When To Use Adwords Or Seo

When to use Google Ads, SEO or both?

When we founded our company in 2009, our main goal was to help our customers get traffic from the NZ search engines through organic SEO. Since then we’ve evolved our thinking quite a bit on how Google Ads 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 Google Ads for the following reasons:

  1. there’s a lot of waste with Google Ads 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 Google Ads (hint: compare your web analytics stats SEO Vs Google Ads)
  3. Google Ads 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 Google Ads 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 Google Ads 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 Google Ads program to generate immediate results
  4. continue to invest in an organic SEO program
  5. trim your Google Ads investment once organic rankings improve

As mentioned above, Google Ads 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 Google Ads campaign reaches it’s full potential.

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 Google Ads. Even fewer use Google Ads 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.

With Google Ads 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 Google Ads 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.

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

With organic search, Google ranks the page(s) on your websites it believes is most relevant to a search term. With Google Ads, 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 021 344 050 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


Can I use Google Ads and SEO together?

Yes! Google Ads and SEO can be used together to complement each other and maximize online visibility and traffic. Clickthrough offers both, so reach out for a free consultation today.


What is the difference between the Search ads and the Display Network ads?

Search ads appear in search engine results when users search for specific goods or services, while Display Network ads are displayed on various websites, reaching over 90% of people on the Internet, including when they’re browsing websites, watching videos, checking emails, or using mobile sites and apps.


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