Google AdWords vs SEO – Where should you invest your marketing budget?

Google AdWords

You can invest in both advertising on Google AdWords and SEO for organic traffic, but depending on your industry or goals, one could deliver better ROI than the other.

I have been marketing for over 10 years and a general rule of thumb is to advertise to specific audiences using Google AdWords and market to the masses using SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).

But Google makes it difficult to measure ROI from SEO (they make their money from Google AdWords). They have taken away keyword data from Google Analytics, so you cannot measure the effectiveness at the keyword level unless you use Google AdWords.

Do you want to pay Google $58.64 per click (competitive industry)? I know I don’t. Thus, we spend most of our time on SEO because of its long-term benefits. SEO is not easy, and for this reason, many marketing agencies have decided not offer SEO and to focus on channels and mediums that offer solutions that are easier to measure.

What is your marketing goal?

In most cases, the question is not about whether to use Google AdWords OR SEO; it’s about how much should you invest in each medium.

Firstly, you need to consider your business goals:

  • Leads/Conversions
  • Nurturing Leads
  • Engagement
  • Brand Awareness

Below I will outline the different value Google AdWords and SEO deliver and which strategy is most appropriate for your business.

Google AdWords

For Google AdWords to be valuable, you need to be able to determine four things:

  1. Budget
  2. Time-frame
  3. Resources
  4. ROI

Google AdWords advertising has a straightforward model; in most cases, you’ll pay for each click that your advertisement generates, giving you a predictable and straightforward model on which to build and measure your campaign.

Because Google AdWords is quite easy to measure, it becomes very enticing for business owners. I invest X, and it returns Y.

Paid media & banner ads are a great opportunity to drive engagement and brand awareness through remarketing to specific audiences likely to buy or enquire.

You can get an immediate return from conversions, but there’s little room for growth unless you can increase your budget while keeping your ROI consistent.

Google AdWords provides you with data that shows immediate campaign results. This wealth of information and ability to track your ROI are the main reasons why a well-structured Google AdWords campaign can be highly beneficial.

Google SEO

The differentiation between short and long-term benefits is often the deciding factor in SEO for organic traffic. The greatest advantage SEO gives you over your competitors is also one of its biggest weaknesses: it takes a long time to build up.

By properly implementing SEO techniques on your website can gain visibility on Google without paying Google. By improving upon certain ranking factors that Google is choosing to rank your website on (there are over 200 factors) like keywords, content, and backlinks, you can move up in rankings and drive more traffic to your site.

Following best practices from a Perth SEO company can help your business benefit from increased brand awareness, greater consumer engagement, and lead nurturing, which leads to more conversions. You can also benefit by getting more traffic from external sources, search engines, and social media platforms.

Costs related to SEO are complicated due to the wide variety of activities involved in a whole SEO strategy, and each can be scaled flexibly to accommodate the ultimate goal. New businesses will find it difficult to build a foundation for content and link building.

However, similar to paid media, a large investment in these activities will see more significant results.

Google AdWords or Google SEO?

As mentioned before, I don’t think it should be AdWords or SEO, but understanding your current goals which are many based on budget, time, and reach.

Here is a catch-all answer:

  • New Websites = Google AdWords
  • Websites wanting fast growth = Google AdWords + SEO
  • Established websites wanting medium growth = SEO

Also, you should consider the competitiveness of your industry/niche. If the cost per click is so high that you’ll fail to see a positive ROI, then Google AdWords may need to be limited. However, in such a saturated competitive market paid media is usually required to get your content visible to your target audience.

Google AdWords and SEO are best when used in conjunction with one another. Remember, consumers don’t differentiate between paid and organic search – it doesn’t always matter HOW your customer got to your website but that they are there in the first place.

You should now have a better idea of your marketing mix. A hybrid model is the most sure-fire way to get customers to your website, so long as you execute paid traffic and SEO correctly.

Need some help creating your marketing strategy? Request a free Inbound Marketing Consultation today!

Adam Rowles
Blueprint Homes