Google ads And SEO – which is better for my business?
Over the years there has been much debate about the relative merits to your business of Google Ads. and SEO. Both are vital ingredients of any digital marketing campaign and therefore excellent strategies for helping to drive traffic, but which is better for you? The answer is not as easy as the question in this case! Your marketing strategy is influenced by factors including budget, product, industry, and revenue to name a few. Here, we take a look at Google Ads and SEO to help you decide which is best for you.
Google Ads (previously Google AdWords)
Google Ads is an advertising platform which, as its name implies, is owned by Google. The PPC (pay per click) platform allows marketers to reach leads.
Google Ads works by displaying an advert in Google search results which is triggered by a keyword search e.g. when someone uses one of your target keywords in your target geographical location, your site will appear as a paid ad. in the results. If someone subsequently clicks on your advert, Google will charge you. This cost may deter many but, statistically, 60% of all clicks are received by the sites in the top 3 ad. positions, so a lot of business can be gained through PPC.
Google Ads focuses on device bidding. This means Google separates bids on desktop, mobiles and tablets, allowing them to be distinct from each other while still dependent on one another. This focus allows you to have a distinct marketing budget for each type of device you run your campaign on, giving you greater freedom and flexibility with your budget.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
SEO is the process used to get your website rankings higher in all major search engines, unlike Google Ads which is dedicated to Google only.
In order for your website to rank well in searches, SEO will optimise your site content so that it appears higher up on the search engine results page (SERP). How high up you rank is dependent on many factors, including keywords and quality content, site security and user experience, as well as mobile compatibility and load speed.
An effective and successful SEO campaign will improve your site’s expertise, industry authority and user trust, increasing organic growth and gaining higher search rankings.
The roles of Google Ads and SEO
Google Ads and SEO each have a different role to play in your marketing campaign which are unique yet complementary. Used properly, these two platforms can work well together. When you look at each side by side, you can see how they compare:
|Placement||Ads placed in search results of Google owned and partner sites only||Placement only in search results|
|Traffic||Traffic generation for campaign duration only||Ongoing traffic generation|
|Cost||Charges for every click on your listing||No cost for people to click on your listing|
|Time||Faster results||Results take longer to achieve but may be longer lasting|
|Tracking metrics||Tracks instantly||Tracking takes longer|
|Keyword selection||Works for all keywords||Works for all keywords|
Once you have established campaign goals and budget, whether you decide to follow the SEO only route, or the Google Ads route is a matter of choice. However, when used in conjunction with each other, SEO and PPC Ads can increase your visibility as both will increase the opportunity of searchers finding your page. The two together will also boost traffic to your site – PPC creating immediate traffic and SEO attracting long term traffic. And, Google Ads keywords can be used to optimise SEO as bidding for the same keywords that you target with SEO means double the exposure for those keywords. Google Ads can also be used to test keywords, helping you to determine the keywords which are the most effective for a SEO campaign.
Don’t view Google Ads and SEO as competitors but allies in your marketing campaigns. Used well, the two together will only be an advantage for your website by combining their individual merits to bring you better search results.