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Pay Per Click Or Search Engine Optimization: Which Is Better?

Most Websites Need Both SEO and PPC

Originally Published: July 3, 2007

Pay per click advertising (PPC)

PPC Advantages:

  • You get instant results. If you advertise your website on pay per click search engines, then you will get traffic now and not several months later.
  • PPC ads are perfect for time limited offers such as holiday sales.
  • You can stop PPC ads at any time.
  • PPC ads make it easy to test different keywords and landing pages.
  • PPC ads also work with websites that are not very well designed and wouldn't get good search engine rankings.
  • PPC ads allow you to bid on a large amount of keywords, including misspellings and other keyword variations that you cannot put on your web pages.

PPC Disadvantages:

  • PPC advertising can become very expensive if you bid on the wrong keywords or if you don't calculate the maximum bid price correctly.
  • Click fraud can be a problem. Not all clickers are potential customers.

Search engine optimization (SEO):

SEO Advantages:

  • Traffic through organic search engine results is almost free if the up-front work has been done.
  • After optimizing your website you can use your money for different things and the optimized site will still run.
  • A larger number of visitors and search result clickers is not a problem.
  • Search engine optimization delivers long term results that don't require permanent financial input.

SEO Disadvantages:

  • SEO can be relatively time-consuming up-front.
  • SEO can require a redesign of your web pages to make your website search engine friendly. However, this usually also results in a better user experience.

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