SEO or PPC? What Is Better?

The debate between SEO and PPC has been ongoing for years now, and we’re no closer to a solution than we were a decade ago. This is because there are quite a few differences between these two methods, and determining the better option is no simple task. Both can help you grow a successful business, but they do it in different ways. We’ll cover the benefits and downsides that come with investing in SEO and PPC to help you get a better understanding of these digital marketing tools.

Cost-effective organic SEO

One of the great benefits of organic SEO is the fact that it’s cost-effective. A small investment in improving this part of your digital marketing strategy can yield tremendous results. The better the organic SEO, the more users you can draw in and convert. If you’re looking to invest in advertising and marketing in the long run, SEO is considered the more cost-effective option.

While the original cost of a PPC campaign can be similar or slightly higher than SEO efforts, you will have to continue paying for PPC as it is used, while the SEO improvement is a one-time investment.

SEO works slower than PPC

As cost-effective as it may be, SEO is notably slow to work, especially when you compare it to a PPC campaign. After you optimise your website, you won’t start seeing results any time soon. It can even take months before you can expect to see notable improvements to organic traffic and conversions.

On the other hand, PPC can be quick to act. The moment the campaign begins, you’ll start receiving more traffic and clicks. The slow burn of getting your page to the top of search engine results may not be as effective if you’re looking for quick conversions.

PPC is scalable and easy to control

What if you want to measure the success of your investment in a digital marketing campaign? The amount you invest needs to be quantifiable so that you can determine how much you need to invest for further growth. Unfortunately, you can expect variable results depending on which method you decide to go for.

PPC is a lot more direct and scalable compared to SEO. Once you set your budget, you can estimate exactly how much you’ll receive for your investment. The number of leads and conversions is pretty predictable, and you aren’t taking any chances. SEO, on the other hand, isn’t as cut and dry. The process of optimisation can take longer than you expect, and you may have to invest more to achieve the desired results. This is especially true if there’s a lot of competition in the industry. As a result, PPC is considered more controllable and scalable compared to SEO.

PPC costs are increasing

To get good results with a PPC campaign, you have to pay good money. Ideally, the more you pay, the better you can expect your results to be. The only issue is the fact that competition is rising, and it’s never been greater than in recent times.

Even if you’re satisfied with your current projections for a PPC campaign, there’s no telling how much it will cost in the near future. You could end up having to invest much more to achieve the same exact results. Though, this depends on the keywords you aim for and how competitive they are.

SEO lasts a long while

One of the most important factors for a digital marketing strategy is its longevity. When you invest in optimisation, you want the results to bring in more traffic and conversions long after you complete the process. When it comes to SEO—This is exactly what you get. You can expect your organic SEO campaign to bring in customers and conversions indefinitely, though you may have to make tweaks as search engines change their criteria.

PPC only lasts as long as you invest in the campaign. After you turn it off—That’s pretty much it. You can’t expect it to work once you decide to cut it out of your campaign. An investment in SEO can bring in results for much longer, though it does require some optimisation efforts with time.

PPC results are unstable

We’ve mentioned that you need to tweak and adapt your SEO strategy to keep it effective, but even with this in mind, it’s still relatively stable. With good optimisation in the form of high link authority and quality content, you can expect your pages to stay at the top of search engine results for quite a while. This isn’t the case with PPC campaign investments.

PPC ad positions are subject to change that is independent of your efforts. Even with a sizeable investment into improvements in the campaign, you can still expect massive fluctuations. If your competitors change their bidding tactics, the effectiveness of your PPC campaign will change dramatically. Your SEO campaign, on the other hand, will continue to work even if you neglect it for a month or two.

SEO is constant work

There’s no such thing as a website that is 100% optimised. It’s an unreachable goal that you constantly work towards so that you can beat the competition. The more work you put into it, the better the results will be. Though, this obviously depends on how much work and resources you pour into the campaign and how much competitors invest in their efforts. You may reap the results for some time, but you still need to work on the campaign to maintain your top spot.

PPC is a done deal once you begin your efforts. A one-time investment will bring a certain level of results, and you don’t have to worry about optimising it until the next campaign. As long as you reach the necessary criteria the first time around, you’ll see significant results.

SEO is time-consuming

The amount of time SEO takes to do its job isn’t the only time-related downside. If you choose to do it yourself, SEO can be incredibly demanding. Many small Australian businesses dedicate plenty of time and resources to get the job done by an in-house team. Unfortunately, this means that even getting the campaign off the ground can take a long while. Combine this with how long it takes to work, and you might have to wait quite some time to see successful results.

A helpful alternative would be to outsource this aspect of your campaign. Plenty of companies enlists the help of SEO Sydney experts to boost the success of their digital marketing campaigns. Not only does this speed up the process, but it can also make it more effective. Agencies that specialise in SEO are notably better at achieving successful results than small-time in-house teams.


There’s no single metric that can help you determine whether SEO or PPC would be better for your digital marketing campaign. There are numerous factors to consider, and both of these strategies have their benefits and downsides.

As long as you do your research and learn about all the different elements that come with PPC and SEO marketing, you should be able to choose which would best suit your business. One will be better suited for specific campaigns, while the other may be better for other campaigns. It all depends on what type of results you need and how much time and effort you’re willing to invest.


PPC and SEO have many differences that set them apart. While their goals are similar within the context of digital marketing campaigns, you can expect different roads to success with one or the other. Take a look at the benefits and downsides we’ve covered and determine which one would be better suited for your marketing needs.


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