Which Is More Affordable: SEO or PPC?

Everyone in the internet marketing business is on a constant quest to find the most inexpensive way to get traffic to their site so they can start making money. To that end, we constantly hear people asking which is more affordable: SEO or PPC? The answer, as you might expect, is more complicated than you really want it to be.

The problem is that ‘affordable’ means different things to different people. Let’s say, for example, that you came to the table prepared and you started your online business with $10,000 cash in the bank to get started with. You can easily spend $2000 on a high-quality website and another $1000 on content — but you’ve still got plenty left over to live on while you shell out another $1000 each month on killer SEO. You can afford to wait a little while for customers, but when your money runs out you’re going to need the best traffic-per-dollar that you can get.

You want to invest in SEO.

On the other hand, let’s say you’re doing online business on the side while you work a 9 to 5 job. You don’t have a lot of money up front, but you’ve set aside $150/week to spend developing your online business. You need your profits back right away or your expenses will outpace your ability to spend. You’re not as concerned with traffic-per-dollar, but you are definitely interested in a speedy return.

You want to invest in PPC — specifically, in a PPC management firm.

Of course, you may be in a position to do both, and there’s nothing wrong with that — SEO and PPC are perfectly good neighbors and they work well together. The PPC brings in immediate, consistent, targeted traffic while the SEO builds up to a point at which it can sustain your business, at which point you can drop the PPC in favor of your own natural, organic traffic.

But when the final analysis comes in, the question of SEO being more or less affordable than PPC depends entirely on your financial situation. Based on the market numbers (80% of the money spend on search engine marketing goes to PPC and only 20% to SEO), most companies are looking for that quick return, even if it’s more expensive up front than SEO.

100 thoughts on “Which Is More Affordable: SEO or PPC?”

  1. We are specializing in wholesale novelty items to convenience stores and small retailers, especially in rural areas in the upper midwest, including North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska. I need to get the word out, but I am on a budget. Absolutely any idea is greatly appreciated. Thank You for helping me with a problem!

  2. I have keywords that are ranking on google, yahoo, and bing at the first page. My problem is how will I be in the top 1 position for my keywords? I keep on building links,but I don’t think it’s enough.

    Also, these keywords are highly targeted and we’re expecting to get sales from it. But we’re not converting much when it comes to organic – seo. Where could be the problem ? Is it still on SEO or on the website already?

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  4. Do you need an internet marketer to advertise your business?
    Do you need an internet marketer to advertise all about your restaruant or business? This will allow you to get more customers and clients. I may know a good company. Let me know!

  5. Hello,
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  6. I have a web site that has been averaging about 150 unique hits a day. During one week it even had 100,000 hits in one week but am now getting a solid 150 unique hits, 200 page loads per day. Is that worth anything to advertisers because it certainly isn’t worth crap with Google AdSense.

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  10. Why is Indeed.com so successful? I work for an online job search engine website and right now we are not ranking as well as Indeed.com or Simplyhired.com. What exactly is google looking for? Also, sometimes I see jobs listed on my site also listed on Indeed.com. When I click the link on Indeed, it links out to a Snagajob page, rather than going directly to my site. How can I prevent this from happening? Indeed.com and Snagajob.com are taking all my traffic! thanks 🙂

  11. I’m opening up a zazzle store and I’d like to know which marketing agency can help bring the most business to my site. Thanks.

  12. I own a fast food restruant and want to make a website that will include its location, ordering information, and the menu. where can i make a good website that is leagal at? money is really not that much of an issue as long as it is not over $200 for set up and $50 a month.

    thank you

  13. I have a small business and a website now i want to market it through Internet. I have read little about SEO and PPC. I spoke to a few companies but they are charging beyond my capacity. Also i am not sure of their service. Can anyone suggest some good SEO consultant or affordable internet marketing company in India ( preferaly kolkata) ?

