SEO vs PPC – Pros and Cons

Jason Berkowitz • March 9, 2021

SEO vs PPC – Pros and Cons

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Is One Style of Search Engine Marketing Better Than The Other?

In today’s competitive and digital marketplace, you need multiple streams of traffic and lead generation to be successful. Two of the most popular forms of getting traffic to your website is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click advertising. There are pros and cons to each strategy. Below, we will be going over some of them.

Pros Of SEO:


Search engine optimization is something that is largely going to be free regarding financial resources that must be utilized to implement it. Because the entire basis of SEO largely has to do with search engine algorithms, you are not going to be required to pay for advertisements, pay for rankings, or anything like that. Instead, you are going to be optimizing your website both on and off site to increase your rankings for particular keywords and key phrases within the marketplace.

Return On Investment

Because SEO is not something that necessarily requires much capital to implement, it is going to be able to provide you with a significant return on investment if implemented successfully. After all, you will be able to attract all kinds of visitors to your website without being forced to pay for it incrementally. SEO is perhaps one of (if not the best) strategies for actually turning a positive return on your investment.

Brand Trust

Another advantage of SEO is the ability to efficiently build a good amount of brand trust with the implementation of it. The higher you rank on the search engines, the more credible your website will look and the more brand trust you will be able to build. Prospective customers will view your high ranking as a positive sign to your site’s credibility which will ultimately help your business in a variety of ways.

Brand Recognition

Another advantage is the ability to generate much more brand recognition for your business and brand. By ranking high, you will get more eyes on your brand as a whole. Thus, you should be able to achieve a lot better overall brand recognition by being ranked higher on the search engines as a direct result of proper SEO implementation.

Cons of SEO:


The biggest cost associated with the implementation and execution of SEO is the time that it can take to do so successfully. While not requiring a lot of financial resources to implement it, SEO can take up a lot of your valuable time which can end up leading to some opportunity cost for your business.

Delayed Results

Another con that can be associated with this kind of marketing and lead generation strategy is the fact that you will likely experience delayed results with the implementation of it. Because it requires much time to optimize a website both on and off site fully, it is not something that you can expect immediate returns or results from.

Relying On Search Engines

Another con associated with this type of marketing strategy is the fact that you are going to be relying on the various search engines to achieve results with it. Just about anything can happen with a particular search engine’s algorithm that could potentially lead your website becoming knocked down in the rankings or even worse – de-indexed entirely. As a result, you are going to be placing a lot of faith and your ultimate success in the hands of these dynamic algorithms.

Note: We have NEVER penalized a website. The paragraph above is purely informative.

Pros of PPC:

Immediate Results

Perhaps the biggest benefit that you are going to be able to get from implementing PPC into your overall marketing strategy is the ability to generate immediate results. Because you will be essentially paying when a potential lead or customer clicks on one of your advertisements, you are going to be spending your marketing budget very resourcefully. By only paying for clicks, you should be able to generate most of your clicks from real interested parties in what you are offering and thus experience high conversion rates as a direct result of that targeted marketing. If you are looking to enter a market that you might not be fully sure of, you can simply run a PPC campaign to see whether or not it is a viable market.


Another advantage of PPC is the ability to reach a wide market or as narrow of a market as you possibly want to. If you have narrowed down your target customer to a very specific demographic and customer, you should be able to minimize your target to reach only your ideal customer.

High Returns

While running a PPC campaign can be costly, you are going to be able to achieve a high return on investment with your campaigns because you will be able to make adjustments and you are only going to be paying when someone clicks on one of your ads. As a result, as long as your landing page or offer is enticing enough and highly optimized, you should be able to generate a good overall ROI with it.

Cons of PPC:

Requires Capital

As opposed to SEO, PPC is a strategy that requires a good amount of capital. While you should be able to generate enough sales to offset what you are spending, in the early stages, you might be spending more than you are bringing back before being able to optimize it better. As a result, you need to have some safety net and money to invest into each and every campaign.

Requires Testing

While not necessarily a huge negative, this method of marketing requires a good amount of testing and the ability to analyze results to improve each campaign.

Overall, there are a lot of different pros and cons to both SEO and PPC. The truth is, they are both essential to an effective marketing mix in today’s digital marketplace. As a result, it would be wise to run them consequently and focus your attention on both strategies in your marketing efforts.

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Jason Berkowitz

SEO Director

Since 2010, Jason has been strategizing & leading SEO campaigns for brands of all types.

As the SEO Director at Break The Web, Jason takes point on the strategic direction of client campaigns and internal frameworks & execution processes.

Originally from New York City, when he’s not nerding out to SEO, Jason can be found playing with strangers' dogs or falling from the sky as an avid skydiver.

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