SEO or PPC: Which is right for your business?

As a successful digital marketing agency Brisbane, we’re often asked about the best marketing options. In particular, two services which seem to be in competition more than others are search engine optimisation (SEO) and Google AdWords (pay per click / PPC).

Our answer is that it certainly comes down to the individual circumstances, goals, and budget of the business, however in our experience, SEO is often the best option overall for smaller budgets. If the business needs more immediate results or has a larger budget, then AdWords is well suited.

The best approach is often to use both strategies, but that might not suit some small businesses. Your best strategy is to discuss your needs with your web design company, because reputable web developers will built various features into your website which helps with SEO, so you may already be well placed to achieve good results relatively quickly with an SEO service.

Pros and cons of SEO

SEO is an essential part of small business web design, helping to increase traffic and rankings in Google and other search engines, and increasing brand awareness. As recognition of your brand increases in the community, searchers begin to trust your brand, returning to purchase your services or products, and recommending your brand to their friends, relatives, and social sphere.

Often the return on investment is better in the long term than it is with PPC, simply because with a good SEO and web design company running things for you, you can continue to grow traffic from the search engines for years. With PPC, if you pause your ads, they’re gone from search results completely. Also keep in mind that people tend to click on organic results in Google more often than they do on the ads.

On the downside, SEO is not usually a fast way to increase traffic and you will need to continually publish content that optimises your keywords, so that your website remains visible in search engines.

Pros and cons of PPC

For the vast majority of searches, PPC ads dominate the top half of the page, placing your brand in the best position for increased traffic and sales. Depending on how your website was set up, you may have more control over the content of these ads than you do with SEO, and you can use product listings with images to ramp up the searcher’s interest and increase your brand’s visibility. If you decide to use PPC ads, it’s best to consult your local digital marketing agency to design a workable strategy for your business, ensuring that you don’t waste your money due to lack of expertise with these ads.

Like SEO, pay per click advertising does require an ongoing budget, but your results are usually seen within days or weeks, rather than several months with SEO. Your digital marketing agency in Brisbane can also experiment a little more with PPC ads, by creating multiple variations of a single ad, and working out which versions perform the best.

Pay per click ads are rarely affected by changes to Google’s ranking systems/algorithms, but on the downside, PPC is usually more expensive than SEO by a factor of 2 or 3.


If you have a tight budget and are not sure whether SEO or PPC ads will give you the best return on your investment, chat to your local digital marketing agency and ask them for their advice.

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