What is the difference between SEO and PPC, and which is better?

PPC is an acronym for “Pay-per-click” (advertising) such as Google AdWords or “boosting” a post on Facebook. You place an ad, and you are only charged if and when someone clicks the add to take the action configured for the ad (usually to take them to a landing page on your website).

PPC is like a traffic faucet. We can literally turn traffic and sales on at the flip of a switch if we’ve designed a great PPC campaign. However, unlike an investment in SEO, the moment you stop paying for the ad, the traffic stops.

SEO grows your organic ranking in search engines, but requires a significant investment. SEO efforts drive organic traffic to your website that you do NOT pay for. Results are far from immediate, but last long after an SEO campaign has ended (although some maintenance is still recommended periodically).

So, which is better? Much like buying a home vs. renting, SEO is what builds equity but PPC permits instant results and provides the agility for quick strategy pivots. Both have their place, and we typically recommend a combination of both methods, in the beginning, phasing out PPC as SEO starts to yield results.

See all FAQs