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Organic Search Engine Optimization VS. Pay Per Click – Which Should You Choose?

Author: Jayesh Khandor

When people hear about online marketing, they often think of two of the more popular methods that a company can use to enhance its visibility on the Web: organic search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising.

SEO and PPC are search engine marketing techniques that are used to drive targeted traffic to your website. PPC, or Pay Per Click, ads are a way of buying visitors to your website by bidding on advertisement placements among the search engine results for specific keywords. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a natural way of achieving top search engine placement by creating a keyword rich website with a strong linking structure. But which method is best for your company?

In an ideal world, you would use both strategically to maximize your site's profile. However, budgetary constraints often make this impossible, and trying to do both on a limited budget or with minimal resources can result in neither campaign producing ideal results. In this case, it's usually better to focus on one or the other. But which is best for you?

Organic Search Engine Optimization

Higher ROI

While both PPC and SEO marketing tactics have advantages, natural search engine optimization tends to have a higher return on investment (ROI) over time. In fact, a JupiterResearch study found that companies who outsource both their SEO and PPC campaigns show a significantly higher ROI with natural search engine optimization. Users tend to trust natural search engine results to be relevant to the information they are seeking, and are more likely to click on a natural SEO result.

Long Term Effect

Although using an SEO firm to create high search engine positioning for your website requires a higher initial investment than starting a PPC campaign, natural search engine optimization pays off over time. After your initial investment, your SEO website will require little to no additional cost to keep bringing in highly qualified traffic. With a PPC campaign, however, as soon as you stop investing money, your traffic comes to a screeching halt.

One big disadvantage of PPC is that it is increasingly vulnerable to click fraud. Click fraud is an attack on a PPC campaign to destroy its profitability. One example of click fraud is a robotic script that clicks a competitor’s PPC links over and over again, costing them money for each click with no real traffic coming to the site. Another type of click fraud involves repeatedly running a search without clicking on a PPC link, which can cause the advertisements to be disabled for having a click through rate that is too low. Although search engines do their best to hinder PPC click fraud, it is impossible to stop altogether. Natural SEO results are impervious to this kind of attack.


While the above points may make organic search engine optimization seem the clear choice in all cases, in certain situations it actually can make more sense to do pay-per-click advertising. For those looking for fast results on a small budget, a pay-per-click campaign may be the answer.

Quick Results

The results from pay-per-click advertising are immediate. On the other hand, an organic search engine optimization campaign may take up to three months or more for results to be apparent. In this case, pay-per-click is advantageous for those who are looking to promote an initiative that will go live in a short amount of time, or whose business is seasonal in nature and who only do promotion during certain months of the year.

Small Budget

Small businesses with extremely tight budgets may find that pay-per-click is a better investment than organic search engine optimization because a pay-per-click campaign will almost always cost less.

Easier to Handle In-House

Non-complicated pay-per-click campaigns can be handled much more easily in-house than an organic search engine optimization campaign.

No Contracts

Most organic search engine optimization campaigns require a contract of a certain length because SEO companies know that meaningful results will rarely happen overnight. When dealing with an in-house pay-per-click campaign, obviously a contract is not an issue.


Clearly, organic search engine optimization has some distinct advantages over pay-per-click advertising. However, there are undoubtedly certain situations and scenarios where pay-per-click advertising makes more sense fiscally and strategically. With a high enough budget, you would be able to have an effective organic search engine optimization campaign running in tandem with an effective pay-per-click campaign. But if you have to choose one, look into your unique situation before you decide.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/seo-articles/

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