Is SEO or PPC a Better Choice for E-Commerce? 

At some point, every e-commerce marketer has asked themselves the same question: Should I be focusing on SEO or PPC? Both e-commerce SEO and PPC are solid strategies that can help to increase traffic to your website. However, each strategy has its own unique benefits, strengths, and weaknesses. It may take a bit of trial and error before you discover what works best for you and your business. In this article, we will learn the difference between SEO and PPC. We will also go over the pros and cons of each. Lastly, we will discuss how to take an integrated approach to use both of these strategies to meet your marketing goals.

seo vs ppc

What is the Difference Between SEO and PPC?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing a website to rank higher in search engine results. This technique focuses on steadily gaining more organic traffic. This is done by improving on-page and off-page SEO to make a website more useful, relevant, and user-friendly. Pay-per-click (PPC) is an advertising model where businesses pay each time a user clicks on one of their online ads. There are many types of PPC ads, but the most common are paid search ads. You also have the option to run paid ads on social media. 

There are a few main differences between SEO and PPC advertising. The first is the cost. SEO strategies focus on increasing organic search results and are free. PPC ads are not free and cost a certain amount of money every time a user clicks on them. The second difference is the position on the search results page. Paid ads will appear at the top of the page, while organic search results will be listed after them. Lastly, there is potential traffic. Since SEO tactics are built around improving your site and helping it rank higher in organic search results, you can rely on them for a steady stream of new traffic. Paid ads, on the other hand, will only provide traffic as long as you are willing to pay to run them.

SEO vs PPC: Benefits for E-Commerce Sites

There are many different benefits to using SEO and/or PPC for e-commerce websites. The best choice for you will depend on your business and your specific marketing goals. Depending on what stage your business is in, you may want to rely more heavily on one strategy over the other. On the other hand, you could also use a combination of both. Consider your marketing budget and time constraints. Also, keep your overall business and marketing goals in mind. Below is a list of the key benefits of each strategy for e-commerce marketing.

E-Commerce SEO Benefits

Boosts Traffic

This probably goes without saying, but the number one benefit of effective SEO is a boost in traffic. Getting your website to the top of search results pages helps it be seen by more users. This increases the chances that they will click on your site and engage with the content. One of the best e-commerce SEO tips is to focus on having a well-designed and user-friendly website. This will help to keep more users on your site and will even help increase conversions.

Helps Create Awareness

One of the best benefits of e-commerce SEO is increased brand awareness. Using targeted keywords to increase your SEO will help you rank higher on search engines. This will also help to get your content seen by more people. This can work the same way as an advertisement to get your brand noticed by potential customers.

Solid Brand Image

Using SEO tactics to improve your website will also help you to strengthen your brand image. Through improving your place in organic search, your brand can become an authoritative voice in your chosen topic or industry. Building a solid audience and consumer trust will also improve your business’s authority.

ecommerce seo tips

Increases Credibility

Ranking higher in search results means that search engines (like Google) think that your content is useful and relevant. This can help to build up credibility for your website over time. Many users are more likely to trust organic search results, rather than paid ads. If you appear at the top of organic results, users will be more likely to engage with your content.

Cost-Per-Click (CPC)

Another one of the best benefits of e-commerce SEO vs PPC is that SEO is free. Using organic search methods to rank higher won’t cost you anything, so your CPC will always be lower than if you chose to rely on paid ads alone. This can be a great choice if your business is new, or you have a very limited marketing budget to work with.

Improved Click Through Rate (CTR)

Employing helpful e-commerce SEO tips to improve organic search can help boost your CTR. More than 1 billion users perform searches on Google every month! These users are far more likely to click on organic search results than on paid ads. In fact, 39% of all e-commerce traffic comes from search results. Out of this, only 4% comes from paid ads! This is a great reason to focus on improving your e-commerce SEO strategy. 

Long-Term Strategic Advantage

Lastly, one of the greatest benefits of SEO for e-commerce is that it provides long-term, lasting results. Many of the tactics used in SEO (like keywords and UX design) help to create quality content and build a better website. Although organic search may be a bit slow, the results will last and keep providing benefits. If you work your way to the top of organic search, this is something that your competitors can’t replicate through PPC advertising.

E-Commerce PPC Benefits

Top of the Page Placement/Visibility

One of the most obvious benefits of paid advertising is that your website is shown at the top of the search results page. This can help to increase visibility and get your business noticed by more potential customers. Just like with SEO, if your ad contains relevant keywords, it will appear even higher.

Better Advertising/Visual Advertisements

Since PPC uses advertisements, you have much more control over your marketing message. With paid ads, you can control the images, copy, and layout of your ads. This provides a more customized benefit than a lot of SEO strategies. More control means that you can target more specific audiences with your ads.

seo and ppc


Another benefit of paid ads is that you can set an exact budget (with a limit) and stick to it. This can be a great tool for e-commerce marketers or marketing teams. While PPC ads are not as budget-friendly as organic search, they can still fit easily into a marketing budget.

Focused Targeting

Compared to SEO, PPC ads allow for a much more targeted approach. With paid ads, you can target customers by multiple factors like time of day, geographical region, and even the device they are searching on. This allows you to get your business in front of the customers who are most likely to need your products or services.


While SEO is long-term, paid ads are more about speed and instant results. PPC ads often provide a much faster boost in traffic. This makes them a great option for new businesses that need to build up a customer list fast. Campaigns are also easy to set up and can run automatically for days, weeks, and even months.

More Marketing Insights

Lastly, PPC ads offer more detailed marketing insights to learn from. This is because paid ads do not have as many privacy restrictions as organic searches. This is especially true when it comes to keywords. With insights, you can learn which keywords are more likely to convert and use them more often in your paid advertisements.

ecommerce seo

An Integrated Approach to E-Commerce Marketing

When it comes to e-commerce marketing, you might be tempted to choose one strategy over another. After all, they both take a bit of work, and it may seem daunting to do it all at once. However, the best approach seems to be an integrated one that takes advantage of both SEO and paid advertisements. Many experts suggest that businesses start with PPC, particularly when they are first starting out. This will provide a quick boost in traffic to get the ball rolling. Then they are free to focus on SEO efforts, which can provide a steady stream of traffic that they can continue to improve and rely on. In the end, it’s best to experiment and see what works for your company and your marketing goals.

SEO vs PPC for Better E-Commerce Marketing

When it comes to e-commerce marketing, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. SEO and PPC both have their strengths and weaknesses. They both provide their own individual benefits, but can also be used together. The best strategy is to incorporate some elements of both to create a well-rounded marketing plan. If you are unsure of what plan would work best for you, SEO Design Chicago can help. The experienced marketing consulting team has all the tools to set you up for success. They will provide consultation services and work with you to create a cohesive marketing plan for your business.


  • What is SEO?
  • What are paid search ads?
  • Is SEO or PPC better for e-commerce marketing?
  • Is PPC faster than SEO?
  • What is the biggest difference between SEO and PPC?

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