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SEO vs. PPC: Finding the Best Time to Use Which Search Marketing Method

Understanding SEO vs. PPC

digital-marketing | seo vs. ppc

Search Engine Optimization (SEO):

SEO is a set of techniques and strategies aimed at improving the visibility of your website on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. SEO aims to get your website to appear on the first page of search engine results for specific keywords or phrases relevant to your business or content.


When to Use SEO:

  1. Consistent, Long-Term Results: SEO is a patient game. It takes time to climb the ranks in search engine results. SEO is your choice if you’re in it for the long haul and want sustained, consistent traffic over months and years.
  2. Building Authority: SEO is perfect when you aim to establish your website as an authority in your niche. It means becoming the trusted go-to source for information. Over time, as you consistently produce valuable content and earn high-quality backlinks, your reputation will grow, attracting increased visitors.
  3. Increasing Website Value: SEO is essential to sell your website or use it as an asset. The factors contributing to increasing your website’s value, such as traffic volume, ranking, and overall online presence, are all tied to effective SEO.
  4. Long-Term Investment: Remember that SEO is a challenging fix for traffic. It involves creating high-quality content, optimizing your website structure, and building a solid online reputation. It’s an investment in the long-term success of your site.


Pay-Per-Click (PPC):

On the other hand, PPC is a form of online advertising where you pay a fee each time someone clicks on your ad. These ads appear at the top or sides of search engine results and on various websites and social media platforms.


When to Use PPC:

  1. Immediate, Quick Results: PPC is your solution if you need traffic fast. Your ads are displayed instantly once you set up a PPC campaign. It’s highly effective for time-sensitive promotions, product launches, or events requiring an immediate influx of visitors.
  2. Precise Audience Targeting: PPC allows you to finetune your target audience. You can specify demographics like age, gender, income, education level, interests, and hobbies. This precision ensures your message reaches the exact people you want.
  3. Time-Sensitive Offers: PPC is your best bet for promotions or offers with deadlines. Waiting for SEO to produce results might lead to missed opportunities. At the same time, PPC can quickly drive traffic to your limited-time deals.
  4. Non-SEO-Friendly Websites: Some websites, like single-page squeeze pages, need more content depth and structure for effective SEO. In such cases, PPC can be the primary source of traffic.
  5. Dominating Search Results: PPC ads occupy prominent positions above organic search results. Suppose you want to ensure your website gets maximum visibility and clicks for specific keywords. In that case, PPC is essential to outperform competitors.


In conclusion, the choice between SEO and PPC is about something other than being better than the other. It’s about understanding your goals, timeline, and Audience. In many cases, combining both strategies forms a comprehensive online marketing approach, where SEO provides long-term stability, and PPC offers instant traffic and precision targeting when needed.