when to invest in organic traffic and when to make paid ads – WAU

Traffic generation is the first part of the Inbound Marketing methodology. SEO and PPC are among the most popular ways to attract people. But when to choose to use search engine optimizations and when to invest in pay per click? Understand in our post!

Executing a quality Digital Marketing strategy is not so easy, but it can be quite simple to define the elements that make up a winning plan.

In fact, the perfect summary is described in the steps of Inbound Marketing:

  • attraction;
  • conversion;
  • sale;
  • and retention.

The first part involves a very challenging job. Only a good traffic generation system can attract a good number of people with the profile you want to attract.

And there are a number of ways to generate qualified traffic to fuel your sales funnel and make your marketing strategy a success. Among the best known are SEO and PPC.

But how does each of these options work? And more importantly, which is better? In this article, we’ll show you everything to decide when it’s best to use SEO or PPC to get the best results.

Are you ready? So come on!

In this article you will see:

What is SEO?

The term SEO (which comes from the English “Search Engine Optimization”) means optimization for search engines.

In other words, it is a set of techniques that help make your site easier to find by Google and other search engines.

Let’s say, for example, that you sell toys for children aged 3 to 5 years. When parents with children of that age search for a product like yours on Google, what they will see depends on their SEO work.

If you have a well-structured strategy, potential customers are likely to find your site. Otherwise, they will see the page of a competing company and buy their products.

The same idea applies both to product pages, as in the example above, and to content pages, such as blogs.

After all, part of the buying journey involves doing a lot of research on the subject before thinking about spending.

As you can see, despite the English name, the concept is simple. The practice, on the other hand, is a little more complex, because it encompasses several actions that only work well even when used together.

We can divide an SEO strategy into two parts: On and Off Page.

SEO On Page is basically related to all the elements that you can keep under control, that is, that it is only up to you to perform and see the results.

The good news is that SEO On Page represents most of the strategy. Thus, your chances of success depend, for the most part, on your planning and execution, and rely much less on external factors.

And what would SEO Off Page be? As the name implies, it is the part of the work that involves elements outside the page and therefore outside of your absolute control. The best example of this is the backlinks from other pages to your website.

Despite this, you can still (and should) plan link building actions well to get backlinks, as they are very relevant for ranking.

What is PPC?

The term PPC also comes from English (Pay Per Click), and means “Pay Per Click”. Out of context, the name may sound strange, but we are talking about a type of sponsored link.

Sponsored links are nothing but text ads, the kind you find at the top of Google’s search pages.

Unlike SEO, which consists of ranking a page organically (without paying for ads) to the top of search pages, sponsored links are a way to cut the path.

And the time is gone when only search engines offered the chance to advertise with sponsored links. With the rise of social networks, many platforms offer this format of dissemination.

And where does PPC come in? Simple: it is one of the ways to pay for ads. In this payment method, the advertiser pays for each click on the ad.

The idea is good because you only pay for who is really interested in your message to the point of clicking. After that, it is your job to send the person to a Landing Page that is captivating enough to convert them.

14 relevant SEO and PPC statistics you need to consider

As in Digital Marketing everything can be measured and compared, it is only fair to see some relevant statistics about each strategy we are evaluating.

Thinking about it, we separated 15 statistics: 7 about SEO and 8 about PPC ads. See what the data shows and draw your own conclusions.

Along with each statistic, we give a brief context that can be useful to understand it better.


When looking at SEO data, note that user preference is still in this strategy. So, although it takes longer to deliver, it can be a more relevant long-term strategy.

1. Almost 80% of users ignore paid ads on search results. People tend to prefer organic links over paid ones, and of the links that receive clicks, about 70% are organic.

2. Search is the number 1 traffic generator for content sites, beating social media more than 300%. Organic search is one of the most effective channels, and often serves as the customer’s first point of contact with a company.

3. SEO generates 30% traffic and 20% revenue. SEO ROI accumulates over time, as content producers establish authority and gain visibility. Prospects often visit a website more than once before filling out a form or making a purchase. So, ranking better for more keywords increases the chances of converting over time.

4. 36.2% of consumers recognizes links that are paid ads, but do not click on them. Only half of users are able to differentiate between organic and paid links. Despite this, they prefer organic links over ads.

