SEM, search engine marketing, seo vs ppc written on blackboard


As a digital marketer at a small or medium sized business, you may wonder which marketing strategy is best, search engine optimisation (SEO) or pay-per-click (PPC). When it comes time to decide on how to invest your time and money in marketing, it’s important to be informed. Read on to learn about the pros and cons of each strategy, so you can make the best decision.

Search Engine Optimisation

Many marketers are familiar with SEO as a marketing strategy. It uses keywords to bring organic traffic to your site via search engines. There are many great things about SEO, including:

Increased visibility – when your business appears at the top of search engine results, it puts you in front of more potential customers, and increases awareness of your brand. It can make you look like the expert in your industry and helps to lift your brand awareness online. Appearing at the top of search engine results will also generate more site visits, which can lead to a boost in your conversion rate.

Return on investment – organic traffic can improve your ROI more than other paid forms of advertising and will generally also be more cost-effective.

Building authority – SEO is great for niche sites where the keywords aren’t very competitive. Using the right keywords will generate tons of traffic and make your brand the top expert in your niche.

However, SEO does have some drawbacks. First, it isn’t instant – you have to wait a while for the traffic to start trickling in. And SEO doesn’t work well with highly competitive keywords, so if you’re competing with sites like Amazon or eBay, you might want to look for a different strategy.

In addition, sometimes search engine algorithms change, which may leave you scrambling to figure out how to adjust your keywords and content.


PPC platforms like Google AdWords allow businesses to bid to have their ads appear among the paid results when someone searches a term that includes your keywords. There are some really helpful advantages to PPC, like:

Instant results – from the moment your ad campaign goes live, it will be visible to your audience. If you need to get a lot of traffic in a short amount of time, PPC is the way to go.

Targeting your traffic – PPC allows you to target the right consumers for your business. This will help achieve the best results.

Appearing at the top – PPC ads can appear above the organic results on a search engine, which means that you’ll be the first thing that users see.

Great for product launches – PPC is a great short-term solution for getting lots of visitors to your site, which is great if you’re launching a new product, or holding a time-sensitive promotion.

PPC, though, will not increase your organic traffic, and it might not be idea for everyone’s budget. Bidding wars with competitors can drive up the cost of the ads, making them unattainable for some. And as soon as the ads end, so do the visitors to your site.

Which to Choose?

Now that you know a little about each type of strategy, you can make better decisions around what is best for you. Take into account your budget, audience and objective. It doesn’t always have to be either one or the other. You can blend PPC and SEO in a way that works best for your business. For more information, contact the Team at Sprocket to schedule a consultation.


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