PPC vs. SEO: Which Method is Right For Your Online Pharmacy?

Sep 5, 2023

A pharmacy ecommerce business is in need of an effective digital marketing strategy in order to remain competitive. There are a number of ways that this can be implemented, and two of the most popular and successful methods include search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC).

SEO refers to the techniques used to make your website more visible in unpaid search engine results pages. It’s an organic process that involves the whole structure of the website, from the content to the backlinks and page titles.

PPC is a paid advertising model whereby ads containing relevant keywords will appear towards the top of the search engine results page (SERP). You are charged for the ad everytime they are clicked on by a visitor to your landing page or website. 

There is sometimes confusion about which method might be most effective for your business. There is no straightforward answer to this question, because it can depend at what stage of development and growth your business is at, and what your future goals are. 

It may be that both methods are appropriate, but this raises the further question of how to get the right balance between the two. However, with some research and planning, it’s possible to find the winning formula. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of each method. 

Benefits of PPC

Faster results

PPC can provide instant results, so if you are a newly launched business, it can be a way of circumventing the more lengthy organic approach of SEO.

More precisely controlled results

PPC has a highly targeted approach, using specific keywords, geographical location, time of day, language, and so on. This gives you more control over what your users will see and when.

Measurable results

It is possible to accurately measure your results with analytics tools so that you can work out what return on investment the paid ads are bringing to your business. This allows you to manage your marketing budget effectively and plan future campaigns.

Drawbacks of PPC


PPC is usually more costly than SEO because you need to bid for your chosen keywords, which may be highly competitive. Once you have reached the limits of your budget, the ads will not appear in the search results and you may find that you are back to square one if you do not have the funds for continuous investment. 

Difficult to set up for best results

PPC ads are highly effective, but only when set up correctly. This requires the right balance of keywords, phrasing, landing pages, and variables such as time, location and date. Once in place, they require careful monitoring in order to ensure maximum results and to avoid spiralling costs.

Advantages of SEO

Long-term results

Once implemented, an SEO strategy will be self-sustaining and if you have used the correct techniques, it can mean that your website will rank well for years to come, unlike PPC where your rankings will drop as soon as you stop paying.


Web users can be suspicious of ads and may deliberately avoid them and click on the organic results instead. Therefore if you have invested in SEO and rank highly without PPC methods, it can help to build up more trust and credibility in your business. 

Cost effectiveness

There is no charge to pay if a user clicks on a link in organic search results so SEO can be cheaper than PPC. However, you will still need an investment of time and skills to make sure that your SEO techniques are shipshape to begin with. 

Drawbacks of SEO

Slower results

Unlike PPC, SEO is usually a gradual process so you may have to wait months or even years to see significant results. 

High maintenance

Search engines such as Google are constantly revising and updating their algorithms so SEO is a very movable feast. To stay on top of the game, you will need to keep up to date with the latest developments and make any necessary changes to your strategy.

Tough competition

The top of the SERP results are always likely to be dominated by large national or multinational companies, so unless you are operating in a very niche market, it can be difficult to rank on page one. 

In conclusion

It may be the case that a mixture of both SEO and PPC could work for you. Finding the right balance depends on variables such as your budget, aims, and current position. It may be worth seeking the assistance of a professional digital marketing company.