5. 88% of searches for local businesses on mobile devices results in calls or site visits within 24 hours. Local SEO has great ROI – the number of local searches has increased by 900% in two years. In addition, by optimizing content and pages for nearby audiences, companies can see exponential growth in sales.

6. One in ten blog posts is cumulative, that is, attracts new visitors over time due to increased search volume. It’s called Evergreen content, which remains relevant over time and consistently increases conversions in conjunction with a solid SEO strategy.

7. Organic SEO is about 5.66 times better than paid ads on search engines. One of the most basic explanations for this is the principle of Inbound Marketing. Instead of interrupting the audience with something they are not looking for, such as an ad, organic communication attracts them with content they want and need.


Even with the use of ad blockers and competition from organic links, the data below shows that PPC is still very strong and can generate a lot of money for your company.

8. The first three ads on a search page receive 46% of the clicks on the entire page. This includes PPC ads, and shows that good placement on the search page is of great relevance for conversions.

9. Companies make, on average, $ 3.00 for every $ 1.60 they spend on Google Ads. Considering that the US market is much more competitive than ours, here it is even possible to achieve better results. This shows that PPC is a relatively inexpensive way to experiment, in addition to presenting a good return on investment.

10. More than 615 million devices use some type of ad blocker, known as Adblockers. Despite being bad for advertisers, this data reveals the good side of adopting the PPC when investing in ads, since without clicks there is no charge.

11. PPC ads can boost brand awareness by 80%. Despite the increase in the blockers mentioned above, paying for clicks is still a powerful strategy for brand strengthening and, of course, sales.

12. Google algorithm updates do not affect PPC ads. While an update may force you to make changes to your SEO strategy – and there were 3,234 updates from just in 2018! – nothing changes in your PPC strategy.

13. 63% of respondents to a Search Engine Land study reported that they would click on a Google ad. Since a high clickthrough rate (CTR) is the target of both PPC and SEO, investing in ads can be as good a strategy as ranking organically.

14. 75% of participants in a Clutch study said it is easier to find what they’re looking for in paid ads. The reason for the first page of search pages to get so many clicks is a combination of factors: ease of use and achievement of the search objective. Well-made PPC ads take advantage of these two factors to succeed.

When it is better to use SEO in your digital strategy

There are at least two situations in which SEO stands out from PPC ads as the best option for your marketing strategy. See what they are!

Create a sustainable sales machine

As we said at the beginning of the article, generating traffic is the first step to selling a lot in the digital environment, and SEO is one of the best ways to achieve this.

And those who think that SEO is only valid for content pages are mistaken, as it also has an effect on capture pages and, of course, sales.

In other words, SEO helps to generate and nurture leads in order to create a true sales machine.

Strengthen the brand in the long run

SEO is perhaps the best way to build a brand with a good reputation in the long run, since content is the entry point of the customer journey.

Google often rewards brands that focus their SEO efforts on relevant content, as this shows the search engine a real commitment to visitors.

Although it takes a few months for an SEO and content strategy to begin to bear fruit, it usually lasts for a long time. So if your target is to stay in the market for a long time, invest in organic optimization right now.

When it is better to use PPC in your digital strategy

There is no denying that organic search is relevant to any long-term strategy. But there are times when it is best to invest in PPC to leverage results. See when to do this.

Sell ​​immediately

The great asset of SEO is the generation of organic traffic, which makes it possible to sell for a long time to the same audience without reinvesting the same amount every time.

It turns out that it takes much longer than using sponsored links. So, if you want to sell immediately, PPC is the best way.

The return does not have the same sustainability as the SEO, but nothing prevents you from following this path until the organic strategies start to take effect.

Strengthen the brand in the short term

As we’ve seen, PPC ads can increase brand awareness by up to 80%. So, the same principle of immediate selling applies here.

If you need to build credibility and recognition quickly to start a project from scratch, betting only on organic content may not be the best way out.

Just the fact that the public sees your brand all the time will create an impression that it represents a strong player in the market and, at the very least, will attract initial attention.

What is clear here is that there is not necessarily a fight between SEO or PPC. The secret is to know how much to use each one to get the best of both worlds. And now, you have a lot of relevant information to guide this important strategic decision.

One of the most complete tools you can use in your traffic generation strategy, both for PPC and to help with SEO planning, is Google Ads. Download now our complete guide on the platform!