SEO and PPC: Prices and differences [Invest in SEM]

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SEO and PPC: Which is more effective?
SEO and PPC are the two great branches of search engine marketing or SEM.

SEO focuses on fine – tuning your website and creating quality content to drive organic growth (receiving visits from search engines when someone makes a query related to your industry).

PPC is based on paying for clicks on ads displayed on the Google results page and on banners, through services such as Google Ads and Google Display.

PPC has the advantage of offering immediate, constant and guaranteed results, but when the campaign budget is exhausted you will disappear again.

SEO, on the other hand, is more expensive, and takes longer to bear fruit, but, well managed, offers exponential growth and a higher return on investment in the long term.


SEO: Costs, advantages and disadvantages

As we already mentioned, SEO is about creating content and making your website as attractive as possible to both search engines and Internet users – especially the latter.

The goal is to rank first in Google when someone is looking at something that has to do with what you offer.

The key is to appear in front of a possible consumer just at the moment when he is interested in what you are selling .

For this we must position ourselves with the keywords of our industry on the first page of Google, and it is certainly not easy, it is a long and expensive process that requires constant monitoring.

An SEO project can cost between 1,000 USD and 10,000 USD , but after positioning yourself you can achieve a huge amount of traffic, with a great opportunity to convert prospects and eventually sales. 

For more detailed information on the costs of an SEO project, consult our article: How much does it cost to position your website in Google?

Why invest in SEO? Advantages of organic growth

Paying for advertising is like renting an apartment , while creating content is making a machine that, over time, will not stop building buildings. The content never sleeps, never gets sick and always works.

The articles you write, the videos you edit and the audios you record will be the best employees your business has.


Because they will work as advertisers, public relations and sellers of your brand. You no longer have to tell the story of why your products are the best or why your services meet the requirements of your customers. There will be the pieces of content to do that work for you.

And even if the road is a little longer ( you won’t get to the first page of Google overnight ) the return on investment is much, much higher.

What is PPC?: Costs, advantages and disadvantages 

How to do PPC?

The PPC process consists of paying the search engine to place your products or services in a certain place: it can be the top of the results pages or in banners within websites similar to yours. 

The advantage of PPC consists mainly in its immediacy, the security it offers and the reduced costs, at the beginning, compared to an SEO project.

Of course, when the budget is exhausted you will return to anonymity, which creates a dependency relationship. 

The costs of each click vary by industry. In the following table, you can find the average costs for each:

PPC prices


Average price per click


0.62 USD


0.58 USD


0.79 USD

Customer service

0.81 USD


1.49 USD


0.45 USD


0.47 USD

Employee Services

0.78 USD

Finance and insurance

0.86 USD

Health and medicine

0.63 USD


0.60 USD

Industrial services

0.54 USD


0.72 USD

Real estate

0.75 USD


0.51 USD

Travel and hospitality

0.44 USD

How Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising Works: A Significant Disadvantage

Internet advertising, although it acts fast and allows you to reach many people, has a very low conversion rate. This means that even though it can generate traffic, few people end up buying.

In addition, less than 4% of users who do a search click on an ad.

We have also mentioned that you need 10,000 users to see your ad to get 100 clicks and close a single purchase.

For this and other reasons, we have declared that advertising is dead . 

In addition to this, millions of users around the planet have extensions (tools) that allow them to block any intrusive advertising or banner.

For all the above, in today’s world, outbound marketing has lost a lot of strength .

SEO and PPC: Statistics

Businesses that publish articles regularly have 97% more inbound links than companies that don’t blog.

What does this mean?

That companies that make an effort to write texts related to their industry, products and services (part of a good SEO service ) have a much greater potential for reach than those that do not.

In a study involving 6,200 respondents from 99 countries, the HubSpot company, one of the most recognized brands in the global marketing industry, reached the following conclusions:

  • For 61% of inbound professionals, the number one priority is to improve the SEO of the companies they work for, to grow their organic presence in search engines (2018).
  • Only 18% of marketers interviewed said that outbound marketing (where PPC comes in) produced the best quality of leads for a possible sale.

The same company, on its website, collects other interesting statistics:

Google Adwords and SEO: Difference and figures

  • Between 70-80% of users only focus on organic search engine results. That is, they ignore advertising (MarTech, 2018).
  • SEO generates almost 6 times better results than advertisements in search engines (New Media Campaigns, 2018).
  • Content marketing gets 3 times more leads than search engine advertising (Content Marketing Institute, 2017).
  • 70% of people reject banner ads on mobile and ad blockers on those devices have increased 90% year over year (HubSpot, 2016).

Advertising + SEO: PPC in inbound marketing strategy

Yes, you can add Google PPC advertising to your inbound marketing strategy. You would be mixing outbound with inbound , hoping to get the best of both worlds. 

1.- Outbound can be more powerful and atomic in the short term: if you have the money, it allows you to stand in front of a large number of people. Its application works instantly: it is enough to activate an online advertisement to see results.

Using this branch of marketing, your company will go through the number of people you want, depending on the money you have.  

2.- With inbound, as time goes by, your brand and your campaign gain strength.

The more profit you reap from your content marketing efforts , the less time and money you will have to invest.

The content you write today will help you sell tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, and the day after the day after tomorrow.

If we make an analogy with the world of finance, we could say that each piece you publish will be an asset that will appreciate in value over time.

Does paying for ads improve SEO on Google?

The answer is no. 

The work you do with advertising is completely independent of the growth you may have in organic search engine results. 

SEO or PPC?: Conclusion on investing in SEM

The same difference that exists between SEO and Pay Per Click is the fundamental breaking point that divided marketing a few years ago to establish two mother currents: inbound marketing and outbound marketing. Each has its strengths and weaknesses.

In our opinion, and taking the numbers as a basis, SEO far outweighs PPC . 

However, this does not mean that PPC ceases to be useful in various cases and circumstances, such as a reduced budget, or the need to get traffic quickly.

For example: it can be very useful if you have a limited time promotion that you want to publicize.

Everything will depend on your needs, projections and budget.

If you want to learn more about these currents, we invite you to read our article on Inbound vs. Outbound .

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