SEO vs. PPC: When to Optimize and When to Pay for Traffic

Most of the time, the solution to your problem boils down to choosing between two marketing strategies: search engine optimization (SEO) or pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.

But which method is suitable for you? Is it better to pursue an organic-first approach and find consumers through search engine rankings, or is it better to invest in an advertisement at the top of a keyword results page?

In this article, we’ve explored what you can expect to achieve from each of these two acquisition strategies. 


Search engine optimization (SEO) can help your content rank high on search engines, making it more likely that your audience would click and trust your content.

SEO is also more successful for local searches and may help you maintain a stronger online presence for a longer period. 

Pay-per-click (PPC) is an acquisition technique that needs you to pay ad money to get your content in front of a targeted audience when they search for certain keywords online.

SEO vs. PPC: Which is better?

Use SEO if…

  • You’re looking to maximize your long-term return-on-investment (ROI).
  • Your marketing budget is low.
  • You want to create content that reaches your audience at different stages of the sales funnel.
  • You want to build your brand authority.

Use PPC if…

  • You want quick results.
  • You’re promoting a time-sensitive offer, like a holiday sale.
  • You want to direct your audience to a sales or landing page.
  • Your product is novel or first-of-its-kind.

How to Make SEO and PPC Work For You

Instead of choosing between SEO or PPC, why not combine the two strategies and make them work for you?

Here’s how you can get the best of both worlds.

Create retargeting ads.

Did someone visit your site, probably the pricing or check-out page, without buying?

You can easily use a retargeting ad to prompt these visitors, even after they’ve left your site, to come back and make a purchase.

Promote website content with social media ads.

While you want your content to rank organically, you can give it a quick boost by promoting it on social media.

Not only do these kinds of ads help with content distribution, but they could potentially help you acquire essential backlinks that’d boost your rankings.

Also, it’s going to be a shame not to promote your latest blog post, guide, report, or case study after spending hours creating it.

Collect data From ads to improve your SEO strategy.

PPC campaigns grant you access to a lot of data — keyword search volumes, keywords your competitors are bidding for, highest converting calls-to-action, and so on.

You’d be able to build better SEO tactics with less work if you used all of this data.

SEO vs. PPC Statistics


  • SEO drives almost 100% more traffic than paid traffic.
  • 76% of B2B search traffic is trackable.
  • Google is responsible for over 92% of global web traffic.
  • 64% of marketers actively invest in SEO.
  • 99.2% of website pages have less than 100 backlinks.


  • PPC Ads can boost awareness by 80%. Despite ad blockers, PPC is still effective in increasing your brand’s reach and awareness.
  • The cheapest CPC in Google Ads search advertising is in the electronics industry at 83 cents per click.
  • 390 out of 506 surveyed by Clutch say they recognize a paid search ad when they see it.
  • The Google Display Network reaches 90% of Internet users worldwide.
  • Search advertising spend is expected to exceed $170 billion in 2021.

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