Having a strong online presence is one of the most important aspects for every small business’ marketing strategy. Of course, having a physical presence still goes an incredibly long way, but due to the number of consumers who frequent the internet as a means to research and purchase products and services, building a presence online is paramount. 
The issue is, simply having a website and generating traffic to that website are two very different things. You could have one of the most stylish and captivating websites on the internet but it is wasted if no one is visiting. In order to improve traffic to a website, people use different options, two of which are search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) advertising. 
Both SEO and PPC are effective means of online marketing, and both come with pros and cons. Below, we will discuss the benefits and limitations of them, so you can choose which seems the most relevant to your business. 

SEO vs. PPC 

The main reason you would opt to use either of these methods is so that more people, when searching for a term on Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo and other Search Engines, come across your site. With this in mind, it’s important to point out straight away that a paid ad can appear at the top of the search page, before any organic listings that are influenced by SEO. 
That being said, the traffic you would generate from organic listings via SEO is completely free, whereas if you were to generate traffic from PPC it would cost. Realistically, utilising both is the most effective online marketing method. 

The Benefits of Using SEO 

There are many benefits to utilising SEO when trying to build brand awareness and generate organic traffic to your website. These include: 

- Awareness 

The most obvious benefit to using SEO is the awareness that comes with it. By including specific keywords on your website, you will rank for them on Search Engines, which will put you in front of potential customers in the same way as if you were to advertise. 

- Branding 

By appearing in search engines when people look for specific terms and informational queries, you will help build positive branding. This is because your company will begin to be associated with those terms and consequently trusted by those who are searching them. 

- Trust and Credibility 

In the same way your brand will become recognised as operating within a specific field, you will also become a trusted brand within that field. There are a lot of users that skip looking at results generated by ads because they believe those that have turned up organically to be more trustworthy and credible. 

- Cost 

Though there is a cost associated with SEO, this comes in the form of time and effort if managed yourself as opposed to a literal cost. There are SEO providers that can do everything for you and the cost depends on the level of service provided. Realistically, generating traffic using SEO can be one of the cheapest forms of online marketing. 

- Sustainability 

Unlike when you pay for advertisements, organic traffic doesn’t go away the minute you stop paying for it. When you are able to have your website rank organically, you are creating a sustainable business marketing method which will continue to show returns, even if you stop engaging with it for some time. 

The Limitations of SEO 

Where there are clearly a number of different advantages to using SEO as a key component in your online marketing, it still comes with its limitations. These include the following: 

- Speed 

Organic traffic can be slow to come by and is very much a marathon, not a sprint. There are many organisations who are often uploading blogs every day and have content creators to specifically do this for the sake of generating online traffic, as such you may find yourself slightly outgunned at first, meaning it can take some time for your traffic to truly start rolling in. 

- Difficult to Convert 

A lot of the time, when you develop content, organic traffic may come via an information driven reason or pre-purchase query. As such, these users may not be looking to buy right away. This means that there may need to be a staged approach towards converting these visitors into sales. 

- Complex 

If you are just starting out with using SEO, you may have found yourself buried in different terms and phrases that you’re not familiar with. As such, these can make it difficult to fully understand and utilise SEO. 

The Benefits of Using PPC 

So, how do paid ads differ? Well, they also come with a range of benefits that are slightly different to those generated organically. These are: 

- Position on the Page 

If you pay for advertising, your site can appear at the very top of Google’s search pages. Usually, they display 3 or 4 ads, but either way yours can be one of the first things those potential visitors will see. 

- Visual 

If you are selling products, when you pay for an ad, you have the option to use visual shopping ads. These tend to lead to a higher conversion rate due to the fact customers get a glimpse into what is contained on your site before they even click on it. 

- Targeted 

When you take out paid ads, especially on the likes of Google and social media, you can target those ads specifically to consumers who search for the kind of products your business sells. They can be targeted towards keywords, time of day, day of the week, location, language and previous visits. 

- A/B Testing 

You also have the ability to alter paid ads slightly and work out exactly what is the most beneficial means for generating traffic and conversion. By changing the product description and nothing else, or the image, font, title etc., you will be able to see, given by how many clicks each ad receives, which is the most effective for generating traffic. 

The Limitations of PPC 

Like everything else discussed in this article, PPC also comes with its disadvantages. These include: 

- Cost 

Paid ads cost to use. That being said, these can be easy to budget as you will be charged for every click, so you can limit those clicks to however much you can afford. 

- They Need Attention 

Whilst you can restrict how much you are spending on paid ads, if you don’t monitor just how effectively they lead to conversion then you could end up just wasting money. 


Building an online presence is one of the most important aspects to small businesses online marketing strategies. This can be achieved effectively through both SEO and PPC. As suggested above, the utilisation of both of these tactics come with advantages and disadvantages such as sustainability, cost and exposure. Realistically, your businesses should opt for a combination of the two. 
An effective website is crucial for the successful implementation of both SEO and PPC, given SEO is generated by keywords being frequented on websites, whilst PPC will not be effective unless the website consumers are directed towards is stylish and easy to use. 
At It’seeze Milton Keynes, we are experts in building custom-designed websites for businesses large and small. If you are interested in purchasing one of our affordable website packages, then do not hesitate to get in contact and we would be happy to prepare a site that both puts your product in front of people and appeals to them once they see it. 
Tagged as: Online Marketing, PPC, SEO
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