  14. I want to make my business grow & make money a.s.a.p. Im into custom painting and designing for electronics, ( game consels & controllers, cases for iphone, ipad, cell phones, laptop faces ect. ) I posted some ads in craigslist but it’s not really working. So if anyone can give me some advise to help me that would be great. Maybe tell me where & how to place ads., or check out my ad on craigslist & tell me what i’m doing wrong or how can I make it better. Or anything that will work. It’s a small business, I just started, and I cant afford to put that much money into it yet, im 18 so I probably wont get approved for a loan or something. So I need ideas that cost little – no money. Any ideas? Here is the link to my craigslist ad http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/vgm/3661547232.html

  15. I have a web site for my local transporation service that get’s about 800 hits per month and generates many new customers. I’m trying to do the same thing with a site in the vitamin industry. Key words are much more competative and expensive. Any sugesstions?

  16. Hello,
    I just start my website for my online business, I try to get traffic from PPC and SEO but the search engine optimization prices are too expensive for me.
    How to deal profitability with search engine optimization prices?

  17. How does it affect SEO, how to select/use keywords effectively…

    a) Domain name

    b) Title Tags

    c) Headers (, , , )

    d) SEO Copywriting
    Please add links/resources please… Thanks.

  18. In other words, what can get my local small business to appear on page 1 of google when customers search “Contractors in Algonquin IL” or similar?

    I was thinking to put $1-200 a month on googles ad program. Will that help a lot?

  19. With Search Marketing (PPC), I basically break even. For every $30.00 sale I make, I pay about $25.00 in PPC charges + paypal and hosting costs. My business is basically breaking even on a product with a HUGE markup. How does anyone make it in this industry? Does SEO work, or are there better ways to get customers to your website? Thank you-

  20. Have a website how do I put it to work, how do search engines work? Yahoo, Google and all the others?

  21. I’ve opened an ecommerce store ( http://www.zazzle.com/scifunk ) and I’m looking for an affordable PPC service that delivers real results and has a good conversion rate. If anyone has worked with jumpfly.com before and can share some positive feedback or can recommend a better service please let me know. Thank you.

  22. Who would be the professionals working with me? Also I would like to know how lucrative this business is and how much is the investment needed to run this business?

  23. Hi, I’m planning to sell some stuffs online & for that I need a development company who can develop my website and make some market online. My budget is below 7K, please suggest me some good companies?

  24. I’m not looking for PPC. I would like to get SEO services at a a reasonable price that will place my site on the first page on Google and Yahoo. Is that even possible?

  25. I’m in charge of managing the website for my school. However, when you enter the school name on Google, the website doesn’t show up until the second page. How can I get the site ranked so that it appears at or near the top of search results – or just even the first page?

  26. im starting a clubpenguin blog and i have bin getting veiws but not much you check it out if you want to only 47 veiws it would help if you just tell me to quit now or try again telling me ways to advertise will help to

  27. I want to open a international online shop on electronic products. I have good sources, but I really do not know how to promote it.I have found many comparison shopping engine online, such as nextag.com ,thefind.com and bizrate.com, I thought they will be helpful for me, but , most of them cost much, according to the click, similar with PPC.So, do you have any other ways to promote a new online shop, the products on it are cheap. Except forum, blog,articles.By the way, some online shopping habit is helpful for me. For example, if I want to buy a cell phone onine, I will go to ebay and tabao fisrt. What will you do firest?

  28. As I found out the biggest market on the planet is the internet
    ( I mean..online users and now mobile users with smartphones as Blackberry, iPhone and Android )..

    Because I wonder how to get clients online at low cost, and how to manage huge list of potential clients ?

    A friend told me to look for keywords as : Safe List, Email Autoresponders, Mailing System.. Do you know more related words ?

    Can anyone have a pozitive experience, getting online customers with free or affordable software ?

  29. any ideas on how to market a printing business, promotions, where to advertise, PR ideas or marketing campaigns?

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