07 Aug, 2023 SEO or PPC

Marketing budgets can be a minefield. Even deciding between SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and PPC (Pay Per Click) in terms of which deserves the most generous allocation of your marketing spend can be a tricky task.

The good news is that once you get to grips with the basics of these two equally effective marketing tools, you’ll be in a much better position to decide which is right for you. Even though it stands to reason that you’ll also find a carefully balanced blend of both is actually the way to go.


What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimisation, the various tasks and activities involved in increasing the visibility of your website with the major search engines. The better your SEO profile, the more likely you are to appear at the top end of the search engine results and gain an edge over your competitors.

Steps involved in an SEO campaign:

  • Keyword Research: This is where you find the phrases that people search for. Using these phrases in your content can help your website appear when people search for these terms.
  • On-Page SEO: A process that involves optimising elements of your website such as page titles, meta descriptions and content to be more attractive to search engines.
  • Off-Page SEO: This is where you focus on generating high-quality backlinks (links from other websites) to your site. These backlinks are like votes of confidence in your website, making it more attractive to search engines.
  • Monitoring: Regularly checking your site’s performance using tools like Google Analytics is essential. This helps you see how well your SEO efforts are working.
  • Optimising: Based on your findings while monitoring your site’s performance, you make adjustments as needed for continuous improvement.

What Does SEO Accomplish?

The benefits and functions of SEO are extensive and diverse, but generally centre on the following:

  • Improves visibility: SEO boosts your website’s visibility on search engines making you more discoverable to potential customers.
  • Boosts credibility: High rankings in organic search results can enhance your business’s credibility.
  • Long-term results: SEO is a long-term game, but once you get results they tend to be steady.
  • Cost-effective: Although your cost of SEO is spread out through a long period of time, when compared to PPC, SEO is much more cost-effective.

How Much Does SEO Cost?

The cost of a professional SEO service can vary wildly from company to company. However, the typical cost for a smaller business could be somewhere around the following:

  • SEO audit: £250-£750
  • Monthly package: £500-£1500
  • Hourly consulting rate: £50-£150

Who Needs SEO?

The short answer to this question would be everyone needs SEO. Every business that provides a service on the internet can benefit massively from SEO. It’s practically impossible to get discovered by any online audience these days without strong rankings, SEO is an absolute must.


What is PPC?

PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click advertising. This is a form of online marketing where you pay each time someone clicks on your ads. The most common PPC advertising platform is Google Ads, where you bid to have your adverts displayed in their search engine when someone searches for your keywords.

Steps involved in a PPC campaign:

  • Keyword Research: Just like SEO, PPC requires you to identify the relevant keywords for your business, choosing the right keywords will make sure your ad appears when these terms are searched.
  • Campaign Setup: This involves setting up your ads on the advertiser’s platform, the most commonly used platform is Google Ads. You choose your keywords, write your ad and decide how much you’re willing to pay per click.
  • Monitoring: Once you have set up and decided to run your ad or ads, you need to constantly monitor your ads to see how they’re performing. From checking how many clicks you’re getting or how much each conversion (e.g., a sale) is costing you.
  • Optimising: Based on what you see when your’re monitoring your ad, you may need to adjust it or your bids to get a better return on your investment.

What Does PPC Accomplish?

An effective PPC campaign can bring an equally extensive array of benefits into play, including but not limited to:

  • Quick Results: Unlike SEO, PPC provides immediate results.
  • Geo-Targeting and Ad Scheduling: You can choose who sees your ad based on location and decide when the ad is shown.
  • Easily Measurable: PPC campaigns can be tracked and assessed using detailed metrics.
  • Superior Targeting: You can target consumers based on their interests, age, income level and purchase history etc.

How Much Does PPC Cost?

A PPC campaign can effectively be as cheap or expensive as you want it to be, but typical costs for small business PPC in 2023 may look a little like this:

  • Google Ads Management: £300 – £600 per month
  • Facebook Ads: £250 – £1500 per month
  • LinkedIn Ads: £500 – £600 per month

Who Needs PPC?

PPC is great for businesses targeting quick, measurable results, launching new products or targeting specific groups. Although unlike SEO, it is not necessarily considered mandatory for all businesses in the strictest sense.

Which is Better, PPC or SEO?

It’s really not a case of one being ‘better’ than the other, given the fact that both types of campaigns are run with entirely different results in mind.

SEO paves the way for organic growth and credibility on a more gradual basis, while PPC provides immediate results and superior targeting.

Most businesses will therefore find that combining both strategies is the best way to go, if they get it right.