The argument continues as it always will… SEO VS PPC!

We, well I, recently claimed that SEO is still king, and I agree with that statement still.

Most people ask about the benefits of both and often think of it as SEO VS PPC, when they should both ideally be used to complement each other.

Let me explain… SEO VS PPC: Head to Head!

SEO, in theory, is a long burner. It can take 9-12 months before you start seeing any real measureable results, longer if your keyword is competitive.

PPC, on the other hand, gives you more instant results. You can open and start a campaign at midday and by 4pm of the same day your adverts can be up and running and bringing you targeted traffic.

SEO can be expensive, it’s not uncommon to be paying around £1000 a month for around 10 SEO keywords. PPC on the other hand can work out a lot cheaper, especially if you know your customer acquisition cost.

Many think PPC is expensive, but if you think… If you are paying £4 a click and for every 100 clicks you get, you manage to get a new customer, so that’s £400 spent.

It’s cost you £400 to acquire a new customer. Now, that may be expensive, but if you know your numbers and know that an average customer is worth to you say £600 per year and on average they stay with you for 3 years then that’s a spend of £1,800.

So you are buying in that £1,800 spend for £400. Your £400 is getting you a gross 400%+ ROI.

Obviously you need to take into account variables such as margins and looking for long tail keywords which are typically cheaper to buy.

Once you have a system in place and can look at the numbers, you can sit back and know that your PPC campaign will deliver you results within your estimated parameters, time and time again.

PPC ads are seen at the top of google, you can easily and quickly waste a lot of money with it, that’s why keyword research is key and also running split tests on your landing pages to give you the best chance of converting the traffic you are paying for!

PPC ads, however, do tend to get clicked on less than organic search results.

SEO can be just as expensive as you will have an expense from day 1 which won’t show any progress for weeks or months.

Google algorithms change and with Penguin 4.0, operating in live time, you may do a lot of work only to be slapped down after a few months just as you are gathering traction.

The goal posts with SEO constantly move, and rightly so, as Google aims to deliver the best and most relevant content to the people using its search engine.

There are also ZERO guarantees with SEO. No person on the planet can guarantee they will get you to rank at position number 1 on Google.

There are too many variables and competition can be too difficult, getting onto page 1 should be very achievable for highly competitive keywords and long tail keywords should be capable of ranking in the top 3 positions of page 1, if not page 1, again depending on the competition.


I suggest that you use both as part of a well thought out Digital Marketing Campaign.

Using PPC in the short term, can deliver you relevant traffic, allow you to dial in on your keywords and provide some baseline data for your SEO campaign.

Using SEO in the long term, if done correctly, should pay off and deliver you a better return. We find that organic SEO links tend to get clicked more than paid ads and the quality that comes from them tends to be a lot higher than those of PPC. Some of the best leads we have generated at ALT have come through organic SEO.

Afterall it’s probably not a straight fight, SEO VS PPC, shouldn’t even be a fight if used correctly as part of a long term digital marketing strategy.