pivotal component in the longevity of your SEO performance.


While it may appear that PPC won this battle, our actual answer for clients is: BOTH! You need both paid ads and SEO! PPC is a great short term strategy that yields immediate results, and SEO is a long term strategy that can reduce your ad spend costs when you start pulling in organic traffic. Your business can’t thrive off of just a short term or just a long term strategy, and neither can your marketing plan! Either way, the goal here is traffic growth. These strategies go hand-in-hand and actually compliment each other when done properly and should be built congruently.

Hopefully this will give some insight into what you can expect for either route you decide to take. We recommend for most small businesses to start with PPC and get some revenue flowing, and then use part of the profits to plan for long term SEO growth as well.

Does this sound like something that could help your business grow this year? Get in touch with us today for a free consultation.