top of page

SEO vs PPC: The Differences And Which One Is Right For You?

When it comes to marketing your business online, you're probably not sure where to start. Should you invest in SEO, PPC, or both?

The truth is that both SEO and PPC can help you see tremendous results for your business—but what's right for one company may not be right for another, so there's no one-size-fits-all answer to that question.

To choose the best option for your business, it's important to understand the differences between SEO and PPC. This guide will give you a primer on both of these marketing strategies and help you decide which is the best fit for your company's needs.

1. The Differences.

SEO and PPC may seem similar on the surface, but they’re actually quite different. Both are digital marketing tactics that businesses use to appear in search engines, but the way they work and their main goals aren’t always the same.

So what are the major differences between SEO and PPC? Let’s start with how they work—and where your content appears. With SEO, you’re trying to get your blog posts, product pages, and other website content to rank on search engines organically—that is, you don’t pay for placement. You optimise your site so Google can understand the information on your page and help you rank for keywords related to your business.

With PPC ads, you bid to show up at the top of searches for relevant keywords and pay every time someone clicks on your ad. That means it’s a quick way to get traffic and leads, but it can also be more expensive than an organic solution.

Think of it like this: SEO is like a marathon runner. It takes time and consistency to see results, but once you do, those results are long-lasting. PPC is more like… a sprinter. You get results quickly and can adjust your strategy on the fly, but they aren’t as sustainable as what you can achieve with SEO.

2. Placement, Ranking, Position ?!?

Both SEO and PPC can get your site to show up at the top of search results. But where those results are placed will differ based on which tactic you choose.

PPC ads will be the first to show up, typically followed by organic search results. Google displays a maximum of 4 paid ads at the top of a page, and the order these show up depends on the ad’s Ad Rank.

The order in which websites appear in organic search results depends on Google’s search engine algorithms, which use over 200 ranking factors to determine a website’s relevance and helpfulness for a user’s search query.

3. The costs are different, too.

SEO and PPC are different in a lot of ways, but the biggest one is probably their costs.

Organic traffic from SEO doesn't cost anything—you don't have to invest in it. Not even clicks. That's why everyone wants organic search traffic. But the only way to get it is through hard work.

With PPC, you pay for your clicks and your ad placement, so there's no hard work to take care of that part. When you pay for an ad, however, you’re paying to reach people who have expressed an interest in your target audience. They’re actively looking for content related to what you’re offering — which means a far better chance of making a sale.


Do you know what you can't put a price on? Organic search engine traffic! With SEO, your business's website gets all the love from Google and other search engines for FREE. And with all that traffic, you don't have to worry about paying for every click.

Of course, it's not like SEO is just sitting around eating bonbons while it waits for your site to get popular. You need to invest time and effort into SEO because everyone wants organic traffic. But if you do put in the time and effort, you'll be rewarded with free traffic and clicks! If you don't have the time or are not sure where to start contact your SEO Cairns Agency today for a free audit and consultation.


bottom of page