Should You Use Both SEO and PPC Or Just One?

In a perfect world, yes you should use both SEO and PPC, but what if your budget doesn’t allow for it? Which should you choose SEO or PPC? Let’s find out.Use Both SEO and PPC

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Techniques and strategies used for online marketing change constantly, but the question of whether to use both SEO and PPC or choose just one remains pretty constant.


It’s a topic that’s been covered plenty, but marketers and online business managers still seem to come up wanting on the issue. In this post we’re going to take a look at two of the most popular online marketing methods; SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC (Pay Per Click).

Both SEO and PPC can be applied to great effect for the benefit of a range of industries, but what are these two techniques, and which should you use? Should you use both?

In this article, we examine the benefits and pitfalls of each option, helping you to decide which is best for your business.

What is SEO?

If you’re somehow not familiar with SEO yet, it stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s an approach that involves the use of a range of tactics to propel a brand’s online profile, specifically their website and associated content – as far as possible up the search engine results.

In order to implement effective SEO, a company must jump through certain hoops to appeal as strongly as possible to search engine algorithms. While some of the procedures involved are the result of estimation, others are tried, tested and well established.

The tools and techniques that are regularly used by SEO specialists include:

1. Keyword Optimization

Keyword optimization involves regular research into common words and phrases searched by the internet users that are most likely to invest in the products and services offered by the company in question.

There are numerous free tools available for this purpose, which help companies to find the correct keywords for their particular focus or discipline. Many even allow the search to be narrowed down by location in order to be as specific as possible when attracting an audience.

Another way to “zone in” on a certain audience base is to utilize “long-tail” keywords. These are longer phrases that are used in search engines by users who know precisely what they are looking for – and often include location related terms such as “property sales in London”.

Update your keyword optimization regularly for best results.

2. Use of Featured Snippets

A more advanced SEO technique is the use of a “featured snippet”. These are short, optimized excerpts of a page’s text that appear directly under the page’s link in the search results.

The idea is that they provide an immediate answer to the searcher’s question while encouraging them to click on the link and find out more. The highest performing featured snippets are those with the largest and most relevant collections of organically inserted keywords. 

3. Optimized Meta Tags

You can also utilize keywords to optimize the meta tags of a webpage or blog post. 

Including them organically into meta titles, meta descriptions and other meta elements, will help to improve the search engine’s “understanding” of a page’s source code, giving a more immediate idea of where it should be placed in the search results.

4. Optimized Images

The faster your page loads, the less likely it will be for users to abandon it before engaging with its content. You can help this along by compressing your images.

“You can also include keyword optimization in the images you place on a page. By adding keywords to your alt tags, captions and even file names, even your pictures can be used to improve your place in the search results,” comments Ruban Selvanayagam, search engine optimiser at a We Buy Any House company based in London.

5. Regular, Unique Content Creation

One of the best ways to push a page further up the results is to keep adding fresh content all the time. 

It should remain relevant and keyword optimized, of course – and you should also consider increasing the variety of content you utilize. Infographics, interactive materials, videos and images will all serve to keep your site looking fresh to the search engines.

What’s more, they all constitute shareable materials, which may see your information spreading further around the web and social media thanks to users passing your content between themselves.

6. Link-Building

By connecting with other relevant companies and specialists, or by creating attractive and shareable content in a bid to go “viral”, you can improve your brand’s online discoverability exponentially.

Consider getting in touch with journalists in order to position yourself as a trusted expert in your field by giving interviews, soundbites or quotes.

Alternatively, you could offer your services as a guest blogger to relevant websites. If you can get a link from that content back to your own, that serves as another avenue via which to attract visitors.

What’s more, as mentioned before, creating shareable content will also provide a great opportunity to build backlinks.

Benefits of SEO

SEO is a very popular tool because a great deal of it can be undertaken for free – either by yourself or by a member of your marketing team. 

It increases awareness of your brand, serves to build trust and has the potential to influence great returns with little to no financial investment.

What is PPC?

PPC, or Pay Per Click, is in many ways a more traditional form of marketing. This is because it involves the use of actual adverts – an approach that is not utilized by the more organic practice of SEO.

The company whose products and services are being advertised pays the publisher of their advert – a search engine, for example – a certain amount every time a user clicks on the advert that is displayed by that publisher.

However, PPC does not rely on attempts to predict the behavior of a search engine. Instead, the technique equates to a company actively “purchasing” visits to their site.

Using tools like Google Ads, a business can achieve a particular Ad Rank according to the amount they will pay, the relevance and quality of the ad and ad copy in question, the ad’s click-through rate and the standard of the landing page to which it directs users.

The more successful an ad is within the PPC system, the more exposure it will receive within the search results.

The advertising company is then charged according to the number of clicks their ad receives.

PPC tends to cost more than SEO – though, of course, much of the latter can be undertaken for free. 

However, it does have the potential to “cut to the chase” more effectively – particularly if the business in question is attempting to rank for very popular keywords, as this can be difficult to achieve via the more organic school of SEO.

Should You Use Both SEO and PPC or Just One?

When employed intelligently, you can use SEO and PPC to increase awareness and drive customer engagement in a symbiotic way. 

Because of this, many organizations decide to utilize both approaches – with SEO driving the more organic side of a campaign and PPC zoning in on the competitive, harder-to-reach keywords.

Naturally, a company’s decision when it comes to whether you should use both SEO and PPC depends on many factors.

These may include:


  • The nature of its products and services
  • Its budget
  • Its reputation – or the reputation it wishes to achieve


Parting Words

The main reason that business managers struggle choosing whether to use both SEO and PPC or just one is budget. Following closely to budget is the fact that depending on the business the ROI can be dramatically different between the two. Coming in 3rd is the fact that most businesse can only go so fat with “free SEO”. While it is true that most if not all SEO strategies can be implemented on your own — most quickly find out that it’s too much work without hiring additional resources or professionals to truly drive rankings.

These are definitely all things to consider, but in terms of a solid answer, this post makes a clear case for you to use both SEO and PPC, because you can most certainly begin the SEO process yourself and test ad spend with PPC.

If you want more insight into both SEO and PPC, make sure to visit some of the other posts on this blog.