Combining SEO and PPC as a Strategy and their Pros and Cons


Search Engine Optimization has been in existence for a number of years, and with it came other alternatives that practitioners can use. There is no doubt that SEO is at the top of the list when ranking a website is the topic at hand.

Using SEO as a marketing strategy, however, also has its setbacks and problems that numerous people have often encountered. One main problem that SEO gives to people that use it, is that when it is conducted by a newly-established business.

The alternative for such businesses is to do PPC or Pay-Per-Click, which could give them immediate traction in the world of search results. Similarly, the availability of PPC will definitely give the people with low rankings in SERPs a chance to move up the results page ladder.

Surely, these two marketing strategies help websites rank higher, but the question still remains: which of the two is better than the other? Let’s find out.

The Advantages of SEO

The Advantages of SEO

  • Recognition

    • Your targeted keywords help with your website’s visibility in search engines, and it allows your business to be seen by potential customers as much as paid advertisements; which also helps develop brand awareness.
  • Brand Identity

    • Being visible in commercial searches and queries regarding the field of your business can considerably benefit your brand. Eventually, if you are still visible in the search results, you will become associated with informational queries regarding the field, and you will become a trusted brand; which will definitely affect your brand’s overall exposure.
  • Brand Credibility

    • Many people try to avoid ads as much as possible because of biases and general distrust. Conversely, there is a higher chance for people to click on organic results, so if your website shows up naturally in the SERPs, then you’ll be perceived as trustworthy; therefore establishing a sense of credibility with your audience.
  • Traffic

    • Using SEO will definitely give a considerable amount of traffic to your website, which will give you a chance to imbue the people that visit your website a sense of awareness regarding your website. Also, having increased traffic in your website will help you drive up sales or conversion rates; just as long as you have the capabilities to convince the visitors to buy or avail of your products and services.
  • Little to No Cost

    • Receiving traffic from organic searches, essentially, does not have any cost. But, if you are conducting SEO to develop your visibility in SERPS, you will have to spend a lot of time, effort, and money, to get to the first pages of the search results, but there is absolutely no cost for each click that you receive.
  • Improved Return on Investment (ROI)

    • Being in organic search results can provide some improvements in your return on investments (ROI) when compared to the old and traditional forms of paid advertisements, even more so than PPC
  • It is Sustainable

    • Unlike other marketing strategies, traffic through organic searches will not stop even if you stop spending money on it. That is the reason why SEO and organic searches are the preferred way to rank higher in the SERPs. Also, it will give you the chance to spend less while still being visible in organic results.
  • Enhanced Click-Through Rate (CTR)

    • As mentioned earlier, organic results get clicked more often than paid advertisements. While there are still minor exceptions, it is still an undeniable fact that you will get a higher CTR when you have a high organic listing than having a highly placed paid advertisement.
  • Scope

    • There are countless queries each and every day by people which will give you a higher CTR only if you have a strong organic visibility. By knowing facts like this one, you won’t have to pay for every click that you receive, and you also don’t need to advertise every content that your website has.
  • A Strategic Advantage

    • Being visible in organic search results will never be quick and easy. But, when you do reach a high rank in your SERPs, your competitors would not be able to immediately ‘buy’ their way to a higher rank than yours. This will definitely give you a strategic advantage over your competitors that only rely on PPC, or paid advertisements.

The Disadvantages of SEO

The Disadvantages of SEO

  • Traffic is Hard to Come By

    • It’s not always a sunny day when you’re conducting SEO. Oftentimes, organic traffic is hard to come by, and you will be encountering numerous competitors. Let’s say, for example, the nature of your business is a car manufacturing and sales, and your target keywords are led by car powerhouses like Honda, Toyota, and Ford; obviously, you will be having a hard time, and you might need to rethink your strategy.
  • Content Development

    • By using SEO as a marketing strategy, you will have to develop content for your website to increase your rankings; and you will be needing the necessary resources to give your website numerous quality content that your audience will enjoy.This will definitely be a problem for the people that cannot gather the resources needed. Similarly, mastering tactics like proper and sustainable link building will take up a lot of your precious time.

