Actionable insights straight to your inbox

Equities logo

SEO or PPC to Maximize Your Marketing Reach?

Why not both? is provided by CommPRO Global, Inc. (CommPRO) to give visitors the opportunity to read about events and share opinions for those interested in the integrated communications business sectors. is provided by CommPRO Global, Inc. (CommPRO) to give visitors the opportunity to read about events and share opinions for those interested in the integrated communications business sectors.

By Zac Harris, Director of SEO, SpyFu

About 48.9% of the world’s population searched online in 2018. This number is only set to increase in the future to 53.7% by 2021. This makes it necessary for brands to have a strong presence on the search engines to get traffic and more customers. You need to employ the best methods for search engine marketing to beat your competitors.

Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) are both popular marketing strategies for spreading the word about your brand. However, many marketers face a common problem of choosing between the two. Limited budgets further aggravate this situation.

While both of these forms of marketing are vastly different, you need to do a few steps that are similar in both cases. For both, you need to conduct keyword research. This will give you an idea of which keywords you should target to get the best possible results. For this, you can use tools such as Google Keyword Planner and KWFinder.

The main reason for the dilemma of choosing between the two is that each of them has its own pros and cons. To make things simpler for you, let’s take a look at how each one stands against the other. This will help you make a more informed decision.


  1. The results of SEO take a long time to show up. However, they are worth the wait and can give you a sustainable flow of traffic in the long-term.
  2. The major costs involved in SEO are those of creating content and then promoting it to get more views and backlinks.
  3. If SEO is done well, it can take your website to the #1 position in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). This can improve your brand awareness and build your authority too.
  4. The best part about SEO is that once you start ranking high, it is sustainable with minimal effort and money.
  5. The CTR of organic search results on desktops is about 65.7%. Additionally, the top-most results in the SERPs can get almost 25% of all the search clicks.
  6. About 82% of marketers surveyed felt that SEO’s effectiveness is growing. Additionally, 42% of them thought that its effectiveness is rising significantly.


  1. PPC is a short-term marketing method. You can get results almost instantly. This makes it extremely helpful when you want some immediate traction.
  2. PPC ads allow you to select your target audience to make your ads more targeted and effective. You can choose the target audience based on demographics, locations, and interests.
  3. For every $1.60 that is invested in PPC marketing, marketers are able to generate $3 in revenue.
  4. Unlike SEO, the CTR of PPC ads is fairly low at just 3.82%. The top PPC ads only bring in about 2-3% of organic search clicks.
  5. Scaling up is very easy with PPC ads as you just need to increase your budget and bid amounts.
  6. It is possible to increase your brand awareness by almost 80% by using PPC ads.
  7. It’s fairly easy for your competitors to imitate your PPC strategy. The reason for this is that they need to get the ad copy and the target audiences right. Bidding higher than you can help them rank above you in search results.

PPC and SEO can both help your brand thrive online. All of the data that you gather from your PPC ads can be used to strengthen your SEO strategy. Additionally, when your SEO improves, your authority and brand awareness will improve too. This, in turn, will help you get more clicks on your PPC ads.

It is also possible to showcase PPC ads to all those who’ve visited your website and shown interest in the past. This is called remarketing, and it can help you get more traffic and sales.

When you have a sale coming up, you can use PPC ads to increase your website traffic and get more conversions. On the other hand, to get more traffic in the long run, you can turn to SEO.

It’s clear that a combination of both SEO and PPC can help you take your website to the next level. An effective search engine marketing strategy is one that incorporates both of them to give you the desired results. To learn more about SEO and PPC, you can check out this infographic by SpyFu:

Image courtesy: SpyFu

About the Author: Zac Harris is the Director of SEO at SpyFu. He is passionate about scaling companies and testing all things SEO.

CommPro is a B2B digital publisher, professional development and event production firm serving corporate communications professionals, including the advertising, investor relations, marketing, public relations and social media sectors. The company is an Equities contributor.

A weekly five-point roundup of critical events in the energy transition and the implications of climate change for business and finance.