SEO vs. PPC for Local Businesses: Which is Better?


As a local business owner, you want to make sure your platform is visible to potential customers. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is by using SEO optimization and PPC advertising. Both methods can increase targeted traffic to your website and generate quality leads.

However, it can be difficult to figure out which one is better for your business. In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of local pharmacy SEO and PPC services to help you make an informed decision.

understand basics

Before we dive into the comparison between SEO and PPC, it’s important to understand what they are and how they work.

What is SEO?

SEO is the process of optimizing your website to improve its visibility in the SERPs. When it comes to local businesses, there are several local SEO practices that help optimize your website specifically for local searches. This can be accomplished by creating a Google business profile entry, conducting keyword research, creating relevant content, improving internal link structure, etc. The main goal of the optimization strategy is to increase your website’s organic traffic, which is traffic that comes from unpaid search results.

Just as you turn to your favorite search engines for places to buy quality fabrics or order a good pizza, so do your customers. According to statistics, Google is the most popular choice among all, receiving almost 90% of all search traffic. Therefore, when you resort to SEO services, you increase the chances that your target audience will find you when they search Google for words related to your products or services.

What is PPC?

PPC is a subset of search engine marketing (SEM). This is a form of paid advertising in which you, the advertiser, pay a publisher (e.g. Google or Facebook) for each click on your ad. Paid ads costs typically depend on the industry you’re in and the search volume of the keywords you’re targeting.

When a user searches for keywords related to your local business, your ad will appear alongside organic results marked with the “Ad” tag. You only pay a fee when someone clicks on your ad, hence the name pay-per-click. All in all, with a PPC strategy, you attract users who are interested in your offer and willing to convert.

Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that PPC ads always appear above organic search results. Some companies run them for specific marketing campaigns with an actual start and end period. Others bid on their brand names as part of their overall strategy. However, this approach is mostly associated with search engines as advertisers bid on keywords relevant to their niche markets.

SEO vs. PPC: Pros and Cons

Now that you understand the concept of each type of strategy, it is necessary to consider the pros and cons of each variant.


Here are some benefits you can expect from implementing local SEO for your business.

It helps businesses appear in relevant local search engine results and get their business in front of more potential customers.

  • Targeted and stable traffic.

As soon as you show up on Google, you can start planning and anticipating free traffic to your platform as long as you keep the optimization going. In addition, you address users who are specifically looking for services and products in your location, thereby increasing your chances of converting them into customers. Additionally, statistical data shows that more than 70% of people searching for nearby businesses visit one within a day and 28% of them make a purchase.

Because local SEO targets local customers who are more likely to convert, it can result in a higher return on investment compared to other forms of marketing.

The local optimization strategy is often more cost-effective compared to other forms of advertising, making it an affordable option for small and medium-sized businesses.

By optimizing for local search, businesses can gain an edge over their competitors and increase their market share.

At the same time, this approach also has disadvantages. In detail it is about:

  • time-consuming, time-consuming and labor-intensive optimizing a website, creating and maintaining listings and building a solid online reputation;
  • an ongoing process that requires regular updates and ongoing maintenance of the platform to remain effective;
  • with limited reach as it targets a specific geographic area, which may limit the spread of business;
  • requires a high level of skills and expertise;
  • dependent on search engine algorithms, which can change at any time and affect a company’s ranking.

Pay per click ads can be an effective way of promoting local businesses as they offer the following benefits:

While it can take at least three months before you start seeing results from your SEO strategy, it can take as little as a few hours to drive traffic to a company’s website or store with your PPC campaign.

Paid advertising provides businesses with measurable results, allowing them to track the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns and make data-driven decisions.

  • Appears via organic searches.

When you run a paid advertising campaign for your target keywords, your platform will appear first in the SERPS and organic results will follow next. This ranking advantage ensures that your audience sees you first before they scroll down to see other results.

  • Determine the target group precisely.

When creating a pay-per-click advertisement, you can specify the specifics of the audience you want to reach (specific geographic area, age, marital status, interests, etc.).

Despite all of these points, choosing a PPC strategy is an expensive option. That’s because you have to pay for every click your audience makes. This means that as the budget runs out, so does traffic. Also, PPC can get even more expensive if you’re in a highly competitive sector (e.g. insurance or legal).

It’s also worth noting that while paid ads bring short-term profits, they usually result in lower profit margins. Because your CAC (customer acquisition costs) will continue to increase without the prices of your goods increasing significantly.

In addition, your control over ads is limited due to the rules or restrictions set by the ad publisher. As such, your copy may contain similar text to that of your competitors, making it easy for your audience to miss.

When to optimize and when to pay for traffic

If your marketing budget is low and you are looking for a long-term strategy that can deliver lasting results, then SEO is the right choice. While it may take longer to see the impact, this approach can help establish your business as a credible and trusted source of information. This can lead to increased brand awareness and customer loyalty, which can ultimately lead to more business over time.

On the other hand, if you need quick results and have a sustainable budget for advertising investments, PPC might be a better option. It can be a good choice if your product is new or unique, or if you’re promoting a time-sensitive offer. With a PPC strategy, you can target specific keywords and locations to ensure the right people are seeing your ads. It can lead to more platform traffic and conversions, which can help generate revenue for your business.

In total

Both SEO and PPC have their pros and cons, making it difficult to determine which type of advertising is better. Ultimately, the decision between the two should depend on your company’s specific needs and goals. As a local business owner, it’s important that you take the time to weigh the pros and cons of each strategy so you can decide which one best suits your business. In this way, you can lead your business to steady growth and success.

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