Google Ads vs SEO


Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) are two different but complementary digital marketing tactics for generating visitors to websites. These are their differences:


  1. SEO is a long-term strategy that focuses on optimizing a website’s content and structure to improve its visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results.
  2. It involves researching keywords, creating quality content, and fixing technical issues on a website to make it more appealing to search engines like Google.
  3. The goal of SEO is to earn organic traffic from search engines by ranking as high as possible for relevant keywords.
  4. It can take a while to see the results of SEO efforts, but once a website ranks well, the traffic it generates is typically more sustainable and cost-effective over the long-term

Google Ads:

  1. Google Ads is a paid advertising service that allows businesses to display their ads at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) and other websites.
  2. With Google Ads, businesses bid on keywords relevant to their products or services, and their ads are displayed whenever someone searches for those keywords.
  3. Google Ads provides immediate results, as ads can start appearing within minutes of creating a campaign.
  4. However, the traffic generated from Google Ads is typically less sustainable and more expensive over the long-term, as businesses need to continuously pay for each click on their ads.

When it comes to picking which one will best suit your company, given no other information or context, you should pick both. Combining SEO and Google Ads might result in a full digital marketing plan. In contrast to Google Ads, which can deliver rapid, targeted traffic to businesses willing to pay for it, SEO can increase a website’s exposure in organic search results and generate sustainable, cost-effective traffic. Unfortunately, many organizations cannot afford both, so that begs the question:

Which one should I pay for?

Although it takes a lot longer to see results, SEO should always take precedence over Google Ads. There are quite a few reasons why. First, paying for SEO can benefit your company more in the long run than paying for Google Ads, which offers immediate results with sponsored advertising. This is why:

  1. Organic Traffic: SEO focuses on optimizing a website to rank higher in organic search results, which means that you don’t have to pay for each click like with Google Ads. Over time, a well-optimized website can generate a steady stream of organic traffic, providing a more cost-effective solution for driving traffic to your website.

  2. Trust and Credibility: Consumers often trust websites that rank high in organic search results, as they perceive them to be more credible and authoritative. On the other hand, paid ads can sometimes be viewed with suspicion, as they may not be seen as trustworthy. By investing in SEO, you can improve your website’s reputation and increase the trust of your target audience.

  3. Sustainability: Google Ads require continuous payment for each click.

It is worth noting SEO’s superiority was not always as clear cut. Google Ads used to be a much higher reward however, recently its benefits have been greatly diminished.

  • Many SEO agencies are finding that your Google Ads budget has to exceed $3000.00 a month to get results.
  • Studies show that 94% of people just ignore google ads altogether. Other studies show that only 63% of people have ever clicked on an ad.

Google Ads + SEO:

This information seems bleak but I still definitely argue there is a place where Google Ads is a useful tool, as a catalyst. It’s an amazing accelerant for the SEO process but it should not be used as an alternative or a short cut.

Interested in Learning about our SEO services?

Follow us on Social Media

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *