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SEO vs. PPC: Which Is Better for Digital Marketing?

SEO vs. PPC: Which Is Better for Digital Marketing?

Table of Contents

What’s the Difference Between SEO and PPC?

Many marketers are still trying to decide if they should put more of their efforts into PPC or SEO. The truth is there is no perfect answer. It depends on a marketer’s current situation, the marketplace, and their ultimate objectives. On one hand, organic or SEO marketing can often deliver more volume at a lower cost per lead than PPC. On the other hand, paid marketing provides quick results and valuable insights.

There are those marketers who possess the ability to integrate both approaches. Organic traffic is free. Traffic from PPC comes with a cost for each click. These are the marketers who gain the most from their efforts.


There are a number of benefits that PPC offers:

  • One of the main advantages of paid marketing is on-page positioning. Paid search can dominate what users see above the fold. They’ll see PPC ads on their desktop and mobile device before anything else. Even if they choose to scroll past your ads, they’ll still see them.
  • Since your ads are advertisement, you have a lot more control over marketing messages and delivery. You can dominate pages with sitelinks, bullet points, locations, and pricing, to name several options. You can also get creative with your content. A/B testing should be a part of your overall strategy.
  • PPC can also be cost effective and a good value for your budget. It’s up to you to spend as much or as little as you choose. Website owners only pay when a customer reaches their website.
    Paid marketing is all about targeting your audience. Demographics, language, location, and device used take on a whole new meaning.
  • PPC campaigns are also quite measurable. Those running a campaign can quickly measure the campaign’s effectiveness.
  • Customize your PPC campaign and make big or small adjustments in real time. It all depends on your goals.
  • Learn immediately how your campaign performs. Organic marketing tactics, while effective, can take longer to make a difference.

SEO: Improving Organic Traffic

  • By utilizing the right keywords, you can give your website a ranking boost and put it right in front of potential customers. Organic SEO marketing methods can drive brand awareness and make your branding stick.
  • Branding is the element that can increase your company’s visibility. SEO’s intent is to inspire customers to trust and associate with your brand. SEO allows you to become the authoritative source around your topics of choice.
  • Trust and credibility are likely to occur when your website returns the results that users look for and expect. When your website is visible, your business gets a stamp of approval.
  • Of course, the main purpose of SEO marketing is to drive consumer awareness, educate prospects, and propose why they should purchase your products or services.
  • SEO can offer a good return on investment. It can also help improve your PPC efforts. While never easy, it is generally more cost-effective than other marketing approaches for delivering greater brand awareness and increasing traffic and conversions.
  • SEO or organic marketing offers a different degree of sustainability. SEO efforts and organic traffic will never dry up because you stopped paying for ads. When your marketing spending is cut back, SEO can help sustain and grow your business. You simply have to keep at it like your life depends on it.

Gaining visibility through organic search is never a quick and easy thing to accomplish. The good thing about establishing yourself in organic search results is that the competition simply cannot buy their way into a position that will affect you in any major way.

When PPC and SEO Work Together

Lots of marketers approach SEO and PPC as completely separate entities. Yes, they’re different, but they’re actually two sides of the same coin. PPC and SEO can complement each other and lead to a more effective and successful digital marketing strategy. Consider the following:

  1. Both SEO and PPC together can result in greater visibility for your brand. The goal is to dominate with both methods to increase traffic. Increase traffic and you’ll likely increase leads and conversions.
  2. With SEO and paid marketing, you can share keyword data. Both campaigns can help you double your analytical results and discover those keywords with the highest rates of conversion.
  3. Many marketers use PPC ad copy that performs well for organic content strategies. With the knowledge gained, you should be able to create more effective page content, title tags, and meta descriptions. PPC testing can give you immediate results. What works for PPC often works for SEO.
  4. Monitor any negative PR about your company. British Petroleum is a perfect example of a company that bought ads and linked them to the keyword ‘oil spill.’ This allowed the company to control traffic when people queried the term oil spill. Visitors were directed to BP’s pages on their website. BP could control the message about what was happening with their cleanup efforts. You can control traffic in a similar way if ever you need to.

The social media landscape constantly changes. One of the reasons for this is the result of highly targeted advertising. With paid marketing, you can choose your audience and the type of ad. There will be a lot of granular information that you can receive from your audience as a result.

Choose Your Digital Marketing Company Wisely

You’re going to need to work with digital marketing professionals that know the landscape like the back of their hand. Research before you make a hiring decision and seek to find a digital marketing agency that fits your company’s style and vision. Keep in mind, too, that SEO, SEM, and PPC take time and effort. Look for the best value, and not always the best price. Remember that your work in PPC and SEO is never finished. The moment you stop planning, innovating, and analyzing is the moment your website can take a hit and lose its ranking.

At Advanced Digital Media Services, our team of search engine marketing experts can handle all the hard work for you so you can focus more on what you’re best at in growing your business!

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See if we are a fit for your digital media goals!

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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