SEO or Paid Media: Which is the Better Investment?

Many would say that SEO and Paid Media are the two pillars of digital marketing.

But which is better? Which should you invest in?


Goal: Instant Results

SEO is a long-term strategy that involves building authority through carefully selected keyword themes. PPC allows for more immediate results as you can essentially purchase real estate in the SERPs. If you set up your campaign correctly, you can see your ads at the top of the search results immediately.


Edge: Paid Media


Goal: Exposure

A comprehensive SEO strategy will allow your website to rank on multiple search engines. The improvements you make to your website are not limited to one search engine, thus expanding your overall reach.

In order to serve paid ads on multiple search engines, separate paid search campaigns need to be built on separate platforms (Google Ads, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram, etc.) You will want to create campaigns on a variety of different platforms, but it requires more work.


Edge: SEO


Goal: Audience Targeting

Knowing your audience and effectively targeting them is an important part of any marketing strategy. Paid search campaigns allow you to target your ideal customer through a variety of targeting tools. You can segment your audience by age, geographical location, gender, affinity, lookalike audiences, parental status, income, in-market interests, and several other factors to ensure your ads are being served to ideal users at the best possible time.

Edge: Paid Media


Goal: Credibility

A key focus in a comprehensive SEO strategy is to build your website’s authority within your industry. This consists of starting by targeting attainable keywords and moving towards higher volume targets as your website and brand become a source of reputable content. Searchers trust organic listings over paid ads. It also takes longer to earn organic market share and give you a competitive advantage.

Edge: SEO 


Goal: Scalability

SEO success depends on a series of cumulative updates to your website. The results of the efforts compound over time as you are continually improving your content, keyword rankings, user experience, site speed, and other factors. These improvements not only facilitate increases in organic traffic and rankings, but also are good for branding from a holistic marketing perspective. Done correctly over time SEO can create a significant source of customers, revenue and profit.

Edge: SEO


Goal: Control

Changes to metadata like title tags and meta descriptions don’t always show up in the SERPs immediately. SEOs can use a Fetch and Render tool such as the one available in Google Search Console, which essentially asks Google to recognize the change and reflect it accordingly in the SERPs. Even then it can be a few days before the change takes effect.

Paid search ads, however, are unaffected by organic Google algorithm updates. Once your campaign is set up, your ads will appear as you’ve written them in the placement(s) you’ve selected.

Edge: Paid Media


Goal: Budget

If you hire a sophisticated SEO agency, implementing SEO typically does not require a large budget relative to the budget you’d need to allocate to get a similar number of visitors, revenue and profit from Paid Media. Optimizing quality content, targeting your ideal customer, leveraging and acting on sophisticated crawl and keyword ranking data, using engaging headlines, optimizing metadata, analyzing and ensuring your site is easily navigable are ways to bolster your SEO efforts and improve performance. PPC campaigns are incredibly effective, but they can be expensive to run, especially in competitive industries.  We’ve seen instances where an SEO campaign with a 10k per month budget is outperforming a paid media budget in the millions per year.

Edge: SEO 


Goal: Beating the Competition

Your competitors are probably doing both SEO and PPC. If they aren’t doing both, you don’t want to miss out on an easy opportunity to get ahead. Here are some of the ways in which SEO and PPC can be used together to improve your marketing efforts:


  • Organic traffic from SEO provides an alternate set of visitors to your website who can be targeted in your PPC remarketing campaigns and similar audience lists, and can also be targeted with social media.
  • PPC platforms provide data on potential keywords that are performing well and can be used in your SEO strategy.
  • Keywords from ad copy that generates a high click-through rate can be used in SEO title tags, headlines, and meta descriptions to ensure a high CTR for your organic listings.


Edge: Leveraging Both SEO and PPC in a Collaborative Marketing Strategy


Every team member at Titan Growth is a triple-certified search engine marketing expert. Contact us to learn more about how you can benefit from a partnership with our team of professionals.