SEO vs Paid Search Advertisement: Which is Best Investment for your Business

Are you like the many business owners struggling to acquire customers and increase website traffic? Undoubtedly, balancing a marketing campaign’s cost, maintenance, and results is a complicated task. There are two strategies to give you peace of mind: search engine optimization or paid search advertising. SEO (search engine optimization) or paid search advertisements are different ways of driving people to your website. But which method is better for you?

The first thing you need to understand before discussing which marketing strategy is better is the fundamental difference between paid ads and SEO. These are two completely separate ways to drive traffic to your website. The traffic that comes from these is significantly different from each other. This article will provide insights on why you should invest in SEO or paid ads, what SEO is, what paid ads are, and which one to consider for fulfilling your specific business goals. 


Paid ads are the process of bidding on the top ad spots on a google search query, so we are familiar with where the ads pop up when you search for something on Google. These ads are typically charged on a per-click basis. Every time someone selects your ad, you can spend anywhere from fifty cents to ninety dollars per click, which can get pretty expensive. But with that, you can set your budget and search for keywords within that budget to ensure that you are spending less. Several factors determine this cost per click. Location, industry, competition, all of these things play a part in how much you are going to spend. 

One of the most practical benefits of running paid search advertisements is that you can immediately drive traffic to your website. It is the most instant way to start generating business for yourself, and that’s one thing people do love about it. Also, people dislike that their traffic and sales depend on monthly paid ads. It would help if you remembered that these ad rates would continually climb because this is a bidding war, so as more people start running ads and more people start bidding & upping their rates, it gets more expensive. If you run ads for the next six or eight months and decide you don’t want to spend any more on ads, your traffic will stop completely, and you’re going back to square one.


SEO or search engine optimization is the process of ranking organically or naturally in search results. This is something that is entirely dependent on the quality of your website, content, and the way that your business shows up online. This isn’t a bidding war; it is not that the wealthiest company will get all the organic traffic, but it is a popularity contest, and yes, the organic rankings can be affected by the budget. Still, it is mainly affected by your reputation. People love search engine optimization because once your ranking is there and you do your best to maintain it, the traffic you get is completely free. Another thing people love is that organic traffic will be much higher quality than the ads, which is that people trust organic rankings more than they trust ads. 

When somebody finds you organically and they click on your website, they have already determined that this isn’t just somebody buying an ad placement, but somebody with an excellent reputation and a lot of people use them. There is a reason that google is showing them as one of the most highly recommended businesses. One of the biggest cons of SEO is it takes a long time and requires patience. This is something that many business owners either don’t have or can’t afford to spend money on SEO for so many months because it is an extended period. It will pay off in the long term, but in the short time, you need to be ready to invest, and you need to understand that you may not see results anytime soon.


Now that you know the contrast between these two marketing strategies, you may wonder how to execute a plan on paid search advertisements or SEO. 


To start running ads, you will need to create a google ads account, and you will need to set your keywords. Keywords are the common words or phrases people search on Google to find your business. Once you select those, you can choose a budget and decide how much you want to pay every time someone clicks on that ad. You’re going to need to note your ad copy which is what people see on the search results, and then you’re going to set the link that you want the ads to go to, which will probably be either the homepage of your website or a landing page. Then you’re going to turn on your campaign, and you are good to go.

 Your campaign doesn’t end there, you are going to want to set up tracking and analytics to be able to understand the behavior of your site visitors, and you’re also going to want to be able to track the conversions that come from these ads. That’s going to help you understand your return on investment. Once you do this, you are going to continually want to be doubling back and optimize your campaign to make sure that you can get your cost per click down and that you can get your conversions up. That is ads in a nutshell.


SEO is all about your website’s quality and how your business appears online. SEO is more complex. First, you will need to ensure that your website is healthy and up to google standards. Then you’re going to find your keywords or the queries people are searching for and strategically use those keywords in the titles and content of your pages. After that, make sure that your content is helpful and correlates to what people are searching for because the longer people stay on your pages once they click on it organically, the better you will rank. 

Google will acknowledge that your website is relevant to the searched keywords. Then, start outreach to other websites and blogs to build feature links back to your website, called backlinks. That will increase the domain authority or the popularity of your website online. Along with this, You’ll need several technical things done, such as competitor research, tracking and analytics, content strategy and creation, local citations, reviews, and more. If you want to avoid learning these things on your own, you must find a specialist that understands these things very well and can ensure that you’re going to get a return on your investment. 


Now, if you’re wondering which of these you should focus on first, I would tell you that you need to focus on both simultaneously. Here is the strategy to ensure you can get short-term and long-term results and that you’re spending as little money as possible to get those results. So what you’re going to want to do of that, let’s say you’ve got a thousand dollars a month in your marketing budget, you’re going to want to take 50% of that and put it towards ads to get instant results and 50% of that towards SEO to get the ball rolling on your organic rankings.

 At about month four or five, you’re going to want to swing that towards your SEO and start putting about 75% of your budget into SEO because that’s when you’ll begin to see the needle move as far as traffic rankings. Now you will be able to dial down your ads to about 25% to ensure that you are keeping some traffic going. However, you’re not going to make yourself too reliant on that paid traffic because the goal is by about month 10 or 11, your organic rankings are doing so well, and you’re driving so much traffic that your ads are going to be entirely up to you whether or not you want to continue those or not. That is going to be where your investment is best used. 

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