Both SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC (Pay-Per-Click) have a single purpose in the wider strategy of digital marketing – increasing the traffic to your website, which in turn ranks it higher in search engine results.
As you can already tell, the key difference between the two is that one (SEO) is free
while the other (PPC) is paid for through Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Yahoo Search Marketing and many others.
And it is precisely that difference between the two that determines their effectiveness and usage scenarios.
SEO builds traffic through careful honing of content so it is more aligned with keywords and phrases that are most effective at connecting user’s input search and the search engine’s results. Additionally, through building quality inbound links to the website, search engines further rate its relevance
This process outputs organic results, which garners much greater credibility with the end-user. For instance, it has already been researched and established that organic results are 8.5 times more likely to be pursued than paid ones. You can recall your own Google habits to see the truth of it; after a while you simply become blind to paid, sponsored links like they are not even there. There is hardly an instance when something openly sponsored received greater authority compared to a source where user thought he got there with his own constructed search.
On the other hand, PPC does tend to have 50% higher conversion rates compared to SEO, which is attributed to the fact that search result’s text and landing page are specifically tailored by advertisers.
Given all this you might think that SEO is the clear winner, since even the higher PPC conversion rates are not high enough to compensate for the core SEO advantage of garnering greater credibility with the user.
However, it is precisely this core advantage of the SEO method that is also its disadvantage. That is to say, it takes a long time to build that kind of organic search result and the aura of authority with the user.
With PPC campaigns, it would take only a day to be on the first page results for a whole range of targeted keywords and phrases, something which is near impossible to accomplish with SEO. Although it would take quite a bit of money for both ads and hiring a firm to manage it, which is highly recommended if you want the PPC campaign to turn out successful.
So, as you can begin to see, both SEO and PPC have advantages and disadvantages, which means that they must be utilized in unison, not in the absence of each other.