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Is SEO or PPC better?

When it comes to deciding between SEO and PPC, it can be difficult to determine which is better for your business. Both methods can be effective in driving traffic to your website and helping you reach your marketing goals, but the answer of which one is better depends on your particular situation.

In this blog, read about the pros and cons of both channels and what you should consider when deciding which one to invest in for your business.

What is SEO?

SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is the process of optimising a website for better visibility and ranking in organic search engine results. SEO involves optimising your website content, the technical set-up of your site and backlinks to improve your website’s ranking for relevant search terms.

Pros of SEO

Whilst SEO requires long-term investment, as it takes time to see results, it is a cost-effective way to improve your website’s visibility and ranking over time.

Benefits of SEO include:

Increased visibility

SEO can help increase your website’s visibility in organic search engine results. This ultimately leads to more website visits, leads, and sales.

Cost effective

SEO is one of the most cost-effective digital marketing strategies because it targets users who are actively looking for your products and services. The main investment for SEO is time, unless you are outsourcing to an agency, as the rankings themselves are free.

Trackable & measurable results

SEO provides trackable and measurable results, regardless of whether you are an e-commerce or non-e-commerce website. Read our previous blog to learn about the different KPIs you should measure and tools you can use to track SEO performance.

High ROI

SEO delivers a higher return on investment (ROI) compared to other traditional marketing channels. As SEO work will continue to bring in traffic over the long term, the return can be huge when executed correctly, despite the little monetary investment needed to get started.

User friendly

SEO is focused on making your website more user-friendly as Google continues to improve their search results to be as helpful as possible for users. This includes wanting to serve websites that are genuinely helpful to users. By making your website user-friendly, this can help to encourage repeat visits in the future as visitors will have a positive experience.

Cons of SEO:

Whilst SEO can offer many benefits to business, there are undoubtedly some cons when comparing SEO to other channels.

Cons of SEO include:

Can take a long time to see results

Search engine optimisation is a long-term strategy, and the time frame for seeing results can vary greatly depending on the goals and strategies in place. Read our previous blog to learn about what can affect how long SEO takes to work.

Can require significant resources

SEO requires a significant investment of time and money to be successful. This can include hiring a team of specialists, developing content, and conducting outreach and link building campaigns.


SEO is a highly competitive field, and there are many companies competing for the same keywords and rankings. This will depend on the industry you are operating in though, if you can find a niche with little competition, you can expect to see SEO results sooner.

Requires constant monitoring and optimisation

SEO is an ongoing process and requires constant monitoring and optimisation to remain effective. This can be a time consuming and costly endeavour to keep up to date with the latest updates.

Can be affected by algorithm updates

Algorithm updates happen frequently throughout the year and can cause changes in rankings and affect the effectiveness of SEO campaigns. This can be difficult to predict and can lead to unexpected results.

What is PPC?

PPC, or Pay-Per-Click advertising, is a form of online advertising where you pay for each click on your ad. With PPC, you can target specific keywords and audiences, and you only pay when someone clicks on your ad.

Pros of PPC:

Whilst PPC does require upfront money investment, whereas SEO doesn’t, it can be a great way to drive targeted traffic to your website much quicker.

Benefits of PPC include:

Quick results

PPC campaigns can offer quick results, as ads can be up and running in a short period of time.

Cost effective

PPC campaigns are cost-effective, allowing businesses to only pay when users click on their ads.


PPC campaigns can be targeted to specific demographics, interests, and behaviours, allowing businesses to reach their desired audiences.


PPC campaigns can be easily measured, allowing businesses to track and analyse the performance of their ads.


PPC campaigns can be adjusted and tweaked to optimise results, allowing businesses to make changes quickly and easily.

Cons of PPC:

Despite the benefits offered by PPC, it is important to consider the downsides when deciding between this and alternative channels to understand which is best for your business at the moment.

Cons of PPC include:


PPC campaigns can be expensive, as businesses must pay for each click on their ads, as opposed to the organic listings which are free.

Time consuming

Managing and optimising PPC campaigns can be time-consuming, as businesses must constantly monitor their campaigns and make adjustments to optimise their results.


PPC campaigns can be competitive, as businesses must compete for placement in search results. The higher the competition for the keywords you want to be visible for, the more expensive your PPC costs will become.

Difficult to measure ROI

PPC campaigns can be difficult to measure ROI, as businesses must track multiple metrics and analyse the performance of their ads.

Click fraud

PPC campaigns are susceptible to click fraud, as businesses must ensure that clicks on their ads are coming from real customers and not automated bots.

Which is cheaper – SEO or PPC?

It depends on the type of campaign and the budget. Generally, SEO is more cost-effective in the long run, as it takes more time and effort to build a strong organic presence for a website. PPC, on the other hand, can provide more immediate results, although it can be more expensive in the short term.

The initial cost of setting up an SEO campaign may be higher than the cost of setting up a PPC campaign, but the long-term cost of SEO is typically lower. This is because SEO is a more sustainable approach to online marketing, and the results of SEO campaigns tend to be longer lasting. With SEO, companies can achieve better rankings and more organic traffic, which is often more cost-effective than the cost of buying traffic through PPC campaigns.

On the other hand, PPC campaigns can be expensive, especially when the competition is high. Additionally, PPC campaigns require ongoing effort and investment in order to keep the costs down.

Should I invest in SEO or PPC?

When deciding between SEO and PPC, the most important factor is to consider your goals. If you are looking for a long-term investment, then SEO is probably the best option. If you need quick results and are willing to pay for them, then PPC may be the way to go.

Depending on the industry, SEO may be more cost-effective in the long run, while PPC may be more suitable for short-term campaigns. It is important to assess your goals and budget before making a decision.

Overall, both SEO and PPC can be effective ways to drive traffic to your website and reach your marketing goals. However, it’s important to consider your main objectives and budget when deciding which one is better for you. If you’re unsure, get in touch with us and we can help to decide which is better for your business or even help you to build a strategy to use both together.

Kylie Moody - Modo25
Kylie Moody
Kylie Moody - Modo25
Kylie Moody
Kylie is a SEO Account Manager at Modo25. Kylie has 3 years experience in SEO, working on overall strategy and well as on-page, technical and content recommendations for a range of retail and B2B clients.

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