Over the years, there has been a lot of debate on the primary components of Search Engine Marketing, which are SEO and Google Ads. These tools are the most valuable when it comes to running digital marketing campaigns. However, not everyone agrees on whether one should be used more so than the other or whether using both strategies is the smartest option for you.
We always hear questions like ‘Is SEO dying?’ ‘Is competing on Google Ads too expensive or even worth it?’ ‘Should I focus on SEO or Google Ads?’
First of all, you should not worry about SEO or Google Ads dying because these elements have proven to be crucial. Another thing to note is that both SEO and Google Ads have their advantages and disadvantages for each individual’s business. Both require investment in time and money. So, which strategy should you use to build your brand?
Breakdown of SEO ?
SEO involves optimising your website and content to appear high on the search engine results page (SERP). When searching for a product or service online, search engines match your query with relevant web pages. For your website to appear in relevant search results, you must optimise it for SEO using keyword integration, internal linking and other techniques. A perfectly SEO optimised page will generate traffic for your website, leading to increased conversion and revenue.
Google is the most used search engine and as such, this is where you should focus your efforts when it comes to getting page rankings. There are several things to consider when optimising your website for SEO. An effective SEO campaign allows you to grow your site’s authority, user experience, page load speed, trust and content.
Benefits of SEO
- SEO is an excellent long-term solution for higher Google rankings
- You will get organic traffic which leads to lower abandonment rates
- You do not need to pay for clicks
- Your site will receive a higher trust rate for customers compared to Google Ads
- Google and other search engines love optimised sites
Disadvantages of SEO
- SEO takes time and a lot of work to see ranking improvements – it’s a long-term game
- You require ongoing effort to keep the higher rankings
- You will not see immediate results or returns as compared to Google Ads
What are Google Ads?
Now, let’s take a look at Google Ads and what you must do to succeed on this platform. If you are new to digital marketing, you may have heard of terms such as PPC (Pay-per-click) and Adwords. Google Ads, previously known as Google Adwords, is a pay-per-click advertising platform that allows you to reach interested leads for your business. Google Ads are spread across several networks on all devices, including desktops, mobiles and tablets. Google will show you advertisements whether you are on Chrome, the Google Play Store app, or any other Google-operated product.
Google Ads now focus on device bidding, meaning that you bid on desktop, mobile and tablets to be both distinct and dependent upon one another. Marketers can now set aside a proper budget for each device you want your campaigns to run on or bundle it all together, allowing you to have free range on how you spend your money. You can choose to pay when someone clicks on your ad (Cost-per-Click) or when people see your ad (Cost-per-Thousand impressions).
Getting the Most out of Google Ads
In order to maximise your budget, you should conduct a campaign analysis on the keywords you need to target for your campaigns or ad groups. Think more intelligently and not extravagantly and you will be surprised how your money will help your business grow. Your brand will only beat the competition if you think about your audience’s needs and how to solve their problems. After identifying the best keywords, focus on which ad format you will use. Some of the formats include call-only, text, responsive, image and video. After getting your keywords right, figuring out your ad format and having a budget, your ads will begin reaching your target audience.
Benefits of Google Ads
- Getting to the top of a search quickly
- You can specify local targeting by zip code or around your business
- Allows you to set hours you wish to show for certain keywords
- Drive customers to a specific landing page
- Track conversion or leads
- Create custom remarketing lists to show display ads to
Disadvantages of Google Ads
- Not as much of a long-term solution
- Expensive over time compared to SEO
- You can only use one website or domain per account
- Ads will always show up labelled as “Ads” in Google search
- It may take time to find the best keywords to use
The Different Roles of SEO and Google Ads
While both SEO and Google Ads focus on improving your visibility, they have unique but complementary roles. SEO strategies revolve around making your website appealing to your target audience and creating content that addresses the needs that engage your customers. This involves creating unique and quality content, engaging videos and infographics, optimising the layout and design of your website and making your website user friendly.
Google Ads are a form of online display advertising and they allow you to pay each time a person clicks on your ad. Google displays your ad to people who type in particular keywords in the search engine. This enables you to target specific users interested in what you offer. Google Ads can help you gain the visibility you want even before having the reputation and SEO rankings required to see your organic efforts.
The Financial Aspect
As mentioned earlier, you can invest money and time for both SEO and Google Ads. SEO can be more expensive than Google Ads because it requires time and effort to optimise every piece of content. An SEO professional or agency must review several aspects to optimise a website. You must perform keyword, competitor and content analysis.
Google Ads can be very expensive since you want those clicks and conversions. Here, you are spending money to reach your goals and increase revenue. Google Ads is not only about paying Google for clicks or conversions. It could also include hiring a professional to do the Ads for you.
Trying to run Ads or optimising your site for SEO without knowing what you are doing can take up a lot of your valuable time and money. The best way to avoid this is to hire a professional like Marketing Sweet.
Do Google Ads Work with SEO?
When used correctly, Google Ads can work perfectly with SEO. If you can track your rankings and organic traffic accurately, you can use Google Ads to increase visibility for essential keywords. This will drive paid traffic where your website does not have the organic rankings to get on the first page of Google. You can also use Google Ads to test how consumers respond to specific keywords. Google Ads will allow you to identify keywords that bring in visitors with higher conversion rates and more engagement.
You can use keywords from SEO efforts to find the right opportunities for Ads. Identifying keywords that have high search rates and competition will make you a good candidate for Ads campaigns. You can use this refinement process across significant search engines and newer avenues for SEO work, like vertical and native search engines. As you build your digital strategy, understanding the roles of Google Ads and SEO in building a web presence is vital to success. The better you can use these two strategies together, the better your potential results in search.
Which is Superior? SEO or Google Ads?
The primary aim of both SEO and Google Ads is to help you gain relevant traffic on your website and earn revenue. Google Ads is better for quick, top of the page results. SEO, on the other hand, is ideal for long-term Google rankings. If your budget is more of a concern and time is not, SEO will work for you. If you want your site to appear on the first page as quickly as next week, then Google Ads is the better option. Conversely, you could do both since they work together.
Deciding whether to go for SEO or Google Ads falls entirely on the goals of your business. Research and analyse your business goals before choosing a strategy. Also, consider your budget and whether you wish to rank organically on SERPS or through paying for advertisements for specific keywords.
We hope that outlining the strategies, in addition to the benefits and disadvantages of SEO and Google Ads helps you solve the dilemma of choosing sides. You now know that both approaches can work to the advantage of your website. Whichever method you choose, remember that these are two powerful tools in your digital marketing arsenal. Now you just need the right professional to help you.