SEO vs. PPC: What’s The Difference? Which One Is Better?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization while PPC stands for Pay Per Click (advertising). Both of them are very popular ways of getting traffic to your website. But what’s the difference?

In this article I’m going to show you the difference between SEO and PPC, and giving you some insights into which one might be better – if any – for you to run a profitable website.

SEO vs. PPC what’s the difference

The Main Difference Between SEO And PPC

Defining the main difference between SEO and PPC is relatively easy.

PPC is an advertising technique, where you spend money on every click to your website (hence the name – pay per click). You pay for the company showing your ad. E.g. if you use AdWords for your PPC campaigns, you pay for Google, the company that actually shows your ads. In this sense, PPC traffic is paid traffic.

seo vs ppc

On the other hand SEO is the technique of “manipulating” the organic search results. You might pay for an SEO agency, SEO tools or courses, or even for creating content, but you don’t pay for the company running the search engine itself. So in this sense, SEO traffic is free traffic.

OK, now you know the main difference between SEO and PPC. But this doesn’t necessarily gives you an answer to whether you should use SEO or PPC to get more visitors to your website.

Difference Between SEO And PPC: Which One Is Better?

Bad news is, there is no such thing that best or even better technique in online marketing. You can use very different techniques even in the same niche, and get great results.

SEO and PPC are completely different techniques, just because of the fact that one relies on paid traffic and the other on free traffic. But this doesn’t mean one is better than the other.

In fact, here is what I’ve observed. If you really want to make money online, if you really want to monetize your website, you must use both SEO and PPC.

You must have a profitable online business based on PPC and other paid techniques, and then get traffic via SEO to build a really lucrative business. Or vice versa, build a profitable business on search traffic, and than monetize the hell out of your website using PPC.

And now break this down to the very benefits of both techniques – SEO and PPC.

SEO vs. PPC: Pros And Cons Of SEO

Benefits Of SEO

  • You don’t pay for the actual traffic to your website.
  • It’s a 100% passive way of generating traffic. Once you get good results, you usually keep them and traffic just comes to your website.
  • To be successful in SEO, you don’t need a big initial investment.
  • Very easy to scale up.

Cons Of SEO

  • It takes time to get results in search engines. Usually months or even years for really competitive keywords.
  • You never have immediate response to see if something is working or not.
  • Difficult to test different versions.
  • Definitely more difficult to monetize SEO traffic than PPC traffic.
SEO vs. PPC what is the difference

SEO vs. PPC: Pros And Cons Of PPC

Benefits Of PPC

  • You can have instant results with a PPC campaign.
  • It’s easier to monetize PPC traffic than SEO traffic.
  • You have immediate response whether your ads are working or not.
  • You can test several different ads literally in a day (provided you have enough funds).

Cons Of PPC

  • You need to spend money in order to get PPC visitors.
  • With no experience, you usually need a big initial investment.
  • It only works as long as you pay.
  • You need money if you want to scale up your campaigns.

4 thoughts on “SEO vs. PPC: What’s The Difference? Which One Is Better?”

  1. You are totally right and you have to utilize both SEO & PPC to get ht results we all dream of. However, I have to totally disagree with your statements regarding PPC has an upfront cost (True) but SEO is free. I would agree that there is no upfront financial cost but SEO cost something even more valuable than money, your time, time in which you will never get back as where we can always make more money. I think and this is just my opinion that when first starting out, we are all trying to keep the costs down and so an SEO strategy is a more attractive option at first and I believe this is a good move. By the time your hitting the end of your second quarter you should be making some revenue and I think this is where SEO does scale up but it sort of morphs into a PPC campaign. and I think this is a great way to reinvest back into the business because you have an SEO program that’s working, the PPC will free up a lot more time to focus elsewhere and driving that much more traffic and if done correctly can give an image of a trend which is always a stellar thing to be.
    Start focusing on the conversions, scale the whole business, sell it and start a new project (selling on an upswing can also be beneficial, at least it has been for me) diversify the sales platform, there are tons of things you can do with that extra time and focus, you could even sniper your SEO at this point if you want. But for me I have always found the growth, the scalability and the greatest number of do-able options arouse when I followed this timeline and sequence of events regardless of my niche I actually found this was the easiest thing to date I figured. Now if I could be half as successful as this routine has worked for me, I would be laughing…I’m not laughing but I AM having fun and I believe you can not put PPM (Pay per moment) on that.

  2. Hey,

    Fascinating post!

    It is an excellent step by step guidance towards PPC and SEO.I have cleared my idea about both.Now a days organic SEO is much in demand. In my opinion both are better be used: PPC for short-term, nearly instant results while organic traffic builds up and eventually brings you a nice surprise.PPC can produce results short term while SEO it takes more time.

    And thank you for sharing this post. Please share more post like this. Do you think that the click rate between having a #1 organic ranking and a paid ad are much difference when it comes to conversions?

    Anjali Desai

  3. Thanks for the SEO vs PPC analysis. In my opinion both are better be used: PPC for short-term, nearly instant results while SEO organic traffic builds up and eventually brings you a nice surprise.


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