Is SEO Better than Google Ads?

In this article, we will explore the question of whether SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is better than Google Ads. Both SEO and Google Ads are strategies used to drive traffic to websites, but they differ in terms of organic versus paid traffic. SEO focuses on optimizing a website to improve its organic rankings on search engines like Google and Bing, while Google Ads involves paying for clicks to drive traffic from search engines.

Dispelling a Myth

There is a common misconception that running Google Ads can improve SEO. However, this is not true. Google Ads does not directly affect SEO rankings or increase organic traffic. While running digital advertising campaigns may increase brand awareness and potentially lead to more searches for your brand or products, it does not directly impact SEO.

The Differences Between SEO and Google Ads

  1. Traffic Generation: SEO is great at generating continuous traffic over time, while Google Ads can generate immediate traffic and results during the campaign. However, once you turn off Google Ads, the traffic and results disappear as well. SEO is more like an investment where you continuously work on optimizing your website and content to see long-term results.

  2. Cost: The cost of SEO lies in creating and optimizing content, ensuring a user-friendly website, and building backlinks. On the other hand, Google Ads has the cost of ad spend, including paying for clicks, ad creative, landing pages, and campaign management.

  3. Timeline: If you need immediate results, Google Ads is the way to go. It guarantees that you will show up in search results and drive traffic to your site. However, if you have time to invest and are interested in long-term gains, SEO is a better option.

  4. Budget: If you have some budget, you can afford to do Google Ads. But if you have no budget, SEO is a more viable option. It’s recommended to invest in both if you have the budget, focusing on developing new content and optimizing your site for long-term gains, while using Google Ads to supplement where you’re not performing well.

  5. Expectations: If your leadership team expects immediate results, Google Ads may be the right platform. But if you’re more interested in lasting results beyond a Google Ads campaign, SEO is a better choice. It’s important to set realistic expectations internally.

The Ideal Approach: Using Both SEO and Google Ads

In an ideal world, it’s best to use both SEO and Google Ads. In the short term, invest in Google Ads to fill any gaps where you’re not showing up in search results. This will help you compete with your competitors for high-value keywords. Simultaneously, work on building high-value content and optimizing your website for long-term organic traffic. This way, you can rely less on paid advertising and allocate your budget toward creating better content.

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