SEO vs PPC Comparison – Which is the Path for You?

You know search engines are valuable for driving visitors. But you’re at a crossroad.

Should you go the paid route? Using AdWords to bring in traffic?

Or take the organic road? And try reaching the top of search engines without the cost.

And because search engines offer you two options, we wanted to compare both.

Keep reading to make an informed decision.

SEO vs PPC Comparison – Two Paths of Search Engine Marketing

SEO and PPC look similar on the search results page, but there’s a lot that separates them. Here’s a breakdown to get you on track.


SEO – There’s no cost associated with SEO. If your keeping SEO in-house, the only resource required is the effort.

PPC – PPC comes with a price tag. And the bill can run up if you’re not careful.


SEO – When you publish content, there’s no restriction to where your result is shown. Unless you turn off your results for certain locations in Search Console.

PPC – Targeting plays a much bigger role in PPC. It’s the opposite of SEO. You’ll choose where your results are shown. The onus is on you to go as broad as you want.


SEO – This is where SEO falls short on it’s PPC counterpart. Making your results search engine visible is no easy task. Don’t be surprised to see some of your pages buried way down in the search results.

PPC – With PPC, you can control where your ad is shown. If you know PPC best practices and are willing to outbid competitors, you can own top positions for valuable keywords.


SEO – This is another huge divergence. SEO shows simple results. Usually,  organic results only show Page title, URL, and Page description. This simplicity is appealing to users scanning results.

PPC – Search engines brand PPC results with an “Ad” Icon. In recent years Google has made the ad icon more subtle, but searchers know it’s present.


SEO – To rank high through SEO, you’re going to need time, effort, and skill. It’s not a short-term game, nor is it easy. But it’s worth the investment in the long run.

PPC – PPC ads are more simple. You know exactly where your ads are showing, what times, and what keywords are triggering them. But PPC is also difficult. To compete in paid search, you need savvy and experience.


SEO – SEO is effective because users are finding your results through their own research. It’s a great tactic for generating a steady stream of visitors. And if you’re content is valuable, these visitors will turn into customers.

PPC – PPC is also effective. But because there’s a cost associated with PPC, you’ll want to make sure your driving business. And with the right targeting, PPC works like a charm for this.

Which Route to Choose – SEO or PPC

So where which tactic is best for you?

It depends on your preferences. If you’re looking to drive leads in specific geographic locations, PPC is a better option.

If you’re looking to boost brand awareness and increase your site traffic, SEO is the way to go.

When choosing, make sure to look into the factors I mention here. And let us know if there are any other SEO vs. PPC factors to keep in mind in the comments below.

Jon Kaspszak

Jon is an avid digital marketer and works in software marketing. You can find him on LinkedIn. He would love to hear from you!

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