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SEO vs PPC: Which Generates Better ROI?

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Are you thinking of creating a website for your business but find it hard to get people to notice you online? This is mainly because the internet is cluttered with different content, ranging from advertisements, blog posts, e-books, images, videos, and a lot more. Therefore, marketers use different strategies to get users to them. Two of the most famous and effective strategies to generate website traffic are SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay-per-click).

SEO marketing utilizes a website’s organic content and the careful use of keywords to make a business’ posts appear at the top of the search results. On the other hand, PPC is a paid marketing method wherein businesses bid for an advertisement slot in search engines for their posts to appear on top of the search results. They then pay the search engine a certain amount every time their post/ad is clicked.

SEO vs PPC: Is One Better Than the Other?

We get that you want to know which strategy will give you more traffic and more profit, but like any strategy, it is not one size fits all. Organic marketing might be the best strategy for your business, but it might not work for another. Conversely, it could also be that paid marketing works for another’s business but not for yours.

So, instead of arguing which one is better, SEO vs PPC, you should instead focus more on what you want to achieve from your digital marketing strategy. This way, you will be able to choose which one best suits your needs. We have outlined a set of factors for you to consider and which strategy would work best for each factor.

Time and Sustainability

For most businesses, time is of the essence. You want to earn profit as early as possible. If you’re looking for a fast and short-term strategy, PPC would be a good choice. PPC gives you instant results because of its features for locating and targeting consumers. Once you are able to win the bid for the ad slot, you can instantly count on seeing more visitors to your website. The drawback for PPC, however, is that it is not sustainable in the long run. Once the business stops paying for ads, your posts will no longer be given the top spot in the search results.

On the other hand, while SEO posts take longer to gain traction and appear at the top of search results, once they do, it becomes easier to stay consistently at the top. If you are looking to invest in a more sustainable, long-term strategy, then we strongly suggest SEO.


SEO has been proven to be cheaper in the long term. The cost of setting up and maintaining both strategies is largely the same. The main difference lies in the fact that you will be continuously charged for every click you get in PPC ads. Bidding wars for PPC ads can also get pretty expensive. Since an ad slot ensures that your posts appear at the top of search results, many businesses bid for it, thereby increasing the bid price.


SEO content is trickier. You would have to take into account the algorithms of search engines for choosing top posts and incorporate it into yours. It is more time-consuming, given that the only way for you to reach the top would be to create carefully crafted posts with the right keywords.

In PPC, while the content of your posts is important to keep users engaged, you are ensured the top spot in search results, the quality of your posts notwithstanding.

These are just some of the many important factors you need to consider when choosing which digital marketing strategy to use. Remember that they are also not mutually exclusive. Having the resources to invest in both and applying them together would greatly benefit your business.

Based on the factors above, for example, you can use paid marketing for short-term goals like raising awareness for a new product, while at the same time using organic marketing to maintain traffic for your website and staple products.

Still don’t know which strategy best fits you? Contact us at Advanced Digital Media Services to learn more about our SEO services. We are committed to helping your business grow by improving your digital marketing strategies.

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ADMS Paul Donahue

About Paul Donahue

Paul Donahue has been in the digital marketing realm since 2009. He has an intense passion for creating a dynamic digital presence for his clients through modern websites that rank well on Google. His company’s website is Colorado’s top-ranked SEO company. Author of three books published on Amazon, he is particular about staying abreast with the constantly changing SEO and digital marketing industry trends.

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