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Discussion – 


Discussion – 


SEO or PPC – which option is best for your business?


SEO or PPC – When to select either for maximum ROI.

What is SEO?

I absolutely love seeing the results clients get from effective SEO! There’s nothing quite like the feeling of getting that excited call from a client who has used our SEO services saying “we’re ranking for our main keyword! People are finding us organically now!”. 

SEO stands for search engine optimisation. It’s the process of improving a website to increase the number of visitors from search engines like Google. This is done through things like optimising page titles and meta descriptions, writing helpful content around target keywords, and gaining links from other relevant websites.

When I first started in web development, back in the days when InfoSeek was a thing, I’ll admit my SEO efforts were a bit hit or miss. I focused too much on keyword stuffing and technical elements without putting myself in the mind of the searcher. But over time and with experience, I learned how to create content that actually helps people while also communicating clearly to Google what the page is about.   

One thing that still makes me chuckle is seeing old-school SEO tactics that clients try. Just last week a client wanted me to hide target keywords in tiny text at the bottom of the page! I had to explain that Google’s gotten a lot smarter since the 90s and that kind of trick won’t work anymore.

What is PPC?

As a someone who’s helped many businesses improve their online presence, I’ve seen firsthand how powerful paid search advertising can be through platforms like Google Ads.

PPC stands for pay-per-click, and it’s a form of online advertising where advertisers only pay when a user clicks on their ad. This means you have a lot of control over your budget. You set how much you’re willing to pay for each click and can stop the ads at any time.

I remember one client who came to me frustrated that their website wasn’t getting enough traffic. We set up a simple Google Ads campaign targeting their main keywords. Within a week, they started seeing a flood of new customers from people clicking their ads.

The key to effective PPC is choosing the right keywords, crafting compelling ad copy, and setting an appropriate budget. I always tell clients to start small, say $50/day, and increase their budget as their ads start to perform. This reduces the risk of wasting money upfront.

One thing I’ve noticed is that many businesses think PPC is expensive. But when done right, the cost per lead or sale can be very reasonable. I’ve had clients get a positive ROI within their first month of running ads. It just takes testing, optimisation and being willing to increase your budget as things improve.

SEO vs PPC: The differences

As someone who’s helped businesses leverage both SEO and PPC, I’ve seen firsthand how different these two channels can be.

One major difference is organic vs paid traffic. SEO focuses on getting organic, unpaid traffic from search engines by ranking high for relevant keywords. PPC, on the other hand, relies on paid ads to get traffic. You only pay when someone clicks your ad.

Another difference is speed of results. SEO can take months or even years to start generating meaningful traffic as you slowly improve your rankings. PPC, on the other hand, can provide an almost immediate boost in clicks and leads within days or weeks of launching an ad campaign.

Cost is another major factor. While SEO has an upfront cost of optimising your site, it then provides free traffic long-term. PPC requires an ongoing budget based on the cost-per-click of your chosen keywords. This makes PPC better for short-term goals and SEO better for the long haul.

Finally, PPC gives you more control and flexibility. You can start and stop ads at will, adjust budgets in real-time, and even pause keywords that aren’t performing. With SEO, once you publish your content, you have less control over how and when it ranks.

In the end, a mix of SEO and PPC often works best. SEO builds sustainable traffic over time while PPC provides an immediate boost and lets you “buy” rankings for important keywords in the short run.

When to choose SEO

As a web specialist, I recommend SEO for businesses that want sustainable organic traffic over the long run. There are a few main scenarios when SEO makes the most sense:

1. For long-term goals: If your main goal is brand awareness and authority over several years, SEO is a must. The organic traffic it generates will keep coming month after month for free as long as your content remains relevant.

2. To build brand authority: SEO helps build trust with searchers by ranking high for broad, informational queries related to your industry. Over time, this establishes you as a thought leader and trusted resource.

3. Limited budget: SEO has an upfront cost of optimising your site and content, but then provides free traffic long-term. This makes it ideal for businesses with limited marketing budgets that can’t afford constant PPC costs.

4. Seasonal products: If you sell products that are only relevant during certain times of year (like summer toys), SEO can continue generating traffic for you during the off-season at no extra cost.

In summary, SEO is perfect for businesses that want sustainable organic traffic they don’t have to pay for with an ever-increasing budget. The results may take a while, but the payoff can last for years if you do it right.

