The debate over whether PPC (Pay Per Click) is more effective as an Online Marketing tool or is it SEO (Search Engine Optimization), is almost as old as the evolution of the Search Engines.The role of Online Marketing assumes greater importance in the present context, with incredibly large number of websites, 110 million at last count and growing exponentially. With competition in each industry vertical increasing manifold, the endeavor to capture eyeballs in the most cost effective manner is a challenge forevery online business.Out of the various tools of Online Marketing, the two that conspicuously stand out are the Paid Campaign (Pay Per Click) and organic Search Engine promotions (Search Engine Optimization).In the following table, it is attempted to highlight the individual merits and shortcomings of each of these tools on five parameters.





SEO & PPC combination

1. Turnaround     Time

It delivers prompt results.

Has a longer gestation period


PPC gets prompt traffic before the efforts of the SEO begin to show up.

2. Effectiveness     Span

The results stop as soon as the campaign stops.

The results of the campaign are visible over a longer period of time.

The results start as soon as the campaign begins and continue even after the campaign ends.

3. Cost

An expensive lead generating Medium.

More economical lead generator with higher ROI.

The high costs of the PPC are offset by the favorable economics of SEO.

4. Operating     Dynamics

Offers more options for more restricted visibility.

Offers limited options for targeted marketing.


Derive combined benefits in the form of wider choice.

5. Supervision

Needs continuous Monitoring.

Mandates periodic monitoring


Moderate monitoring is required.

The ideal marketing plan is usually one that is a combination of both the PPC and SEO with the efforts of one complementing the other. The right blend of the two ensures optimal ROI for the marketing spend.To summarize, the decision to opt for PPC or SEO is determined by the specific marketing need of the individual business. It is further a function of the allocated marketing budget, and the respective industry vertical that the business operates in.The appropriate blend of the Online Marketing Tools is recommended to ensure that the website attracts the desired traffic in an effective manner. This becomes critical in view of the new forms of Search Engines that are quintessential of the Web version 2.0. The USP of these new age Search Engines is that these would be human edited and merely bidding for the desired keywords would not get you those elusive rankings.