SEO or PPC: Which Marketing Strategy Should You Use for Your Australian Business in 2024

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Considering what the business climate is like today, it’s a given that Australian businesses should be investing in their online presence. The online counterpart of your brick-and-mortar store—or a full-fledged eCommerce website—could bring some crucial cash into your business. 

But how can you bring traffic to your site, get customers interested in your products and services, and score conversions without sinking your wallet? These are questions that Australian digital marketers are constantly trying to answer on behalf of their client businesses. To this end, a digital marketing agency may use either of these two methods: search engine optimization (SEO) or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. 

This article should fill you in on the similarities, differences, and unique benefits that define the two. That should make it easier for you to learn about digital marketing and pool your resources towards the right solution. An effective SEO or PPC Melbourne campaign may be just what your local business needs in order to excel.

A Quick Introduction to SEO and PPC

First, a few notes on what these two methods have in common. Both SEO and PPC are founded on the following things:

  • An understanding of the “ABC” (acquisition, behavior, and conversion) of the marketing funnel
  • Knowledge about widely-used search engines like Google
  • Purposeful use of keywords
  • Emphasis on high placements in search engine results in pages (SERPs) for greater visibility and credibility among customers
  • Foresight on what the customer’s approach would be like when they are looking for local goods and services online

Done correctly, an SEO or PPC campaign will reward a business with higher traffic, valuable leads, and actual profits from conversions. Either campaign will do so in a manner that fits the business’s plan, budget, and financial goals. But the two methods actually entail different things. Here’s what sets them apart and what they can achieve on their own. 


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SEO is a method that involves optimising your business’s website and web pages for higher rankings in a search engine’s organic (unpaid) search results. Unlike PPC, if you use this strategy, you cannot pay in order to get a top ranking for your chosen keywords. This method relies on organic traffic to get your website above others in the SERPs. 

Between the two, an SEO campaign is definitely cheaper to run. And when an SEO campaign succeeds—and not through unscrupulous “black hat” or “grey hat” tactics—it can result in longstanding organic traffic. To businesses, high organic traffic is the dream—it’s wonderful when you can match for free with a customer who’s genuinely looking for you. 

But an SEO campaign worth its salt takes time to achieve results. It could take months, or even a year, to rank high for keywords used in Australia’s most competitive industries (for example, healthcare or real estate). Plus, there’s some pretty tight competition for unique and valuable content to match those keywords. Search engines like Google are also much more discerning about the quality of content that makes it to the top pages. It should no longer be an option to “game” the system by stuffing keywords or spamming content. 

The secret to a great SEO campaign is a keen understanding of what the search engine values, and it’s important to have a solid plan to rank with organic traffic. You could say that slow and steady is what wins the SEO race. But some businesses may have neither the patience nor the time to bank everything on SEO.

If you are an Australian business owner that doesn’t have the time or resources to dedicate hundreds of hours and a steep learning curve to SEO, we highly recommend working with an Australian based agency. For the leading Australian based SEO agency, we recommend viewing the website to dive further into learning SEO for your business.


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The PPC method, on the other hand, involves paying for clicks to your business website. The best example of a PPC-based advertising program is that of Google Ads, formerly known as Google AdWords. Google Ads allows for certain advertisements to be placed at the top of SERPs, before other search results. This allows for quicker visibility and easier brand name recall. 

Oftentimes, PPC can also help you foster a good impression on your customers even before they click on your website. If your company is listed at the top, they’re more likely to judge it as one of the most trustworthy and profitable of their choices. With PPC, you’ll already have one foot in the door; you just have to prove to customers that you can offer them what they need. 

Not to be forgotten are the superb analytics capabilities of platforms like Google Ads. That makes the work of a PPC specialist a joy to carry out. It won’t be hard for them to get the numbers on how many clicks you’re getting, then what conversions you get out of each click. With this data on hand, you and your PPC partner could make some really good decisions together about how to improve your business. 

But PPC also comes with its own set of disadvantages. For one, the costs can really rack up. Highly searched keywords in competitive industries may demand up to AUD 60 per click. Plus, messages on PPC ad campaigns can get stale pretty fast. It will be a challenge for your marketer to keep the messaging up-to-date and relevant, all while acknowledging the chance for customers’ ad fatigue. 

The key to launching a successful PPC campaign is ensuring that it’s ROI-driven. Quality leads and high rates of conversion should come out of the investment. This is the only way to justify the hefty initial costs that often come with PPC. 

SEO or PPC: What Top Australian Marketers Have to Say

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In summary, both SEO and PPC have good things to offer client businesses. It really depends on what exactly they need. But for Aussie entrepreneurs who are willing to pledge their resources—and who are hungry for growth—perhaps the best answer is PPC. 

Leading digital marketing firm Dilate runs its PPC campaigns with careful thought put into keywords, messaging, and each business’s target market. Their approach is like casting a small net into the sea—not looking to catch every single creature, but a particular kind of big fish. This philosophy drives Dilate’s approach and employs smart PPC tactics for both search and display ads. To find out more about how they could help you set up your PPC campaigns click here