SEO or Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords); this is perhaps one of the hardest questions for small business owners where there is no definitive answer. When both these are powerful tools for businesses, they have their own merits and demerits. Knowing these two in detail will help you in making the right selection.
In this internet age, it is absolutely impossible for small businesses to ignore Google. Google alone can make a business profitable in a short span of time. If you are doing a business, you must know that most of your customers are searching for your business on Google. If you fail to rank your website on top positions of Google, not only you are missing most of this traffic but also making your business less profitable consistently.
SEO and Google Ads both these are two different ways to attract customers to your website from Google. When ethical SEO will get you businesses for long years, Google Ads will start delivering the results immediately as long as you invest in it.
What is SEO?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a set of processes and techniques which we use to optimize one website to make it more search engine and human-friendly. The primary objective of doing search engine optimization is to bring the website on top organic positions of Google when customers search something related to the business. When done properly and continuously, SEO alone can get you businesses forever.
What happens when one website starts ranking on number one organic position of Google? Let’s understand this with data.
Consider one relevant keyword which has 1000 average monthly searches. If you can rank your website on #1 organic spot, you can expect to get near about 300 targeted visitors (30% click-through-rate) to your site. Among these 300 visitors, if you can convert only 2% into sales that means you have 6 paying customers. Unless you get the #1 organic ranking these numbers are unachievable and you are missing a lot of business opportunities.
This is an example to give you a rough idea about why organic ranking is so very important for a business.
What is Google Ads?
Google Ads (Google’s Pay-Per-Click) is good when you want to make profits from the beginning of your business. This is a paid advertisement solution of Google which businesses use to position their website on paid search section when customers search something related to the business. If you participate in the Google Ads program, you are going to be charged per clicks (PPC – pay per click).
This is one of the best internet marketing channels to bring targeted traffic to the website right after the PPC ads are created and approved by Google.
Similar to SEO, if your website gets the number one paid search position for one targeted and profitable keyword, you can expect lots of traffic to your website, therefore making more sales.
When both of these are equally powerful for your business, as a business owner it’s going to be difficult for you to select one of these two. But won’t it be great if you know the advantages and disadvantages of SEO and Google Ads? And won’t this help you to select the right one for your business? Let’s continue.
Merits and demerits of SEO and Google Ads
Advantages of SEO
1. SEO brings the maximum percentage of traffic to one website
2. Organic traffic is the most targeted traffic which gets converted into sales more often than any other forms of online web traffic
3. SEO traffic is free. You don’t have to pay to search engines to bring traffic to your website
4. SEO is cost-effective
5. People trust organic results more than paid search results
6. SEO offers better Return on Investment (ROI) than others
7. Right SEO will drive traffic to the website over a longer period of time
8. SEO benefits are unmatched
9. SEO results are completely measurable
10. SEO principles are very much similar for all search engines
11. SEO manpower is readily available
12. Anyone can develop Search Engine Optimization skills by joining an SEO course
Disadvantages of SEO
- SEO needs expertise which is not free; therefore SEO is not exactly free.
- SEO needs time before it starts delivering the results
- SEO needs quality search engine optimization skills and understandings
- SEO is a comparatively long process with numerous factors
- Google updates its SEO algorithms that may penalize one site for violating the SEO and content guidelines
- SEO rankings are not fixed and certain. Rank falls due to various algorithm changes, wrong optimization etc.
- Ranking for a new location or a few new keywords will be time-taking and hard in SEO
- SEO is a never-ending process and needs to be done continuously
- Business owners may get misled if they don’t develop their own SEO skills
Advantages of Google Ads
- Google Ads may appear above the organic results
- Google Ads brings traffic to the site immediately
- Google Ads traffic percentage to one website is pretty good
- Google Ads is better if you need website traffic immediately and for a comparatively shorter period of time
- You can target any location you want
- You can customize your ad campaigns as and when required
- You can show your PPC ads even outside the Google search engine. This helps in branding as well
- Google paid ads’ results are fully measurable
- Google Ads manpower is available everywhere
- Anyone can learn Google Ads
Disadvantages of Google Ads
- Google Ads needs a good investment
- A limited investment won’t deliver good results
- Only big budget Google Ads will get #1 position
- Competitor companies may bid better prices and can outrank your website’s #1 paid ad position
5. Competitors may click on your PPC ads repeatedly which may exhaust your Google Ads account budget.
6. Targeting competitive keywords can be really expensive, that may even break your marketing budget
7. Return on Investment (ROI) of Google Ads is generally less than SEO ROI
8. Your pay-per-click ads won’t appear on Google and you won’t get any traffic once your campaign budget is used
9. Google may not approve your paid ads if those do not meet their guidelines
10. This needs a certain level of webpage optimization skills
11. Generally, people trust and click more on organic results than paid ads
When Google Ads will start delivering the results immediately, right SEO will bring the targeted traffic to the website forever. Therefore, combining these two will be the best internet marketing strategy for a small business.
You can’t expect immediate organic traffic right after you start the SEO. But simultaneously you can consider investing in Google Ads which will keep on bringing the traffic to your new website. Hence, joining these two best internet marketing channels will not only ensure the traffic but also increase the sales.
If you are running a business and looking for online customers, SEO and Google Ads both are going to be good and profitable for you. Which one you will select, will depend on your requirements, business, products, services, competition, budget, skills etc.
When Search Engine Optimization requires serious SEO skills, Google Ads needs good money investment. If you have good SEO skills around you, then focus on SEO. Similarly, if you have decent and long-time marketing budgets then investing in Google Ads will be good for the business.
Besides, if you are a new business that needs customers from the beginning, investing in Google Ads will surely fulfill your purpose. On the other hand, if you want to build an authority and do business for a long time, then there is nothing more powerful than SEO.
Remember, when Google Ads is good, SEO is compulsory for one website and business. This means that you may compromise all but cannot sustain and scale up your business without the right Search Engine Optimization.
Who We Are?
We are PromozSEO Web Marketing Academy, A Digital Marketing training school in Kolkata, India.
P.S. - Let us know which one do you prefer and use for your business; SEO or Google Ads? Your insights will be helpful for others.