What’s better in terms of marketing — SEO vs. AdWords

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What’s better in terms of marketing — SEO vs. AdWords

SEO and AdWords – the main components of Search Engine Marketing – are among your most valuable tools when running digital marketing campaigns.

Depending on your business and marketing goals, they will have differences and similarities. Thus, depending on the circumstances, you might need to use them together or separately.

What is SEO?

SEO or Search Engine Optimization has to do with getting better rankings in the search engine results pages of Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other major search engines. You need to make sure that your website is search engine friendly in order to achieve that.

A website that can be ‘read’ easily by search engines and used with ease by users is a search engine friendly website.

The main idea is to have a website that’s fast and functional with unique content that offers a good end-user experience.

What is Google AdWords?

Are you new to digital marketing? You may have noticed somebody talking about PPC, Adwords, and terms like CPC, bids, and campaigns without knowing what these buzzwords mean.

Google’s advertising platform is called Google AdWords. This platform can be used by advertisers to position their ads in the Google Search Result Pages, Google Products (YouTube, Gmail etc) and to thousands of other websites that are included in the AdWords program as publishers (Google Adsense).

As an advertiser, you can choose to pay when someone clicks on your ad (Cost Per Click or CPC) or when people see your ad (CPM or Cost per Thousand Impressions).

Its system works like a big auction where advertisers compete for the available advertising places.

SEO VS AdWords

Now that you have a general idea of what is SEO and AdWords let’s see how they are when we compare them:

  • SEO principles are applicable for all search engines while Adwords is for Google sites and websites that use Google Adsense.
  • SEO traffic is (almost) free while AdWords campaign traffic is paid.
  • With SEO you have to work much harder to get one of the top positions in the organic search results — Adwords ads appear on the top and bottom of the search results in Google and under some conditions you can get one of those ad positions.
  • With SEO you need a lot more time (especially for new websites) to get good rankings and traffic while Adwords is more immediate than SEO since you can create advertising campaigns almost instantly and start getting targeted traffic.
  • SEO is more difficult because there are a lot more factors that play a role, not just ad spending and revenue while with Adwords, it’s easier to calculate the ROI.
  • If you stop your campaigns with AdWords, traffic also stops — but once you start getting organic traffic with SEO, this will continue long term.
  • With SEO you need to focus on a few keywords for best results while with Adwords you can target many keywords at the same time.
  • The results from SEO are only for the search results pages but With Adwords, you can advertise on other Google websites and websites that use Google Adsense.

Now, which is better for your Marketing?

AdWords — a good start for new companies

When we started out the SBO Authority, one of our main goals was to help our customers know how to get traffic from Search Engines through SEO.

It’s still one of our major goals right now, but through the years, working with clients in different niches, we realized that small business owners sometimes need results quicker and require immediate results. This is where Google AdWords comes in.

One thing to think about is that the biggest advantage of Google AdWords versus SEO is that it can generate results right away.

Each of the visits you get from AdWords will be paid but if your campaigns are profitable you can meet your business objectives with the investment in PPC justified.

Google AdWords is ideal for new companies and startups that want to get targeted traffic quickly to make sales, find new prospects or even test their products, SOPs, website effectivity and any other component in their sales or marketing procedures.

Only if you use Google AdWords wisely and carefully will the above statement be true. It is quite simple to start throwing money at AdWords — if you don’t have proper monitoring and control tools then, you will end up making losses instead of profits.

What we always tell small business owners about AdWords is that if you don’t use it correctly, it will be akin to playing in a Casino where you dish money out with wishful thinking that sometimes you will get it back, but you never do (or never will).

So, while the system is relatively easy and convenient to use (it will make you spend more), but you don’t have the mastery and experience to run Adword Campaigns, save your money and hire a professional instead to do it for you.

To fully benefit from the use of AdWords, make sure to use this approach so that you won’t be wasting money.

Going back to SEO

While it is a brilliant idea to start with AdWords because it gives out faster results, you should consider beginning working with SEO, Content marketing and social media for the best results. These 3 tools are what you will be needing if you aim for long term online success.

Content marketing is all about creating the right content, SEO will allow you to optimize your content for search engines to get more organic traffic, and social media will give you an avenue to promote your SEO optimized content to a greater audience.

What about using SEO and Google AdWords at the same time?

Some people might say that when you get SEO traffic you won’t need to use AdWords anymore — but we say that this is a wrong approach.

It’s great if you have good rankings, but you can still utilize Google AdWords and obtain more exposure for the same keywords that you’re getting SEO traffic from.

You can even measure the performance of your Google AdWords campaigns, and if they are profitable, you can even increase your budget for an increased ROI.

So in the end, which is better to use for your marketing, SEO or Adwords?

Both — a straightforward answer. To start getting traffic, use Google AdWords and at the same time, work on your SEO, content marketing plan, and social media campaigns so that you’ll get organic traffic and visits from social networking sites.


SEO and Google AdWords aren’t competing with each other but they are both powerful weapons available in your digital marketing arsenal.

Remember that you can use Google AdWords when you want traffic FAST, but you’ll need SEO for the long term and SUSTAINABLE online success.

Don’t forget to consult the professional SEO agency to avoid wasting your money on possible campaign failures. Do reach out if you have any questions. We’ll be eager to assist you in any way we can.