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Traffic Jam: Is SEO or PPC Better for eCommerce?

Traffic Jam: Is SEO or PPC Better for eCommerce?

SEO has long been considered one of the most powerful ways to drive traffic to your eCommerce website and increase sales, but there are other options too. From Google ads and PPC for eCommerce, there are several options available to online stores looking to improve brand awareness and increase sales.

In this piece, we’ll take a look at SEO for eCommerce, PPC, and the benefits of both options. You might be surprised by how well these strategies can be implemented into your marketing campaign – especially if you work with a professional team!


Whether you’re looking to implement PPC or SEO for small business operations, or for your large international web store, it’s important to know the differences before embarking on your new marketing campaign. There are substantial differences between these two online marketing strategies, and there are some similarities. Let’s start by explaining what they are.

What is SEO in e-commerce?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is a practice that uses several tools and strategies to change an e-commerce website’s ranking in search engine results. At one point in time, it was based primarily on keywords used on a website to direct people searching for a specific topic to websites that contain the same words. Today, it depends on so much more.

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The amount of traffic a website receives, its trustworthiness, reviews, and so much more dictate whether a page is high or low in search rankings for specific keywords. When done right, it is an extremely powerful way of directing traffic to your website, but it often requires professional assistance from marketing experts.

What is PPC in e-commerce?

PPC, or pay-per-click advertising, works differently. It is an advertising model whereby the advertiser pays only when that ad is clicked on by a visitor. It generates income for the sites that host the advertisement, and it gives companies a chance to advertise their products on webpages that help them reach new customers in a cost-efficient and really effective manner.

Many eCommerce operations are turning to PPC advertising as a way of building sales, and it works. Several things must be in place to make sure it works, however. For instance, the landing pages of your store must be relevant and attractive, and the ads must display a compelling message that gives a reason to click.

There are multiple kinds of PPC ads, but one of the most common is paid search advertising. This is an ad that appears at the top of a search page when a person searches for a keyword that is relevant to the product being sold. It means that the first thing people see when they search for something they’re interested in buying is a product along with its price, a picture of what it looks like, and a link to buy it.

What is better PPC or SEO?

The question “does SEO affect PPC”? is a complicated one, but one that people often ask. The answer is yes…and no. SEO and PPC are different in that one is generated by an algorithm recommending the best search results and the other is paid advertising.

The two can work together, however. SEO can impact how many clicks a PPC advertising might receive, for instance. If a website appears naturally in a search engine, then it is less likely that their click-through rate on PPC ads will remain high. If you’re successful in search engine results naturally, your ad will appear less at the top of the page.

How to Choose Between SEO and PPC for Your eCommerce Store

So, if the two strategies can affect one another, how do you choose between search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising? Hopefully, this analysis of the benefits of each strategy will help you decide.

SEO for eCommerce

SEO is fantastic for increasing organic traffic to your website. Remember, though, that traffic is different from conversions. By improving your SEO rankings, you can improve your brand awareness and put your sight higher up in search listings, and create credibility and recognition for your brand.

And, while traffic isn’t the same as conversion, it increases your chances of sales simply by putting eyes on your website. Remember that a combination of a good website with great SEO turns visitors into customers. Experts can help you develop amazing websites that sell your vision and brand and give people a reason to want to contact you.

Your budget will vary depending on what you choose. SEO can be improved using free tools on eCommerce and web hosting platforms, but the bigger your budget, the more professionals can do to get more eyes on your page and more people buying your products.

PPC for eCommerce

PPC is designed to be much more focused, directing advertisements to people specifically looking for your product or similar products. You pay for the ads and they sit right at the top of the page depending on the keywords you choose. It’s one of the first things people see when they’re searching, meaning the people who click on your ad are more likely to buy your product…assuming your landing page is compelling!

It’s more focused, it’s more visual, and it helps improve brand visibility significantly. You can also set a budget that works for your store. The more you spend the more people will see your ad, but the fact that you can adjust your budget means it’s accessible for everyone. You can see results within hours or days, depending on how frequently people search for the items you sell.

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Here’s What We Recommend

PPC vs SEO isn’t as simple as choosing one or the other, but we do have some recommendations.

If you have a small budget for marketing, SEO is a good way to go. You can do it yourself if you’re willing to learn, but we recommend you to talk to  SEO experts to truly understand the process.

If you want to start selling right away, we think PPC advertising is a great option. It doesn’t depend on algorithms and there isn’t a long waiting time to see results. You can set up your PPC campaign, or you can have a professional team do it, and within hours your adverts will be out there and attracting people to your eCommerce website.

If you want long-term results, we encourage you to check out our web design and marketing services. We have more than a decade of experience and success driving sales to eCommerce businesses.

    Request a Complimentary Marketing Audit

    Get in touch today and we’ll talk about how to use both channels to generate more sales and revenue for your eCommerce store. Call us on (312) 625-0447 or reach out online. Even if you choose not to hire us, you’ll walk away with a solid foundational understanding of PPC and SEO that you can implement in your marketing campaign right away.

    About the Author
    Yuriy Skotarev

    Yuriy Skotarev

    Yuriy oversees Catapult Revenue’s marketing team, ensuring all SEO, PPC, analytics and development work is executed with precision.

    Expert in: ecommerce marketing campaign ecommerce marketing strategy ecommerce marketing services marketing for ecommerce business ecommerce digital marketing agency ecommerce marketing digital marketing for ecommerce
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