Weighing the Pros and Cons of SEO and PPC

In the years we’ve spent blogging about the virtues of search engine optimization (SEO) and online advertising in general, we haven’t focused much on the benefits of pay-per-click (PPC) marketing. Since PPC is a valuable and increasingly popular marketing technique, let’s rectify that right now. But first…

Which Is Better: SEO or PPC?

Many online advertisers offer both SEO and PPC services as a way of accommodating the various needs of their clients. Some clients might seek a gradual, sustainable, and affordable marketing plan, and thus opt for SEO; others might need immediate results and have extra room in their budget to pay for speed, and thus opt for PPC. Both options are ideal for different advertising goals, which is why it’s important to work with a knowledgeable, honest specialist who can determine which marketing tactic is best for your business. Each method has its pros and cons, so let’s dive in without any further ado.

SEO Is Better for Beginners

Any online advertising professional worth their salt will tell you that SEO is the best place to start when embarking on a web marketing campaign for your company. It’s important to begin your campaign with content that’s optimized for keyword relevance so you can demonstrate clear value to the search engines. Plus, since SEO is a gradual, ongoing process that requires a few weeks or months of patience before steady results kick in, costs are usually pretty affordable. Pros:

  • Budget-friendly prices
  • Good for long-term marketing
  • Exposure on platforms other than search engines
  • Can stand alone as a marketing strategy


  • Immediate results not available
  • Cannot be freely turned on and off

SEO takes a long time, so what makes it worth the wait? Read our previous blog post, “SEO Is Crucial. Make Sure You Can Afford It.” 

PPC Is Better for Fast Promotion

As we’ve grown as a company, we’ve embraced the unique value that PPC provides. It’s extremely fast and keyword-targeted, which makes it an ideal strategy for promoting specific services on an immediate timeline. Moreover, since PPC operates like an auction and requires regular bidding for certain keywords, you have full control over how much you wind up spending. Bids on popular keywords become expensive rather quickly, but the immediate results usually pay off for clients who are willing to spend lots of money up front, and respectable results can often be secured with less popular, more affordable keywords. Pros: 

  • Immediate results
  • Best for temporary and seasonal promotions
  • Offers more control overall
  • Can be started and stopped at any time


  • PPC keyword bids may become very expensive
  • Exposure limited to search results pages

For Best Results, Use Both!

If you want to see fast results but don’t want to spend exorbitant sums on PPC keyword bids, your best bet is to combine SEO and PPC. By starting with SEO, you’ll have a keyword-relevant website that can be found in top search results, Google+ Local, and popular business directories. Then, once your web presence is established and your relevance proven, you can bid on PPC keywords at a lower cost, thanks to your site’s high-quality content. (Learn more about how SEO makes PPC more effective by reading our previous blog post, “Optimize Your Site Before You Bid on AdWords.“) Fortunately, Prospect Genius offers a variety of SEO and PPC services.

  • If ROI is your primary advertising concern, our Core package offers the biggest bang for your buck through broad SEO strategies.
  • If you only want to promote a seasonal service, our Boost package can leverage targeted PPC for a three-month period.
  • If you don’t want to wait for results, our PPC package will promote your business’s top services right away.
  • If you want to maximize lead generation, our Premium package combines the best of SEO and PPC to achieve immediate results while establishing a long-lasting web presence, ultimately leading you to pay less for PPC keywords as your campaign continues.

With customizable SEO and PPC, as well as a cross-section of other online marketing strategies, Prospect Genius has the tools you need for success. To speak with a specialist who can advise you on which option is best for your business, don’t hesitate to call or e-mail us now!