The Advantages of PPC

The Advantages of PPC

  • Positioning

    • Availing a paid advertisement will often place your advertised content on the first page of the search results. It does not matter what platform the user is on, the advertisement will always see the paid search ad (as long as their inputted keyword matches the one your advertisement has) even if they scroll past it.
  • Control

    • PPC ads are still advertisements, no matter how different they look. This entails that you’ll have more control on what to put in the ad, and you’ll have more space to input your marketing messages.
  • Visual Aid

    • If the essence of your business is selling goods, using PPC can definitely help you gain an increase in your website’s overall click-through rates. This is precisely because, in Google, you have the choice to include a picture of the product that you are selling in the advertisement.This is commonly known as product listing ads or PLAs. If you did not know, having a picture in your ad will considerably increase the rate of people that click on it. And this is a feature that is not available through organic search; which is a sure advantage.
  • Targeting

    • PPC is the definite way to reach your desired audience. This is due to the fact that PPC works based on search keywords, time of day, day of the week, language, the devices used, geography, and audiences based on past visits.It is obvious that organic search and traffic has a wider and broader scope than PPC, but is not specific on the target audience.
  • Speed

    • As mentioned, organic visibility takes a lot of time and hard work. But, a PPC ad can be done in a few days, and it only takes a few weeks to build up. This is one of the fastest ways to get noticed by users, and will also potentially help your business gain more sales.

The Disadvantages of PPC

The Disadvantages of PPC

  • Costs

    • PPCs can use up a lot of your money. Of course, there are exceptions to this but if you are not aware on the costs of availing these ads, it will most definitely spiral out of control – especially when you are trying to spread your ad to a larger scale.
  • Bidding Wars

    • It is a common occurrence for advertisers to get into a bidding competition to avail certain high-value ad space. Being a part of these bidding competitions can increase your spending rate, and will definitely cost you a lot of money.
  • Imitation

    • Essentially, putting up ads is very easy to do. So if a competitor sees that you are running ads in search engines, they can just do the same and potentially ruin your chances of gaining more customers.

The Verdict

SEO and PPC both have their own good and bad sides. Honestly, using any of these marketing strategies depends on your situation. If you are running a local business and only need a few leads per week, then a smaller-scale SEO strategy can help you become more visible on your local SERPs.

If you are a newly-established online retail store that cannot avoid going up against Amazon or eBay, then the fast-paced, immediate-results marketing campaign of PPC is the one for you.

Bear in mind, however, that a clear digital marketing strategy, and a list of your short-term and long-term goals are the quintessential must-haves in deciding on using SEO or PPC..or both?

Combining SEO and PPC as a Strategy

Looking at both SEO and PPC, their cons can be removed when they are used together, and their synergy when supporting one another is top-notch. By using both SEO and PPC, you will achieve greater results when compared to using them individually.  Here are some of the benefits that you can have when you use them both:

  • The data from keywords and conversion rates from PPC can be used in organic search.
  • The amount of traffic that your website receives will increase because of the clicks through the paid advertisements and CTRs through organic results.
  • High-cost keywords can be transferred to organic search, as to lessen your spending.
  • You can test your keywords in PPC before using it in your long-term SEO strategies.
  • Increases overall brand marketing and awareness in SERPs because of organic and paid visibility.

Key Takeaway

 For businesses, a unified strategy that uses both SEO and PPC is the optimal approach. The results that you might have garnered while only using one of these will definitely be doubled if you unify and use their strong advantages to your benefit. It is important, however, to keep in mind that this might not necessarily be true for every business or situation. This unified approach is best for those businesses that are looking for high-growth through aggressive marketing.

Can you now elevate your business and take the next big step with SEO or PPC?

Do you still need a little help?  Send us a message! We’d be happy to hear from you.

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Sean Si

About Sean

is a Filipino motivational speaker and a Leadership Speaker in the Philippines. He is the head honcho and editor-in-chief of SEO Hacker. He does SEO Services for companies in the Philippines and Abroad. Connect with him at Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Check out his new project, Aquascape Philippines.