SEO vs Paid Traffic – Which Is Right For Your Business?

More leads and more sales.

Ask any small business owner what they want more of and you will likely get one of these responses.

Sales do not just magically appear out of nowhere with customers eagerly waiting. The key to driving more leads and sales to your business ultimately comes down to generating targeted traffic. In fact, how successful your business largely depends on the amount of the traffic you can generate.

SEO vs Paid Traffic

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC (Pay Per Click) are two of the most effective channels for driving traffic online. Both can get your business on the first page of the search results for target keywords.

SEO Vs Paid Traffic

The end goal is the same for both but managing a campaign differ widely for the two. Here we take a closer at these two digital marketing strategies and how to decide which one is right for your business.

What is SEO?

Google relies on complex ranking algorithms to determine rankings in the organic search results.

SEO involves optimizing your site to rank higher in Google, Yahoo, and Bing. This process involves conducting keyword research, optimizing content for relevant terms, building links from authority sites, and adhering to all webmaster guidelines. These techniques together help your site rank higher for target keywords.

Here Are Some Pros Of SEO:

Targeted traffic: Ranking for your target keywords can drive a considerable amount of traffic to your landing pages. And unlike other forms of paid advertising, pages on your site could potentially drive traffic to your business for years to come. SEO also drives traffic from multiple search engines.

High ROI potential: Organic search results are all determined by ranking algorithms. SEO has a high ROI potential as higher visibility translates to more clicks and conversions.

Credibility: Implementing SEO into your site means building an authority site packed with valuable resources for your target market. This, in turn, helps your site generate more traffic and be recognized as an industry authority.

SEO is an effective way to drive targeted traffic to your site.

But results are not instant as it can take months or even years to start generating results depending on how competitive your industry is. Sites are also vulnerable to search engine algorithm updates. An algorithm update (e.g. Panda or Penguin) could result in a sharp decline of traffic.

What Is PPC?

AdWords is a paid traffic form of advertising from Google.

The search results include both paid and organic listings. Getting in the paid positions involves settings bids on target keywords and creating text ads that only appear for those search queries. As the name suggests, you only pay for each click on your ads.

Here are some pros of PPC:

Instant traffic: Even with a newly registered site, you could start driving targeted traffic to your pages with an AdWords campaign in a short period. This is incredibly advantageous as it means you can start generating sales right away from your landing pages.

Targeting options: AdWords offers some features that make it easy to target your audience. For example, you can target online users in a certain region and even select when to show your ads (useful for local businesses).

Detailed reports: AdWords also makes it incredibly easy to calculate the ROI of your campaigns. You can see which keywords are producing sales and which are only costing you clicks. This information is valuable to identify hidden opportunities.

AdWords offers immediate results compared to SEO. But advertising on this platform also has its costs as you could quickly burn through your marketing budget. Another important consideration is that all traffic to your landing pages stop when you end a campaign.


If your business is still relatively new, you likely want to start generating sales right away with paid traffic. An AdWords campaign can drive immediate traffic to your landing pages and help your business connect with more potential prospects. Regardless of what industry you are in, SEO is still definitely worth the investment as the results are long lasting.

A combination of both is certainly recommended but determining whether to invest in SEO or PPC ultimately depends on your budget and objectives.

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