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Should You Choose PPC Or SEO?

June 7th 2017

In times gone by, simply having a website was enough to generate business.  In today’s digital age however, with competition stiff in almost every sector, you have to think about how you will bring customers to your website.  Some of our clients treat their website as a presence, and are only concerned about existing customers seeing that they have a professional presence.

However, some of our customers rely on their website as their main form of lead generation. In this situation there are generally two main ways to bring traffic to your site; SEO, or PPC (Adwords).  In this article we will looking at the differences and the pros and cons of both.

PPC – Adwords

PPC stands for Pay Per Click.  As the name suggests, it is a form of advertising where you pay when a potential customer clicks on your advertisement.  The largest provider of PPC advertising is Google, via their Adwords platform.  Adwords is the main way Google generates revenue, and has been around for over 15 years.  when you type something into Google, and you see Adverts at the top and bottom of the page, those are Adwords Ads.  If you click on one of those Ads, the advertiser is paying a fee to Google.

The fee you pay depends on the competition.  If you are advertising a low value product, you might find the cost is just pence per click.  However, if you are advertising an expensive service, eg mortgages or loans, you might pay £10+ per click.

The big advantage of PPC is that it is very quick to get up and running.  Within hours you can be driving traffic to your website.

The disadvantage is cost.  We always advise our clients that in order to run a good PPC campaign, we need an understanding of the % conversion rate of your website.  Using this figure we can than calculate how much a lead (or sale) is going to cost to generate on average, and thus you can work out if PPC is viable for you.  If you are starting from scratch, it does take time (and money) to establish the conversion rate of your website, and the average cost per clicks, so the initial period is very much a market research exercise.

Undertaking an Adwords campaign without a good understanding of the Adwords platform, can be a very expensive and fruitless exercise, which is why (if budget allows) you should always employ the services of an Agency.


SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. This is the process of making improvements and changes to your website, in order to encourage Google to rank you higher for a specific keyword.  For many years this has been known as a black art, but in recent times is more about having a properly structured website, with unique and quality content.

Let’s imagine you want to rank for ‘builder in london’.   You need to demonstrate to Google that your website is more worthy than all the other companies who also want to rank for the same phrase.  Worthy means;

How good is your website in terms of usability
How relevant is your website to the search term
How well is your website structured and coded

The big advantage of SEO is that most people still click on organic search results, rather than paid adverts, so the traffic potential is huge.

There are some major drawbacks.  Ranking for most competitive keywords is very time consuming, complex and expensive.  However, we believe the key dissadvantage is that once you rank, there are no guarantees that you will generate leads/sales from the keyword…. which can mean wasted time and/or money.

Our Advice

Unless you are 100% certain that your website is performing well for a particular keyword, don’t spend significant funds on targeting that keywords with SEO. First, ensure that your website converts visitors into sales for that keyword, which is best done via PPC advertising.  If for example you find your site converts at 10% for a specific keyword in your PPC campaign, then by all means target it with some SEO.

If you would like guidance or assistance with your PPC or SEO campaign, why not get in touch.


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