Skip to content Skip to footer

PPC vs SEO: Which is More Effective? (2020 Edition)

Digital marketing is a rather large concept. There are dozens of different strategies, techniques, and tactics that professionals can use to promote their brand online. Two of the most popular methods, of course, are Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Though neither concept is particularly new, many professionals are still split as to which methodology is more “effective.” Answering this question definitively may be impossible, but today we’ll explore the two ideas thoroughly, review several key pros and cons, and provide pros with the info they need to tell the difference between the two. Check it out here: 

PPC Advertising

PPC advertising operates on a very basic principle. That is, businesses only have to pay for their digital ad space whenever a customer clicks on an ad. The most popular platform for PPC advertising is Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords), though other search engines also have similar PPC platforms. 

PPC advertising is enticing to many businesses because it allows them to access prime digital real estate for valuable keywords very quickly. By using PPC advertising, a new or small company may be able to boost a certain profitable product or service. Keep in mind that you can run a PPC ad for basically anything –– from 6 well plates to custom roller blades. Ultimately, more popular products and services tend to cost more money to advertise than more obscure ones. 

While PPC advertising is potentially lucrative and very flexible, it is not guaranteed to produce positive results. Improperly crafted PPC ads can end up costing a business significant sums of capital, and PPC ads may also not represent good value for money for companies in certain industries. 


PPC vs SEO: Which is More Effective? (2020 Edition) - 1

The flipside of PPC is a process called search-engine optimization. SEO itself encompasses a number of practices designed to increase a website’s visibility on search engines (again, most notably, Google). Popular SEO measures include blog writing, keyword research, writing meta description, and updating old site pages. 

SEO can prove to be an extremely cost-effective way for a company to attract a huge number of quality leads. Indeed, business websites that occupy any of the first three results on any given search engine results page can hold a significant advantage over their competitors just for this reason.  

The problem with SEO –– if there is one –– is that it can take a long time for SEO practices to come good. A marketing team may need to work on an SEO strategy for months before a business starts seeing positive results from it. Lastly, some new businesses may particularly struggle to rank for certain high-volume keywords (like “potato chips” or “divorce lawyer”).


So which strategy is better, SEO or PPC? The answer, naturally, depends on a number of factors like your industry, your budget, and your marketing goals. Still, we hope this article will help you understand the differences between the two practices and their numerous benefits.