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A lot of our clients ask us which method of marketing is better; PPC or SEO? The truth is, both!

Your SEO and PPC strategies shouldn’t work in silos, the efforts for both should be combined in order to achieve your marketing goals. Instead of competing against each other, use the strengths of both disciplines to improve your overall search performance.

Not sure what we mean by PPC and SEO? Search Engine results are divided into two parts; organic SEO results and PPC advertising:


What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of making a website achieve high rankings naturally on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) for given keywords.

What is PPC?

Pay Per Click (PPC) requires an advertiser to bid on keywords associated with an advertisement in order to achieve higher positions on Search Engine Results Pages for searches on that keyword. These appear both above and below organic listings with the green 'ad'' text.

What's the difference?

In a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) campaign, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is seen as the more strategic approach to online marketing and Pay Per Click (PPC) as being your tactical, fast response method.

The main difference between SEO and PPC is that the traffic coming from organic (SEO) is essentially free, while traffic generated from PPC ads is not free. As the name implies, you have to pay a cost per click on each ad placement.

Does SEO affect PPC or does PPC affect SEO?

One of the first questions asked by our clients is, “Can my PPC ads affect my site’s SEO?” or, “Can my SEO affect my PPC ads?” Technically, the answer is no - having PPC ads won’t affect your site’s ranking, and your site’s ranking can’t affect your ads. 

Having said that, SEO and PPC work in tandem to make your overall marketing plans better. Although there are no SEO benefits to having PPC ads, there are other benefits that can indirectly affect how well your website performs. 

It’s no secret that SEO is more sustainable long-term, but it can take a long time before results are realized. A PPC tactic can help to offset limited SEO results at the early stages of an SEO campaign as well as other benefits!

Here are five reasons why you should approach your marketing with both organic and paid search in mind:

1. Real-time keyword data

When planning your SEO strategy, utilise accurate data from PPC and trusted keyword research tools to prioritise which keywords to optimise for faster results. PPC & SEO working in tandem informs keyword and content strategies for organic keyword targeting and content development.

2. Test before you invest 

SEO can take a lot to time and effort to have your business rank in SERPs therefore can be quite budget heavy. Testing certain keywords performance via PPC can help you decide whether or not to invest your effort in SEO.

3. SEO your expensive keywords

High Cost-Per-Clicks can deter wanting to bid on certain keywords. So instead of paying for clicks that might not ever turn into any conversions, why not have your SEO team focus more heavily on these expensive keywords and build long-term momentum that can eventually fuel cash back into your PPC campaigns? 

4. Real-time experiments

Experimenting with different PPC ads and landing pages can help you figure out the right messaging that will perfectly fit searcher intent.

The problem with SEO is the delay between optimisation carried out and bottom-line impact. Tweaks to meta data won’t show until Google re-indexes the site and any on-page optimisation for a keyword won’t impact rankings for a considerable amount of time.

The beauty of PPC is it works instantly. Ad copy or bids that has been tweaked will give you visibility, click and conversion data 5 minutes later. This means you can test certain theories in PPC before you roll them out in SEO campaigns.

5. Use best performing ad copy to inform your organic content strategy

When a visitor clicks on a result (whether a PPC ad or organic listing) they expect to be taken to a page that closely matches the message in the result - if it doesn’t, you run the risk of the visitor bouncing. This scent trail should continue right through to the end of the conversion path for optimal results.

The issue faced here is, the PPC team spend copious amounts of time testing and perfecting ad copy but often have little control over the landing page’s messaging / calls to action / headlines etc. These marketers don’t typically have access, nor authority to edit a client’s website … this is where the SEO team comes in! When working together, a mutually beneficial landing page headline and copy can be agreed that gets results for both PPC and SEO teams.

So, there you have it! In a nutshell, there is no winner in the SEO vs PPC debate. Both marketing techniques have been proven to work better when applied together.

Is this the approach your marketing team is taking? Get in touch with us today and we can support your business.


About the author



Michelle is part of our digital marketing team, specialising in PPC. She makes sure that our clients products and services are seen by the right people.