Comparing SEO vs PPC For Marketing

When weighing up the true cost of digital marketing for your brand, comparing SEO vs PPC is similar to the discussion that surrounds buying or renting a house.

For any brand or business trying to make their mark online, it’s almost inevitable to come up against pursuing SEO vs PPC as a marketing strategy to drive traffic. While both certainly have their perks and relevant pro’s and con’s, it’s important to understand the key points of difference between the two before you settle on your winner.


As a starting point, SEO is the term we use to describe the practice of including specific content on your website. Otherwise known as Search Engine Optimisation, this same content has the potential to improve your visibility on search engines, with the end goal being to connect with the right audiences. Put simply, it helps your site show up more often in relevant searches, and is crucial if you want to reach the lofty heights of the first page of results on search engines like Bing and Google organically.

In comparison, the alternative that many brands turn to is PPC, or “Pay Per Click” marketing. In a nutshell, users pay every time an audience member clicks a link that directs them to the user’s website or social media platform, such as Google or Facebook. It’s a popular form of paid advertising as it gives users the opportunity to be noticed by a wider audience online by taking what can only be referred to as a ‘shortcut’. At the same time, still being able to target specific demographics like age, gender, location, and other purchasing behaviours.

The good news is that when done well, users can actually combine both of the benefits available through SEO and PPC once they have a firm grasp on how both of these forms of digital marketing work. However, if you only have a limited budget, set of resources, or are just starting out on your advertising journey, then you’ll inevitably need to compare the two and pick a winner – so what do users need to know?

The Pro’s and Con’s of SEO vs PPC

When weighing up whether SEO vs PPC is the right choice for your brand or business, according to Content Hive founder Lisa Bourke, it’s a lot like the conundrum that many face when considering renting or buying a house.

“In this case, pay per click marketing is very similar to renting property: it’s a great short term solution that may work best for you if you need instant results. However, more often than not, buying your own property is the better investment in the long term, and much like home ownership, SEO is a format that provides return on investment for quite literally years to come if you manage to get it right.”

While there is no right or wrong path to pursue, there are a few key factors to consider that may influence what the best choice is for your brand or business.


Time – Conquering a successful SEO strategy is a long game, and one of the major reasons that business owners and brands ignore it is often because they simply lack the time. The rise in popularity with PPC marketing is that it’s often considered to be a ‘shortcut’ in regards to getting seen on the world wide web, but may not be viable for long term presence.

Budget – When comparing SEO vs PPC from a financial point of view, obviously both options are going to cost you money. However, SEO arguably provides a lot more efficiency when it comes to cost control, as the only cost is the initial outlay it takes to produce the content. In comparison, PPC involves both wages for the task and the cost of the advertising itself.

Experimentation – When it comes to comparing the perks of both SEO vs PPC, both usually take some time to ‘get it right’ and require tweaking along the way. Knowing which keywords to target through Search Engine Optimisation is important, but Pay Per Click marketing also requires frequent amendments to see what works and what doesn’t.

Resources – What are your current staff more specialised in – technical writing, understanding analytics, or producing engaging imagery? Some users will be able to better understand the concepts of SEO, while others are better equipped to handle targeted PPC marketing. Either way, both will require the attention of someone who is relatively tech savvy.

Longevity – At the end of the day, if you’re able to produce evergreen content that’s SEO friendly, this will go a long way in terms of return on investment and is regarded as one of the pillars of digital marketing. While PPC can be an effective quick fix, it’s usually a short term one. Alternatively, try partnering paid advertising with SEO friendly landing pages for a double hit.

If you approach the conundrum logically, pay per click marketing usually focuses on promoting and pushing specific keywords as a means to get in front of the right audiences. In comparison, content written for SEO does the same thing – except you don’t have the privilege of paying for it over and over again.

While using content marketing as a means to improve your brand’s SEO is a no brainer, sometimes business owners simply don’t have the time, energy, experience or resources to do so. Instead of giving into the temptation of skipping this all together, it might be time to consider outsourcing – but where can you find a reputable provider?

The Key To Good SEO Is Great Content

Producing quality, consistent and on brand content that’s SEO and ultimately Google friendly takes time, effort, experience and resources – and you’re not alone if you can’t quite commit to that. Avoiding the use of content marketing altogether may actually be doing your brand a disservice, but thankfully – investing in a solid strategy has never been easier.

Here at Content Hive, producing top quality digital content is exactly what we do best. We have itemised a list of digital content services, and allocated credits next to each of these. This means that each month, you can use your credits with us to produce digital content such as social media posts, blog articles, videos and even animated Instagram stories.

We believe that this model means we can produce high quality content in faster than normal delivery times. It also means that because you have a monthly credit, you are going to want to make sure you use these up – and so do we – meaning that your digital content is always consistent.

If you aren’t quite sure where to start on your digital marketing journey and would like to speak to a professional, why not book a free discovery call with us at Content Hive today to discuss how we can get your brand buzzing online.

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