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Search engine optimization aims at getting a website rank higher in search engine results pages naturally or organically. It involves processes or strategies that ensure a website is structured in a way that search engines will be able to understand it and locate it.

Pay per click on the other hand, is a marketing strategy wherein a company places an advertisement on a website and pays each time someone clicks on its advertisement. When done correctly, both ways can get you to the top rank of any search engine results pages. However, like any other method, each has its own pros and cons that need to be carefully weighed before one can really say which one is the better way than the other.

Here are the common advantages and disadvantages of each marketing strategy that one should take a look into.



  • Builds Credibility
  • Natural or organic
  • Solid and long term return on investment
  • Brand presence in different search engines



  • High competition
  • Takes time
  • Vulnerable to algorithm changes


Pay per click


  • Instant Result
  • No worries about changes in algorithm
  • Can build brand dominance
  • Allows you to target your audience



  • Can be expensive
  • There is a need for extensive testing
  • Requires constant optimization

To further see how SEO and pay per click will benefit or not benefit an organization, let us pit one against the other in terms of the following:


Return on Investment

More consistent income and longevity in the search engines can be achieved through SEO. When your campaign is successful and you can keep your place at the top of search engine results pages, search engine optimization provides a better ROI. However, it takes time and money.


PPC gives immediate results. If you want a quick win, then this is the way. It is also not susceptible to algorithm updates. There’s less data needed, unlike when you optimize a page for search engines. However, your advertisement is only there as long as you are bidding for it.


A carefully laid out SEO campaign can bring more traffic to a website, however pay per click marketing brings higher conversion rate.


Brand Building

“Page one domination” can only be achieved through search engine optimization. It provides the whole package – brand awareness, reputation and promotion. On the other hand, banner advertising or pay per click marketing is a great place to start in building your brand image. It is also a great way to target potential customers by demographic.


Social Media

One can say that social media and SEO are made for each other. Social signals are important for rankings. Businesses and organizations take advantage of the different social media platforms to promote their sites by including links to their main websites. PPC can benefit from social media as well through social extensions and 3rd party site link extensions.

Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each method may influence your decision, but why choose when you can use both strategies to gain your desired results. It makes perfect sense to use both especially if you have the budget. Besides, whatever shortcomings pay per click marketing, you can always use the strength of search engine optimization.