What’s the difference between paid adverts and organic traffic?

There are two methods of driving traffic to your website through the search engine results page: pay per click marketing and search engine optimisation. Both have their own benefits, features and limitations. In this blog, we’ll discuss the differences between pay per click and search engine optimisation marketing.


Pay per click marketing is instantaneous and gets your website in front of customers searching for specific keywords which you bid on. Search engine optimisation is a lengthy process which can take a while to see any results. SEO also requires users to constantly update their marketing to stay in-line with Google search algorithm updates and best practices which may affect their SERP ranking, something pay per click users don’t generally have to worry about as much.


Pay per click – as the name shows – is a paid service. You bid on each individual keyword and Google eventually works out a cost for how much you pay when a user clicks on your ad. You can set a daily budget and a maximum bid, although Google can disregard this and overspend on your campaigns. SEO is free unless it is outsourced to a digital marketing agency like Blue Whale Media. Many people may prefer the free method of SEO for gaining increased traffic, whilst others may be impatient and require immediate results and reach people further down the marketing funnel.


The snippets on a search engine results page differ based on whether it’s an organic result or a paid ad. Firstly, paid ads are clearly outlined as an ad with a green box saying “Ad.” Paid ads also appear at the top and at the bottom of the page, with organic results in between. Both snippets can be customised. Organic results can utilise structured data/SCHEMA markup code to display additional information, such as location, links to web pages beyond the home page etc. Paid ads allow for more customisation, such as prices, apps, limited offers/promotions and more.


SEO can only boost your website ranking on the search engine. Pay per click ads can quickly get your business to the top of results. However, you can also use paid ads in a variety of other locations. The Display Network allows you to use images, videos and HTML5 to advertise your website on 3rd party websites such as YouTube and Gmail. This gives your business a much wider and broader reach than organic SEO.

What Should I Use?

Deciding on whether to use PPC or SEO for marketing your online business can be a hard choice. There’s absolutely no harm in doing both! However, I have a simple view of approaching this problem. If your business is selling higher priced products or services and needs to be in front of customers fast, pay per click is the way to go. Since one purchase/conversion makes you a lot of money, you can afford to pay for clicks which don’t convert. If the opposite is true, SEO is the way to go. However, both marketing campaigns mean you are competing with other companies. In PPC you are competing to get your ad actually shown, in SEO you are competing to get a higher ranking.

Blue Whale Media

Blue Whale Media specialises in both pay per click and search engine optimisation marketing techniques. Conquer Google with a PPC campaign or aim for the top with SEO marketing! You can view our marketing services online or call us today for a free quote on 01925 552050.

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