SEO or Paid Ads?

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SEO or Paid Ads?

January 24, 2020 | Advertising, Brick & Mortar, PPC, SEO | No Comments


Image of a magnifying glass looking at a search bar.

SEO Versus Paid Search: Which is Better?

One of the most common questions that we get at 313 Marketing is, “SEO vs paid search (PPC) – which is better?”

This is one of the questions that online marketers will attempt to answer over and over again, never coming to an agreed-upon answer. The truth is that the debate about whether SEO trumps paid search does not have a direct or accurate answer. Which one is better mostly depends on the goals and objectives of your brand.

It is also important to note that both SEO and paid search, when applied effectively, can yield amazing results for your business. Over the years, organic search has continued to deliver outstanding long-term results if you consider cost per lead and conversion rate. But, new businesses might find SEO to be a confusing terrain and might experience problems with getting it right. This is why many new businesses are exploring paid search as a way to fast-track their digital marketing goals.


When you consider SEO versus paid search (PPC), there are two key differentiating factors.

  • You’ll mostly find paid ads at the top of the results pages of search engines. They usually come before SEO-induced organic listings.
  • The traffic that comes from SEO is organic which means you don’t have to pay for it. But PPC incurs certain costs depending on the number of clicks.

Whereas many businesses are focused on which is a better strategy, these two strategies can actually yield amazing results if combined strategically.

What really differentiates paid search from organic search is the cost. The focus of paid search is usually directed to paid rankings. But organic search has to do with ranking high in results pages without paying for it. Brands, therefore, utilize search engine optimization to boost their visibility in results pages. But getting that prominent top spot can also be achieved with paid search.

Many businesses will find that an integrated approach works better.

SEO or PPC: Which is Right For Your Business?

Determining whether to focus on SEO or PPC is more of a contextual question and there is no straight answer. Your business objectives and goals must be considered before determining what strategy best fits your direction. 

A business that targets local customers that has a very low level of competition may take to SEO and organic search results to boost visibility. This is especially true if all they need is a couple of leads each week. A brand new e-commerce startup with a lot of competition from leading online stores like Amazon, as well as popular departmental stores, may not thrive with organic search. Going with PPC might be the best solution if they wish to get noticed, especially in the short-term. 

Before deciding whether or not to use either paid search or SEO, ask vital business questions to determine what your goals are in the short and long-term. This should help you evaluate what solution is best for your business.

Your SEO and PPC Experts

The SEO and PPC experts at 313 Marketing can help you evaluate your marketing goals and determine which strategy is right for you. Backed with many years of experience and knowledge of the best practices, we can help you allocate your marketing budget in an effective way.

About Author

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Heather Hardy

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