Pay Per Click (PPC) or Organic SEO?


We have previously blogged about what pay per click (PPC) advertising is and what an organic SEO campaign is but we have yet to explore on the PoLR blog what the benefits and limits of each type of campaign is and whether one is preferable to the other.

Firstly, we are of the belief that PPC and Organic SEO both have their place and used in conjunction with one another, they can produce a highly successful marketing campaign for your business and brand. On the other hand, we also believe that PPC does not have its place with a certain type of business which is why you will never see a PoLR PPC campaign! We sell organic SEO and therfore have to practice what we preach, granted other SEO’s may use PPC, but that’s their choice and we’re not saying they are wrong¬† (before anyone shouts at us!) just that it is not in the ethos of PoLR to purchase positions but we also believe an element of PPC can be an essential top-up selling tool for some other markets.

Moving on, we have put together a plus and minus rough guide to SEO and PPC in the hope of giving a little food for thought:

PPC / Cost per Click (CPC) Organic SEO Campaign
+ Fast turnaround time to get results and clickthroughs.

+ You can set a budget to an rate suitable to your business and you can change this as and when you need to. + By using targeted keywords you can generate more relevant traffic to your website.

+ A PPC campaign is easy to measure results for and adjust as required. For example, an online shop could quickly target Christmas shoppers then drop the Christmas keyword after December.


When your budget runs out you no longer apprear in the paid for links and without a good Organic SEO campaign, you may not appear at all.

If you haven’t done your keyword research you could be losing money on listings that are not as valuable or relevant to your product.

Do you know who’s clicking…could it be your competitors using up all your budget and costing your business extra pennies?

+ When you are up in the results you stay there so long as you are still working on your site, if not, it will at least take longer to slip back down the rankings again.

+ Obviously you would employ a professional SEO company such as PoLR to carry out any intensive SEO campaign but, there are a few steps that any site owner can carry out for themselves which would at least give you the best chance. This makes organic SEO a potentially budget-less option (at the beginning at least)

+ A high positioning in the rankings can really validate your brand to browsers. If a browser see you high in the rankings they will immediately think your site is of more importance than someone on page 10 etc


For a professional SEO campaign you will also have to set a budget as with PPC, this may not be adjustable if you are signed up to a contract and may not be as low as you could get with JUST a PPC campaign but then organic SEO is about more than just a quick fix.

An organic SEO compaign can take a while to show results but as Aesop says, slow and strady wins the race.

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    • Ryan
    • 19th January 2009

    Paul, couldn’t agree more. A lot of companies perhaps get into a rather linear approach towards their search marketing and can end up sticking to one particular avenue (all PPC or all organic SEO) to improve their online revenue.

    A flexible and dynamic approach to internet marketing should allow for ‘dipping your toes’ in other ponds and finding out, through trial and error to some extent, which of these avenues are actually making a difference to the enquiries/sales coming into your business.

    We don’t use PPC for our own online marketing, simply due to the fact that we try to promote the benefits of organic SEO to our clients and don’t feel that promoting ourselves (in particular) through PPC really concurs with our company ethos.

    We do, however, promote the use of PPC to our clients to use to the most efficient end.

    • Paul
    • 18th January 2009

    Best solution is to use both.

    PPC offers targeted traffic to a newly launched site or a site that is suffering from lack of visibility. It is also a great judge to determine which keywords you should be targetting i.e. some keywords may drive traffic but that traffic may be poor in conversion. So you can utilise PPC to help filter out keywords in your organic seo campaign.

    Having your site visible in both paid ad slots and also the organic verticals produces brand dependancy BUT getting the traffic to your site is only part of the job – conversion is the key in any PPC or SEO campaign.