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SEO or PPC? Determining the Best Strategy for Your Company 

In 2024, search engines like Google are vital for businesses looking to connect with customers online. Two key options for search engine marketing are SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising.  

The dilemma for many companies is determining which strategy makes the most sense based on goals, target audience, and budget.  

This blog post explores the pros and cons of both SEO and PPC to help guide your decision on which marketing channel is best for your company. 

Understanding SEO and PPC 


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) refers to the strategies and techniques used to help a website rank higher in the unpaid "organic" search results of search engines like Google and Bing.  

The goal is to earn a top ranking for keywords and phrases relevant to your business so you appear prominently when users search for products or services you offer. 

Proper SEO requires optimising a website's content, code, speed, structure, and other technical elements. This helps search engines understand your pages and recognise your site as a quality, authoritative source worthy of a high position.  

SEO is an ongoing process that may take months to see results, but it builds organic traffic and visibility over the long-term. 


Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is a form of digital marketing that involves paying to display ads on search engine results pages and other websites.  

With PPC, businesses bid on keywords and phrases to target their ads to people searching for those terms. When searchers click your ad, you pay a small fee, hence "Pay Per Click". 

PPC provides immediate visibility because your ads appear right on the first page of Google or Bing when keywords are searched. You can control factors like geo-targeting, budgets, and timing with precision.  

While PPC requires consistent ad spending, it allows you to get your brand in front of motivated searchers right away. 

Benefits of SEO 

Sustainable Organic Traffic 

One of the main advantages of investing in SEO is its ability to deliver sustainable organic traffic to your website over time.  

Rankings earned through SEO efforts will persist as long as you continue optimising on-page and off-page factors. This consistent exposure builds trust and authority with search engines and visitors. 

Cost-Effective Marketing 

From a budget standpoint, SEO provides a highly cost-effective way to grow brand visibility and website traffic. Once the initial optimisation is complete, rankings can be maintained with minimal spending. SEO allows you to earn top placement through ongoing effort. 

High-Quality Targeted Visitors 

Properly executed SEO campaigns ensure people searching for your products/services can find your website and content through organic search.  

The traffic driven by relevant keywords tends to convert well because it indicates high intent. SEO takes time but the long-term traffic gains generally outweigh the upfront investment.

Benefits of PPC 

Immediate Visibility 

One of the biggest advantages of Pay-Per-Click advertising is the ability to achieve immediate results. Once your ads and campaigns are set up, your website and offers gain visibility right away on the first page of Google and other search engines. There's no waiting around for organic rankings. 

Precise Targeting 

PPC also provides precise targeting options to reach your ideal demographics. Factors like location, age, interests, and more can be used to micro-target your ads to those most likely to convert. You can even adjust targeting in real-time to refine campaigns and maximise your ad budget. 

Fast ROI Potential 

With the right keywords, landing pages, and bidding strategy, PPC can deliver a fast return on investment. You only pay when searchers click your ad, so the leads and sales generated can quickly outweigh the costs of well-optimised pay-per-click campaigns. This makes PPC ideal for short-term goals like promotions. 

Determining Whether SEO or PPC Is Best 

Assessing Business Goals 

When evaluating SEO versus PPC, carefully consider your core business goals and how you define success.  

If you are focused on long-term objectives like building brand authority, increasing awareness, and establishing your company as a leading industry resource, SEO is likely the better choice. By securing authoritative organic rankings, you can position your brand as a market leader over time as sustained organic traffic shapes perception month after month. 

On the other hand, if you have short-term goals like promoting a seasonal sale, driving immediate traffic to a newly launched landing page, or generating leads rapidly for a new product launch, PPC is likely more aligned. With PPC campaigns, you can achieve instant exposure on day one to deliver the fast returns and conversions you want to see. 

Evaluating Target Audience 

When it comes to audience targeting, SEO has the distinct advantage of visibility to a much wider, more general audience across unpaid searches.  

Your brand surfaces in organic results for anyone searching your relevant keywords and topics, regardless of their location, interests, or demographics. This broad organic reach builds recognition and grows your potential customer base. 

Alternatively, PPC gives you the ability to micro-target your ads and have them appear only for very specific subsets of customers.  

You can refine targeting based on geography, age, interests, purchase history, and more. This level of precision ensures your ads are seen exclusively by those most likely to convert for your business. 

Considering Costs 

From a budget standpoint, SEO does require significant upfront investment in optimising your site and creating high-quality content consistently over time. This might come in the form of, for example, a website audit or investing in a new content strategy. However, once established, costs are relatively minimal as long as you continually publish fresh content and monitor your rankings. 

With PPC, you can achieve faster results, but the trade-off is the need for continuous ad spending to maintain visibility. Your budgets have a direct correlation with reach and traffic.  

Over time, ambitious PPC campaigns with aggressive targets can become very expensive to sustain results. Be sure to factor expected ROI into your cost analysis - if you have limited budgets but need immediate returns, PPC may be the more prudent choice. 

How SEO and PPC Work Together 

While SEO and PPC have been compared in this article, the two strategies work very well together as part of a comprehensive digital marketing approach. Each has strengths that can complement and support the other. 

Used in combination, SEO and PPC can maximise your brand's visibility across both organic and paid search channels. SEO establishes your website authority, site users will encounter unpaid results for relevant queries. PPC puts your brand directly in front of motivated searchers ready to click and convert. 

Your organic and paid search efforts should coordinate to provide a consistent experience. Make sure messaging and offers align across PPC ads and landing pages. Use SEO content to inform keyword targeting and provide value for paid ad visitors once on your site. 

With a solid search marketing foundation of SEO-driven organic traffic, PPC ads can attract qualified searchers during critical times like product releases.  The combined effect is greater visibility and traffic across multiple channels, leveraging the unique strengths of both strategies. 


Determining the right search engine strategy - SEO, PPC, or both - depends on your business goals, target audience, and resources.  

As you evaluate options for your company, focus on how each can support your objectives and deliver value. SEO builds sustainable traffic while PPC drives conversions. For many businesses, a combination optimised by search marketing experts is ideal. 

At SpiderDigital, we offer comprehensive SEO and PPC services tailored to your needs. Our data-driven approach helps brands rank higher in organic and paid search results. We handle technical SEO audits, content strategy, linking building, campaign management, and more. 

See how our expert team can develop an integrated search strategy with maximum impact. Contact SpiderDigital today! 


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