Textual Podcast: SEO vs. Google Ads
Its Timur here, your host for today. We have an interesting topic on our agenda – SEO vs. Google ads. The following podcast will be useful for those of you who have no idea what the difference is or only have a little understanding. It will make you think about which of these approaches will work best for your business. We are not going to cover all the details and specifics here, but we’ll include some necessary comparisons. By the end of this podcast, you’ll have a reasonable understanding of what is going to work for your business, and what your goals should be when considering SEO vs. Google Ads.
To figure out which will work better for you – SEO or PPC (pay per click), it’s a good idea to first identify what you want to achieve. So, from my understanding and what I’ve heard clients say and experienced first-hand, most of the time we want to get high-quality sales leads or e-commerce sales to your website. That should be your number one goal, with other benefits to follow.
To achieve your goals – either good quality leads or sales – you will need to be at the top of the search results. You’ll quickly find out that the higher you appear in the search results, the more clicks and sales you will get.
Did you know that 65.6% of searchers click on an organic result as opposed to only 3.7% on a paid result? Of the organic results, 33% click on position 1, 17% on position 2 and 10% on position 3, with click rates declining the further down the page you go. Sources: Sparktoro, Links Management
So, we know you need to appear prominently in Google’s search results. There are only two ways to do this, and that’s by using organic SEO and Google Ads. And yes, I know there are many other search engine platforms, but today we are just going to talk about Google, which has a +95% market share in New Zealand.
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to your question “should I use SEO or Google Ads?”. The solution depends on many factors such as your budget, business niche, your website, how old your domain is, how competitive your niche is, how recognisable your brand is, or how much time you can spend on your campaign, among other things. We understand you don’t want to spend a fortune on Google Ads campaigns and get no return on investment. You also don’t want to be doing what Google classes as “cheap”, “bad” or “black hat” SEO which can boost your short-term results but do more long-term harm than good.
That’s why it’s best to get at least a basic idea of how to get the best long-lasting results from SEO, Google Ads or both.
SEO or Search Engine Optimisation
So, let me make this clear. If you’re listening to this podcast – either at home, in the car, or at work, that means you are trying to get on to the top of the organic SEO results on Google. Without the right experience or expertise, it will be challenging. You will need an SEO agency to help develop and implement a white hat SEO strategy that will really work or take an SEO training course that teaches you how to implement SEO best-practices.
Be ready to invest a fair amount of money, and more importantly, a significant amount of time. But don’t stress – if 80% of people are using Google before they buy, then it’s absolutely worth the investment. Just don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can hire a link builder and hit the top of Google search results overnight with a click of your fingers. That’s just not going to happen, especially if we are talking about a competitive niche. But if you decide to invest time and money into proper SEO, you will reap the benefits, some of which we’ll quickly run through.
First of all: organic rankings. Organic rankings tend to be more trustworthy than ads, and organic results normally last for a long period of time. And it’s normally very unusual for your rankings to decrease significantly without a good reason.
One more thing to think of in terms of SEO is that by implementing a white-hat SEO strategy with the help of an SEO expert, you are improving your website itself. This will be of benefit to your business and sales conversions in the long term.
A good, experienced SEO agency will work on your on-page SEO, UI (User experience) and UX (User interface) designs, website loading speed, content and phone call tracking. All these things will increase your organic rankings and conversion rate (CTR) eventually.
So, my point is, SEO does take time and money, but if you choose the right agency and be patient, you will be building an assett that gets excellent long term results.
Google Ads or AdWords
If you’re impatient and want to see results now or you have just built a new website, then you probably want to look at Google Ads.
Google Ads, or AdWords, works on a PPC basis, which means you pay every time someone clicks an ad. The cost per click depends on your niche, region, and how competitive your keywords are.
Another thing you want to keep in mind is that your budget isn’t the only factor in how or when an ad is displayed. Google uses a metric called ad rank to determine the eligibility of an ad. One of the components of ad rank is quality score, and this is a measure of your landing pages, ads and keywords. So just having a big budget doesn’t mean you will outrank everyone else.
It’s essential to understand your potential customers well before you start running a Google Ads campaign.
You need to learn what your customers search for, what keywords they use, and how they search. Sometimes, it is not the popular expensive search terms that get all the traction, but the long-tail search terms that are much cheaper, less competitive and a potential goldmine for new enquiries.
You can try and run your campaign yourself – running Google Ads or AdWords can seem like a few big leaps as opposed to running the SEO marathon. That said, it is still a complex marketing tool and tricky to get right – if you have never touched Google Ads you can find yourself wasting a lot of time and money and becoming really frustrated at the lack of progress.
One of the biggest advantages of PPC is control, immediacy and accurate keywords reporting, something that SEO lacks. With Google Ads, you have immediate control over the terms your website is going to be listed for, and you can test new terms as well. You can create dozens of campaigns experimenting with regions, demography and different attributes, and you can start ranking at the top of Google search overnight. Also, unlike SEO, you can determine from your Google Ads reports exactly which search terms are generating sales and enquiries.
So, are you choosing SEO or Google Ads? If you ask me, I would tell you to use both – at least for six months until you figure out what actually works for you. If you have just built a new website with a fresh domain, you should definitely do Google Ads because you are going to need some time to build your organic rankings, rather than applying the shortcuts we mention before. Remember, it is perfectly normal for organic search engine optimisation process to take at least six months or longer to deliver results!
So, the question might be not what to choose, but how to find the right agency or person who is qualified enough to develop and implement both SEO & Google Ads. Ultimately, organic search and Google Ads should compliment each other, not cannibalize your budget.
So that concludes today’s podcast about SEO vs. Google Ads! I hope you found it useful. Thank you for listening to me – it has been a pleasure! Want to know more about how to generate effective SEO & AdWords results from Google? Make sure listen in again at the next podcast!