SEO vs PPC – Which Method is better?

So which of the two is better?

SEO Experts can go on all day about which they prefer, but most important is that we understand the what results both can offer, and the cost and risk they both subsequently have.

First lets look at the visibility the two methods offer for there search results.

SEO Ranking Visibility

(shown in a percentage of users looking at a listing )

Rank 1 – 98%
Rank 2 – 95%
Rank 3 – 93%
Rank 4 – 85%
Rank 5 – 60%
Rank 6 – 50%
Rank 7 – 50%
Rank 8 – 30%
Rank 9 – 30%
Rank 10 – 20%

PPC user visibility

(shown in percentage of participants looking at an ad )

1 – 50%
2 – 40%
3 – 30%
4 – 20%
5 – 10%
6 – 10%
7 – 10%
8 – 10%

courtesy – SEOmoz

Its obvious that with the above data retrieved that organic SEO searches has more views than sponsered links (PPC).
So generally speaking having your site appear higher in organic searches will significantly increase traffic to your selected site.

Secondly the risk involved with PPC is not as much as SEO, basically because of less competition, PPC you should have a rough idea onto what results you will achieve and not many people opt for this due to paying per clicks.
On the other hand with SEO you can never guarantee you can improve your ranking, especially on a highly competitive and searched keyword. Maintenance is needed to keep the SEO in line with each Search Engine way of code.

The time factor also should be taken into consideration.

The quickest way to increase traffic on your website is the use of a PPC campaign. Once a PPC campaign is running, results are immediate your listing will appear for the assigned keyword under the sponsored links section.

Results from SEO can take much longer to provide you with the results that you want. It can take up to 6 months to see for keyword with high competition to get onto the first page of a search engine, but when achieved its optimisation of your business at its best.

Money with online marketing is everything so lets take a look at the cost the most important factor.

When you start with an SEO project, an initial investment with the commencement is required. But ongoing however, the cost involved is smaller, it is basically maintenance and adjusting the SEO tactics of your site to be in line with amendments in the running of search engines.

With PPC, the setup cost for your initially will be less. Though the ongoing cost is greater in the fact that you need to pay per click in conjuction with the volume of traffic you get from your Search Engine Campaign.

Though in my own opinion comparing to traditional forms of advertising, the cost of PPC and SEO is low and its effective.
PPC and SEO are able to provide more of a service than what Yellow Pages does for a business, and Yellow Pages will cost a greater amount of money than both PPC and SEO combined for a decent advertisement ona page.

If i had to choose for my own investment – i would flip a coin, because they offer great results.

John Vlasakakis
SEO Consultant