Organic vs. PPC Search Engine Marketing

When it comes to search engines, there are basically two avenues of gaining traffic: Organic and PPC (pay-per-click) results. There is a world of difference between the two, so let me break the facts down for you. I have a lot of statistics to show you and I am going to use Google as a reference in this article.

Organic Search Engine Results

An “organic” listing is where your website appears naturally in Google’s search engine results. In other words, this is where Google ranks your page on its own without paying to put yourself there.

In order to achieve high organic search engine placements, you have to implement both onsite and offsite SEO techniques to keep your site one step ahead of your competition. Organic search engine results are by far the goal for any website owner who is looking to establish a long-term online presence.

PPC Search Engine Results

PPC (pay-per-click) search engine results is where you pay a certain price per click in order to boost your website to the top of Google’s results for the keyword(s) that you choose through their Adwords program. The more you’re willing to pay per click, the higher your website will appear on the search results.

PPC listings appear in Google’s search results as “Sponsored Links”. Adwords is a great tool if you’re looking to push a short term marketing campaign with the goal of receiving a lot of traffic in a short amount of time. With PPC campaigns, however, the second you stop paying per click (when your advertising budget runs out) your listing will drop off the face of the planet. This is why PPC campaigns such as Adwords is a better tool for a short-term advertising campaign.


Your first step is to understand the trends of those who use Google to find what they’re looking for. The results may surprise you.

Studies show that an astonishing 95% of searchers will click on an organic listing while only 5% will choose a sponsored ad.

User Clicks By Result Type

When it comes to sales, the organic click-through generates a 25% higher conversion rate than the equivalent PPC click-through. The average CPC (cost-per-click) is significantly lower for an effective SEO campaign to improve your organic search engine placement than that of a PPC campaign.

CPC- Organic vs. PPC

Depending on the industry, the average CPC for pay-per-click campaigns is approximately $0.63 compared to the average CPC of an SEO campaign of about $0.07.

So you see, there is a big difference when it comes to organic search engine results vs. a PPC campaign. Which you choose to concentrate most on would be determined by your target audience, what you’re offering, and your overall goal for your website. Possibly the best route would be a fine line of implementing both in the marketing of your website. Again, there is not one answer as to what works best- this varies from person to person.

Before engaging in any marketing campaign, it is imperative that you understand your overall goal, your anticipated conversion and your target audience.

For more organic vs. PPC statistics, visit Input Productions statistical information.

10 thoughts on “Organic vs. PPC Search Engine Marketing

  1. Really nice info! I also use a little bit of both, but I try more on the organic side than the adwords side.

    I do see better traffic from my regular rankings though.

  2. Yes, onsite and offsite search engine optimisation is really important. I have been working on my SEO techniques for a few months and I guess I would say its been going well.

    I have seen a steady increase in the amount of traffic Ive been getting to the site.

  3. All my visitors are pretty well organic as I have never tried PPC in my life. As my blogs are mainly there for my own enjoyment, and hopefully for for the enjoyment of my readers, I don’t really find it necessary to pay for links.

  4. I agree with Sire. I used PPC a long time ago and it just takes up so much of your time tweaking keywords, etc. in order to make sure that you dont go over budget, and I really didn’t convert much anyway.

    Genuine SEO is the way to go!

  5. Finally, someone who agrees with me. Wait until I tell the wife LOL. As for SEO, I rely mainly on leaving comments on blogs that I visit. I find that if I leave a quality comment, it has more chance of leading people to my blog. Other than that it’s all about content and hoping it’s good enough that they will subscribe or continue to drop in occasionally.

  6. I think most internet marketing “newbies” tend to think of organic search as “free” traffic, while pay-per-click obviously comes with a per-click cost assigned.

    I think it’s important that people get into organic SEO with the knowledge that link-building, on-site optimization and the challenge of constantly creating fresh and exciting content comes at a price too, in both man-hours and the pennies in your pocket!

    Just figure out the amount you spend per month on generating organic traffic and divide it by the number of visitors you get from the same source. There’s your organic cost-per-click right there.

    Don’t forget, there is no harm in running both organic and pay-per-click campaigns to consolidate your SERP position. Just be sure to track results.

  7. It’s amazing how somebody can just show some statistics and everyone will believe them. Organic listings are very important, but ppc is way more than 5%. I have only organic listings and my friend who is in the same business does only ppc. He gets five times the volume of calls. I’m sure it can vary depending on the type of business, but 5% is just a lie.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>