When to choose PPC

Here are the main scenarios I recommend PPC over SEO for clients:

1. For immediate results: If you need traffic NOW, PPC is the way to go. You can launch an ad campaign and start getting clicks within days or weeks, whereas SEO can take months or years to generate meaningful organic traffic.

2. To target specific keywords: PPC lets you bid on exact match keywords, so you can target very specific phrases related to your business. This helps you reach customers searching for what you sell at the exact moment they’re ready to buy. SEO rankings are usually broader and more general.

Integrating SEO and PPC

I always tell my clients the best approach is to combine SEO and PPC strategies. Here are some of my favourite ways they work together:

PPC as a testing ground: I like to think of PPC ads as a testing ground. I try out new keywords and ad copy in the ads to see what performs well before optimising my clients’ websites for those keywords. That way I know I’m focusing my “SEO superpowers” on terms that people are actually searching for! 

Retargeting organic visitors: Have you ever had a great conversation with someone only to realise you forgot to ask for their contact info? That’s what it’s like with SEO visitors! So I set up retargeting ads to “tap them on the shoulder” and say “hey, we met the other day…” It’s a sneaky way to convert more organic visitors into customers.

Link building from landing pages: I create custom landing pages for my clients’ PPC ads and then build links to those pages from relevant websites. Over time, those backlinks help boost my clients’ organic rankings for the same keywords they’re advertising for. It’s like SEO kung fu!

In summary, SEO and PPC are like peanut butter and jelly. Separately they’re good, but together they’re even better. The data and insights from one fuel improvements for the other, driving more traffic and sales for my clients. I’ve seen firsthand how an integrated approach can really turbocharge results.

Nothing gets me more excited than seeing the “Aha!” look on a client’s face when they realise how SEO and PPC can work together to grow their business in powerful new ways. That’s the magic I live for!

Choosing the right strategy for your business

I help clients choose the right mix of SEO and PPC based on three main factors:

Goals: What are you trying to achieve? SEO is great for brand awareness, authority and sustainable traffic. PPC works best for short-term goals like sales boosts or customer acquisition.

Budget: How much can you afford to spend on marketing? SEO has a one-time cost for setup, then provides free traffic. PPC requires an ongoing budget based on your cost-per-click.

Timeframe: When do you need results by? SEO can take months or years to generate meaningful traffic. PPC can provide a boost within weeks or months, making it ideal for shorter timeframes.

I remember one client who needed an immediate sales boost for a product launch. We set up a PPC campaign targeting their main keywords and within 2 weeks they had a surge in website traffic and orders.

Another client wanted to build brand awareness and authority over 2-3 years. We optimised their site for SEO and developed a content marketing strategy to slowly improve their organic rankings. After a year, they were seeing steady organic traffic growth at no extra cost.

In summary, I recommend clients choose a mix of SEO and PPC that aligns with their specific goals, budgets and timeframes. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach – the right strategy depends on each business’s unique needs and objectives.

By having an honest discussion about what clients are trying to achieve, when and for what cost, I’m able to recommend the most effective mix of SEO and PPC to drive real results for their bottom line. That’s one of the most rewarding parts of my job as a techie!


In conclusion, SEO and PPC each have their pros and cons for driving traffic to your website. As a web specialist, I recommend most clients integrate elements of both strategies to maximize results.

SEO is great for:

• Long-term, sustainable organic traffic at no extra cost

• Building brand authority and trust over time

• Reaching customers with broad, informational queries

PPC excels at:

• Generating immediate traffic within weeks or months

• Targeting very specific keywords and phrases

• Providing full control over budgets, ads and landing pages

Used together, SEO and PPC become more powerful. PPC can inform your SEO strategy, retarget organic visitors, and test new keywords before optimising your site. And SEO can continue generating free traffic long after you pause your PPC campaigns.

The right mix of SEO and PPC for your business depends on your goals, budget and timeframe. By having an open and honest discussion about what you’re trying to achieve and when, I’m able to recommend the most effective strategy to drive real results for your bottom line.

In the end, an integrated approach that leverages the strengths of both SEO and PPC often works best. The synergies between the two can turbocharge your traffic, leads and sales – if harnessed properly.

So don’t be afraid to think beyond SEO or PPC alone. Consider how these two powerful traffic sources could work together to take your website to the next level.

Have any questions? Reach out to us Here.

Additional Resources:

SEO vs. PPC: When to Use Which Search Marketing Method for Maximum Profit

SEO vs. PPC: Are You Making the Most of Them?




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