Ok, so let’s start by explaining what each one is:

SEO – Search Engine Optimisation, is all about optimising the pages of your website so they appear higher up in search results on search engines (below the adverts), for certain search terms and keywords.

Google Ads (PPC) – PPC stands for Pay Per Click, and are the ads at the top and bottom of search results in Google. You literally pay to  advertise here, each time a viewer clicks on them.

Both extremely powerful marketing tools, and choosing to use just one of them is not the way to go. How would you even compare, and choose, one of two available tools that each have distinct advantages? You just can’t.

PPC is instant; you have a lot of instant control over it, and you get a lot of data from it – but it costs you money every time someone clicks on your ad, so it’s really important that you optimise your ad so that only the right people are clicking, for the right search terms, which in turn means you’re getting a good return on your investment. This means managing your ads, preferably daily, and not just setting up an ad and leaving it run without any further thought. You’d just be burning money by doing that, basically.

SEO, on the other hand, doesn’t cost you a penny when somebody clicks on you in their search results on Google, but SEO takes time and skill, it is the longer game. You will either need to know how to do SEO or pay somebody to do it. Do not be tempted with link building companies as these can cause a lot of damage.

Why would you use PPC when SEO is free?

Not everyone clicks on the first results they see, and not everyone will click on an ad, purely because they can see it’s an ad – some people want to look at organic search results and scroll down the pages as they see these as having more value to them. This is where SEO comes in. Bear in mind, though, that the internet is a highly competitive market, and everyone wants to be at the top of page 1, so it can take time to get to the top pages using SEO and there’s a lot of skill involved in doing so, so using PPC whilst your work your magic on SEO will give you that instant page one presence.

On the flip side, believe it or not, some people don’t go past page 1, or even the first half of page 1, of their search results. They don’t want to scroll, they just want a quick solution, so PPC really works for these people as they’re right at the top of the search results.

So a mixture of SEO and PPC together is a sure fire way of making sure you’re seen by a wider audience, and a smart idea for your marketing.

It’s all about keywords

With SEO and PPC you are aiming to get your page or advert to the top of the search engines when someone types in a certain word or phrase, and this is where a lot of people fall into a trap of low performance and high costs, as they go for the most obvious keywords. These ‘obvious’ keywords are the ones most people choose for their SEO and PPC, so the competition is high and the cost inflated. So mix your SEO and PPC keywords up a bit, by all means go for a few obvious keywords or search terms, but also carry out some research to find the less competitive words and phrases that won’t cost so much on PPC, or take so long to get you to the top pages with SEO. You may also find some real  gems of keywords your competitors have missed!

Keywords Research

Keyword tools and analysis

The way you find the right keywords is not to pluck them out of the air, there are several online tools to help you find keywords based on search results within Google itself. They tell you the estimated search volume and how competitive each of the keywords is.

Another good idea is to carry out competitor analysis on the market leaders in your sector, to see which keywords and phrases they go for. You don’t have to copy them necessarily, but it will give you an idea of where you stand against them.


The leading players in your industry will almost certainly of invested heavily in both PPC and SEO to get to where they are now. You can do the same thing, but neither SEO or PPC is a five-minute job, it takes time, skill and patience, so start now and harvest the results later. Don’t be tempted to play at either SEO or PPC, both can cost you dearly, but running PPC and SEO correctly can take your company to another level.

If you would like more advice then please get in touch and ask to speak with our SEO and PPC team, they will be happy to help you: 01455 561 561.