SEO vs PPC: The Evolution of Online Visibility

SEO vs PPC: The Evolution of Online Visibility

Are you struggling to devise an effective digital marketing strategy for your business? Don't worry, you are not alone. As we all know, there are many elements you need to consider when deciding on a digital marketing strategy that best suits your business goals.  

However, we all face a common dilemma: whether to opt for Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC) or to move ahead with Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

In this article, we would like to compare SEO and PPC through data and figures to help you decide which strategy to opt for in your business in 2024. 


What is SEO? 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most important and misunderstood marketing practices in the 2020s. SEO is the process of optimizing your website with the ultimate goal of increasing visibility and driving traffic from search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.

90% of all searches on the internet happen on Google’s search engine browser. The most popular term entered on search engines like Yahoo and Bing is…Google. This means that if you want to grow your brand online and drive new business to your website you need to focus your efforts on improving visibility on Google to get the greatest ROI for your efforts. 

Why choose SEO?

  • Drive traffic to your website without (directly) paying for it.
  • Top-ranking SEO listings have an average click-through-rate (CTR) of 30-40% compared to 2% for PPC listings.
  • Ability to grow digital real estate and outrank larger, better-funded competitors on search engine results pages (SERPs) without increasing budgets. 
  • Higher long-term ROI per budget. 

What is Pay-Per-Click Advertising?

Pay-per-click advertising, or PPC, is a form of online advertising wherein the advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked by a user. The general idea is that advertisers bid on keywords, and the ads will be displayed on the search engine results page based on the keywords searched for. 

PPC advertising is mostly carried out through search engines, with 80% of companies around the world utilizing Google Ads, but there are also other platforms like Bing Ads that can be used.

Why choose PPC?

  • PPC enables you to drive traffic almost instantly to your website, thereby offering quick results. 
  • You can effectively measure the performance and ROI of your PPC campaigns.
  • With PPC, you can showcase your ads to target a specific audience.  

Factors to Consider When Choosing SEO or PPC

Here are some of the factors you need to keep in mind before you move on to compare the facts and figures. 

1. Business goals

Your business goals are one of the main factors when choosing between SEO and PPC. 

For long-term and sustainable growth, SEO proves to be the correct option. However, PPC is the right choice if you are looking for quicker results.

2. Target audience

SEO is a great option if your target market is in the initial stages of the buying process (i.e. searching for information regarding the product or service and deciding whether to make the purchase). 

PPC, on the other hand, will come in handy when your target market is actively looking to buy the products or services that you provide. 

3. Budget

In the long run, search engine marketing is more cost-efficient but may require more upfront costs, mainly for content creation and link-building efforts. 

PPC needs ongoing investment and can prove to be costly. For example, the type of service or product you offer, depending on your location, can vary dramatically in cost.

4. Industry

If your business is part of a competitive industry wherein top companies are contesting for the same keywords, PPC is the right way forward. On the contrary, if the competition is lower, SEO can grant greater results. 

Although SEO and PPC have their own distinct advantages, when used in conjunction, both digital marketing strategies will bring exponential online exposure and sales. It's all about developing the right strategy that successfully aligns with your business goals.

SEO vs PPC: The Evolution of Online Visibility 

Here are some of the key statistics to help you come to a decision on which marketing strategy to invest in: SEO, PPC or a combination of both.

1. Organic search brings in 53% of website traffic, whereas paid search drives only 27%

A winning SEO strategy involves more research and will help drive traffic to your business. How? One of the ways is through the SERP, which is known to be a trustworthy source. Secondly, 25.8% of people utilize ad blockers, which prevents them from seeing ads; therefore, it is a major stumbling block for those looking to spend on PPC. 

2. 50% of people who arrive at a retailer's website as a result of paid ads are more likely to make a purchase than those who came from an organic link

As mentioned earlier, pay-per-click advertising is a great option to target prospective buyers who are actively searching to purchase a product or service. 

Sounds easy, right? It's more complicated; for users to make that final purchase decision, you need to make sure that the ad and the landing page are in sync. 

How do we do that? Well, here are a few pointers: 

  • Landing pages should be user-friendly, visually appealing, and related to the ad the user has clicked on. 
  • The content on the ad and landing page must be clear and to the point.
  • A clear call to action (CTA) is a must. With a CTA, conversions will be easier to come by. 

3. Organic search has a 14.6% conversion rate, while PPC has a conversion rate of approximately 3%

The whole SEO marketing process can involve a lot of work. You need to write good content that resonates with the end user, while containing the right keywords. The effort you put into SEO will reap results by way of a higher conversion rate and return on investment (ROI). 

In short, make sure the content is compelling and your website is user-friendly and accessible, and Google will reward you by showcasing your content on the top of the search results page. 

4. 70% of mobile searchers call a business directly from Google Search

This is one of the most important statistics regarding SEO and PPC, which showcases the value of consumer behaviour. 

Working with an SEO agency provides businesses with online visibility, whereas PPC can propel people to undertake immediate action, such as a phone call. 

This truly demonstrates the value of having your business in the front and centre of Google search results. 

5. 32% of companies utilize PPC to sell a product directly to the user

Unlike SEO, pay-per-click advertising greatly assists businesses in pushing the final product to the end user. In other words, the business may decide to pay to place popular products or services in the SERP rather than trying to promote the company as a whole. 

If you are a company that focuses on a few products, the PPC strategy is the perfect solution to see a higher return on investment.

6. 70-80% of users completely ignore paid ads 

Some people nowadays just don't click on ads like before. This statistic goes to show how important organic search truly is. Consumers have become more awake and alert to the concept of paid and sponsored ads. Users demand more credibility, and companies need to work harder to gain their trust. 

However, if your company ranks higher in the Google search ranking, users will still find your website even if they ignore your PPC ad. For higher search rankings, your SEO game needs to be on point. 

7. Small to medium-sized companies invest 7 times more in PPC than in SEO

For businesses that are looking to drive quick results, there are better options than SEO. Even though SEO produces long-lasting results, you have to continually generate and update content, which can be a time-consuming process for some. 

When you collaborate with a PPC agency, you are paying to get your ads displayed on top of Google search results. However, if not done correctly, it may prove to be costly to the business. 

Choosing a Digital Marketing Strategy for Your Business 

If website visibility and lead generation are your main goals, then there are no two better options than SEO and PPC. Both offer a long line of benefits that can bolster your business for success. From gaining organic traffic and outranking competitors on search engine result pages to targeting specific audiences with ads—and the list goes on. 

However, if you’re looking to achieve optimal results in the long run, we advise you to implement both SEO and PPC in your digital marketing strategy. Rather than putting all your eggs in one basket, tailor SEO and PPC to your unique goals and objectives to stand apart from your competitors and attract more customers to your business.

Don’t know where to start? Reach out to our fully certified digital marketing experts at TechWyse! Our team will be more than happy to assist you in scaling your digital marketing efforts in 2024 and beyond. For more information regarding our SEO and PPC services, call 866-208-3095 or contact us here.  

It's a competitive market. Contact us to learn how you can stand out from the crowd.
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