SEO vs PPC – Which is the better investment?

In the modern marketplace, having a digital marketing strategy is no longer an option: It’s essential. Nonetheless there is still some confusion over what type of digital strategy is best.

Here at GO Creative, we’re often asked whether SEO or PPC is better. That’s why we decided to explain the difference between search engine optimisation and pay-per-click advertising.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

What is SEO? Search engine optimisation is the process of ensuring your website is as visible as possible and ranks as high as possible whenever someone searches certain keywords or phrases in a search engine. The better your SEO, the better your SERP ranking i.e. search engine result pages and the more likely potential customers are going to come across your website.

The goal of SEO is to provide a long term and affordable strategy for generating more traffic, increase brand awareness and credibility and offer a high return on investment (ROI).

Pay Per Click (PPC)

PPC marketing, often just called paid search, is different to search engine optimisation in that it aims to improve website visibility through sponsored and featured advertising either at the top of Google or Bing search results or on social media. Every time someone clicks on your link, you pay a fee, hence the name.

The goal of PPC is to offer quick results, provide more control over your visibility and focus on a more targeted audience to help increase sales.

SEO vs PPC – which is better?

At the end of the day the particular digital marketing strategy that’s right for you will depend on your business, your target audience and your goals (short term and long term). Ideally, to maximise your online presence and ROI, a combination of search engine optimisation with targeted campaigns of ads would be employed.

However, there are plenty of reasons–if you’re operating on a budget and/or are unsure—to focus on search engine optimisation to start off with.

The numbers game

According to 2024 data, organic traffic’s click-through rate (CTR) is nearly half (45.1%) of all search clicks on desktops vs. 17.9% PPC. This suggests that users tend to find organic results more credible than other sources, like paid advertisements. By organic, internet users are clicking on a link from the search results and not in the sponsored ads. By optimising your website for search engines (SEO), you can attract a significant portion of this valuable organic traffic; the benefits of SEO are obvious.

Online exposure over time

When you compare overall exposure online, search engine optimisation is more effective than pay-per-click advertising. While PPC offers instant results, it only works as long as you pay for the ad campaign. Optimising the content and structure of your website for search engine ranking algorithms will ensure your website actually shows up more consistently in searches for longer periods and time.


Branding can be a tricky thing to get right, but one way of helping to cement your place in any given industry is through SEO. By optimising your website for search engine results, you’ll be proving your credibility and authority not just to the AI at Google and Bing but also to the potential customers and clients who see your website ranking above others. PPC advertising does not foster the same credibility associated with a brand.


When it comes to return on investment, whether you’re operating on a budget or not, SEO proves to be more affordable, more scalable and offer more of a return in the long run. Unless you’re promoting a specific sale, event or special, chances are that you’d be better off investing in SEO than ongoing paid advertising.

search engine optimisation benefits

Book a free SEO audit today

As you can imagine, we’ve barely scratched the surface about what SEO can offer your business and online digital strategy. In fact, the team here at GO Creative can do more than just wax lyrical about search engine optimisation. We can show you exactly how it will benefit your website! Book your obligation free and no cost SEO audit today and find out more.


Like what you see? Share this post to...