Pay Per Click vs. Organic SEO

Generating traffic from search engines is the primary goal for online companies in order to boost revenue. These days, there are two very different online marketing strategies that are being used by websites. These campaigns are better known as pay per click (PPC) and organic SEO.


Pay per click is an online ad campaign wherein website owners pay for search engine results triggered by targeted keywords. As the name suggests, website owners only pay when a visitor clicks on the link of the ad. Organic SEO is an online marketing campaign strategy that makes use of SEO methods such as keywords, link wheels, link building, content generation and etc.


SERPs And Ranking


PPC ads have become more creative in the past few years. High commercial intent keywords now trigger pictures of products to show up at the top of the SERPs. On the other hand, websites that rely solely on organic SEO methods get pushed down to the bottom of the SERPs, which now accounts for only 14.8% of the page (depending on the keywords). Therefore, even if you’re ranking in the top five for a set of targeted keywords, the website will not show up at the “top” of the SERPs. Websites running PPC ad campaigns usually target popular keywords. This is because great effort is needed for organic SEO to rank high for popular keywords (usually short tail keywords).


Statistical Data


PPC campaigns have been gaining ground when it comes to traffic generation. According to WordStream Research, PPC ads accounts for 64.6% of the clicks in the SERPs. Statistics also indicate that 45.5% of people are unable to identify the difference between a PPC link and a link generated due to organic SEO without the segregation of the right column. However, these statistics do not take into account the conversion rates for the traffic generated. When it comes to conversion rates, organic SEO methods have proven to be just as effective for websites that are able to make use of long tail keywords in their campaign.




Contrary to popular belief, a successful organic SEO campaign is not free. A SEO campaign five years ago consisted of a SEO specialist. These days, a web developer, content author, social media specialist, link builder and more are required due to the stiff competition of the online market. PPC campaigns are getting more costly as well. New websites that are making use of PPC ads may find bidding for popular keywords nearly impossible due to the large companies that dominate the scene.




While PPC campaigns seem to have a slight edge when it comes to traffic generation, a website with long-term goals cannot completely rely on a PPC campaign. Organic SEO is still needed in order to enhance user experience through the layout and site structure, quality content generation, the use of images and etc. Organic SEO is not limited to the SERPs. Traffic can come from virtually anywhere (links from social media websites, blog articles, forums and etc.) making it more versatile as oppose to PPC ad campaigns.