SEO & PPC: A Comparison

SEO and PPC are the two methods used in Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and are both great techniques to increase brand awareness, website traffic and generate new leads & customers. Many start-ups and small businesses wonder which marketing campaign they should use for their business and website, SEO or PPC? Today, we’ll make a simple comparison between the two! But first, what exactly is SEO and PPC?


SEO is Search Engine Optimisation and concerns the process of optimising your entire website, page by page and post by post, to rank higher in search engine results. SEO includes writing content for keywords and key phrases, setting image alt tags and setting your own Google snippet using meta description. This is the small snippet of information Google shows users after searching. SEO also includes keyword research to make sure you are ranking for the search terms your audience is actually using to find your services or products.


PPC is Pay Per Click marketing and is more of your standard advertising compared to SEO. Many search engines and websites allow users to create adverts which display on search engine results page with organic results. This includes Google, Bing and Amazon. As you can guess from the name, advertisers are charged when a user clicks on their ad. These ads appear visually similar to standard, organic search result snippets but allow for more powerful additions, called extensions. Extensions can be service catalogues, a list of products and prices, special promotions and discounts, a phone number which mobile users can use to directly call the advertiser, and more. PPC can also be used on 3rd party websites which allow paid adverts, such as YouTube. This is known as the Display Network whereas search results are known as the Search Network.

SEO Points

  • Positive
    • Free, no cost to set up or use if you do it yourself.
    • More traffic and customers.
    • Increased brand awareness.
    • User-friendly website.
  • Negative
    • Takes time to see results.
    • Takes time to update SERP snippet.
    • Can’t target specific people.
    • Can’t use negative keywords.
    • Can’t be ‘turned off and on.’
    • No built-in analytics.
PPC Points
  • Positive
    • Many targeting options including demographics, location and interests.
    • Automation such as bid adjustments, ad scheduling, etc.
    • Built-in analytics.
    • Multiple placements: search network and display network.
    • Remarketing
    • Ad extensions for extra information and functionality
    • Use negative keywords to stop ads showing up for certain words and search terms.
  • Negative
    • Not free.
    • Can become expensive.
    • Pay for clicks, regardless of conversion.
    • Takes up time: you have to watch campaign statistics and optimise accordingly.
    • Takes practice to set up an effective PPC campaign.

In conclusion, both SEO and PPC are great ways to market your online presence and increase traffic and customers. Small businesses without much of a marketing budget would fare better with SEO since it is free. However, businesses should aim to use both SEO and PPC to achieve more powerful results in their digital marketing.

Blue Whale Media are the local professionals for SEO and PPC digital marketing, as well as email marketing and social media marketing. Call us today on 01925 552050 to kickstart your digital marketing campaigns!

Please select a valid form.