Two Ways Into Google: Organic and Paid Search

There are two primary methods for obtaining visibility for your company in Google and other search engines. SEO and PPC. One involves natural/organic search results and the other paying for clicks from advertisements that are displayed within search results.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization (Organic Search)

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing a website and pages to rank within organic search engine results.

PPC – Pay Per Click Advertising (Paid Search)

Pay-per-click (PPC) is an advertising model where you pay for clicks to your website with ads that are displayed within search results.

General Comparison


  • SEO generates consistent search traffic to your website for a flat monthly rate.
  • Lower CPA
  • Long-term, scalable results
  • Broad targeting
  • Requires ongoing effort to achieve and maintain results
  • More difficult to measure
  • Approx. 70% click on organic results


  • PPC generates on-demand search traffic to your website on a cost-per-click basis.
  • Higher CPA
  • Short-term, pay-to-play
  • Granular targeting
  • Campaigns can be launched and generating traffic quickly
  • Easier to measure
  • Approx. 30% click on paid results



  • Slow visibility gains
  • Ongoing effort needed to maintain visibility and respond to search engine updates
  • Can be difficult to measure


  • Ads lose effectiveness/ad blindness
  • Requires constant updating of copy, images and targeting
  • Considered interruptive, as ads disrupt audience intent
  • Paying per click in competitive environments can get increasingly expensive

Which is Best?

  • BOTH are legitimate sources of acquiring website visitors. Usage depends on company objectives.
  • SEO tends to cost less and take longer to gain visibility while PPC is immediate and easier to measure.
  • Search engine users click on organic-driven (SEO) search results more than paid results (PPC).
  • SEO is a long-term solution whereas PPC is short-term.

TIP: Examine CPA

Comparing the cost per acquisition (CPA) of SEO and PPC is often a helpful tool for determining how to spend search engine advertising budgets. Please contact us if you are interested in having a CPA analysis conducted for your company.