Digital-Blog

09 Jan 2017

When to use AdWords, SEO or both?

When to use AdWords, SEO or both?

When we founded our company in 2009, our main goal was to help our customers get traffic from the search engines through organic SEO. Since then we've evolved our thinking quite a bit on how AdWords and organic SEO should work together as symbiotic digital marketing tactics. Ultimately, we encourage our clients to primarily focus on SEO and not become overly addicted to AdWords for the following reasons:

  1. there's a lot of waste with AdWords e.g. false clicks from competitors, offshore lead generation companies, people looking for work click your ads, etc (and you pay!)
  2. organic SEO generates a better quality visitor than AdWords (hint: compare your web analytics stats SEO Vs AdWords)
  3. AdWords cost-per-click keeps going up
  4. people using online assign credibility to websites that rank well in organic SEO

Here are a few tips to help you decide when to use SEO and when to use AdWords to achieve more online. You should also read our 'Search & Social Media' blog article to find out how SEO and Social Media Marketing (SMM) can combine as powerful allies.

New Websites focus on AdWords initially

It is becoming increasingly difficult to rank new websites in the organic search results. SEO is a long term investment; the more patient you are with the results, the longer you stay at the top! You can use deceptive SEO tactics to boost short term rankings but you will eventually be penalized and have to start all over again (click here to read about 'deceptive SEO'). The best practice approach we recommend for new websites is as follows:

  1. target local search for SEO rankings (if relevant)
  2. ensure your new website is well optimized for SEO
  3. invest in an AdWords program to generate immediate results
  4. continue to invest in an organic SEO program
  5. trim your AdWords investment once organic rankings improve

AdWords for instant results!

As mentioned above, AdWords advertising provides instant results, whereas the SEO process can take months before decent results are observed. Bear in mind, it can also take a few months of optimization before an AdWords campaign reaches it's full potential. 

AdWords to steal competitor brand searches

We'e noticed a rapid increase in the percentage of users who search using mobile devices rather than computers. Yet very few companies bid for their own branded searches in AdWords. Even fewer use AdWords for mobile devices, where the paid search area that appears at the top of your phone, is so important. We recommend companies bid on their own and competitor branded searches, especially with mobile search.

AdWords for new & seasonal keywords

With AdWords you can immediately target a broad range of new keywords, keyword variations, and test the performance of certain keywords before you target them with your organic SEO strategy. This makes AdWords quite lucrative when you need a presence in the search engines for searches related to new products, competitor activity, seasonal searches and terms you don't rank for with your organic strategy.  

AdWords can extend your reach to 90% online

Organic SEO gets you a presence in the organic search engine results pages only. However, AdWords has a search and a display network that can extend your search presence to over 90% of people on the Internet.

As Google explains: The Adwords Search Network reaches people when they’re already searching for specific goods or services. The Display Network helps you capture someone's attention earlier in the buying cycle. The Google Display Network allows to you connect with customers with a variety of ad formats across the digital universe. This network spans over two million websites that reach over 90% of people on the Internet. It can help you reach people while they’re browsing their favorite websites, showing a friend a YouTube video, checking their Gmail account, or using mobile sites and apps.

 AdWords for targeting themed landing pages

With organic search, Google ranks the page(s) on your websites it believes is most relevant to a search term. With AdWords, you can link your ads to any page on your website. This flexibility provides certain benefits, such as the flexibility to create Google Ads that link directly to themed landing pages e.g. for special deals.

For more information, call one of our Search Engine Marketing experts on 0508 254-258 or click here to find out how we can help you select the best search engine marketing tactics for achieving more online.

Video on the Google Display Network