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SEO Optimization vs PPC Ads

It’s a super common question, and one that you may have asked yourself: is it better to rely on SEO or Google Ads? You may be disappointed to learn that the answer is not quite as simple as expected. Some deciding factors might include your budget, industry type, and how fast you expect to see results.

Before trying to determine which is best for you, let’s review some of the differences between the two.

SEO: What is It?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and involves helping your site rank well in major search engines, including Google, Bing, and Yahoo using optimization. This is done through selecting effective keywords, as well as several optimizations both on- and off-site. The goal of SEO is to have your site appear at the top of as many relevant search terms as possible to increase conversions.

By using the proper keywords, your website will appear before the right audience as they search for the products and services that your company offers. Given that the consumer is actively seeking what you are offering, organic website visits usually result in higher conversion rates because they have intent to buy before searching.

What Are Google Ads?

Google ads are a type of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. When users enter search terms in Google that match your ad, it is triggered and displayed. Your site shows as an ad, rather than organic result often resulting in a higher ranking then organic.

Unlike organic listings, Google will charge you a certain amount every time someone chooses to click on your ad. This may not seem appealing at first, but keep in mind that the top three results on the Google SERP receive roughly 60% of all clicks from the search.

With Google Ads, you are able to set your own maximum (cost per click) CPC. This means that you choose the highest amount that you are willing to pay for each click. You may also input your locations, your choice of keywords, and even demographic targeting. By doing so, you have control over how much your Google Ads will cost you. You can also set monthly and daily ad spend limits.

Which is Right for You?

There are some things that you will want to look at in order to help you decide which is the best bet for you:

  • The condition of your website. What kind of shape is your website in? It is clean, simple, and easy to navigate? Is it up to date with your current products and services? Does the pageload quickly? Is it easy to shop on?. If your site is not easy to use, you are likely to have visitors bounce away rather than struggle to find what they want. Even seemingly insignificant details can have a significant effect upon your website ranking as googles algorithm can pick up on this type of stats.
  • Do you even have a website? If you don’t want to invest the time and effort to build a full website, Google Ads offers a solution by allowing you to work with a simple landing page that can be tailored to a specific product. This way you can start sooner and more cost effectively.
  • How fast are you expecting results? This is a huge part of your decision. Do you need customers right now or are you able to invest some time in building your business? If you have time SEO is hugely impactful.

If your site is not currently indexed by Google, or if it shows up on page three or later in the SERPs, it can take an average of 3 months to get it ranking where you want it to be. If you are looking to get customers immediately, you will likely want to give Google Ads more thought. This doesn’t mean that SEO should be forgotten about. One good approach is to use Google Ads for the short term, and as revenue starts to come in, put that toward SEO. Running both means benefiting from both, bringing you traffic from a top paid position and top organic listing. This doubles your lead potential, which is never a bad thing.