SEO vs Google Ads: The Difference Between SEO and Google Ads

Wassana (Mam) | May 2, 2023

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What Is SEO and How It Works?

You’ve probably heard the term “SEO” kicked around in the business and marketing worlds. It stands for “search engine optimization” and is one of the best things that you can do to make your business stand out from other competitors!

Good SEO can bump your website up in Google’s search engine rankings so that people see it before they see your competitors. Since very few people will scroll past the first few pages of Google’s results, it’s imperative to stay competitive with your SEO! That’s why you need a smart SEO strategy that works. We discuss all aspects of SEO, specifically SEO vs Google Ads, to see which one is better.

What is SEO?

SEO is the measurement of how relevant Google thinks your site’s content is. Since search engines like Google and Bing are always looking for great results to provide to their customers, they seek out websites that contain the most relevant information for certain keywords. For example, if someone types “pizza New York City” into Google, they will get a list of the top matches for that keyword based upon Google’s algorithm.

How SEO Works?

If you’re wondering what is SEO and how it works, the answer is simple. Google utilizes an algorithm to determine which websites deserve to be in the top spot. The algorithm changes regularly, but essentially Google’s bots look for terms and phrases that make a website appear trustworthy, valuable and reputable. They want content-rich websites full of useful information for their customers.

What is SEO Used For?

Since we’ve already covered “what is SEO?”, let’s delve into what it can do for your business! If you’re wondering how SEO works for websites, the answer is pretty straight-forward. SEO boosts a company’s recognizability and puts them right in from of the eyes of potential customers. Google regularly crawls websites looking for good content. It’s important to have a consistent and reputable stream of content that targets your customers. SEO can make or break your business, so you want to make sure that your content is excellent. Another way to make sure that you have a website that’s friendly to Google’s bots is to make sure that it’s responsive. Responsive websites conform to the device that they’re being viewed on, greatly enhancing the user experience!

What is Google Ads and How Does It Work?

Google Ads differs from SEO because businesses pay to be in the top spots instead of getting there organically. They are a great way to grow your business right at the beginning when you don’t have as much SEO credit with Google. They can also be used to promote certain campaigns, sales, or big company announcements.

Google Ads is a great shortcut to getting to the front page of the Google search engine results. It’s important to know when to use Google Ads and how it works in order to build a smart marketing strategy around it.

What is Google Ads?

Google Ads are paid listings at the top of Google’s search engine results. They are differentiated from organic search engine results by a small box on the right-hand side of the listing that indicates that they’re paid. Even so, they do not turn off most potential customers and are a great way to boost your visibility!

How does Google Ads Work?

If you’re wondering, “what is Google Ads and how does it work?”, the answer is pretty simple. Think of Google Ads as an online advertisement. It’s the same thing as a company who pays for a television commercial that will increase its word-of-mouth buzz. Google Ads is a way to boost business when times are slow and a company needs to get some serious traction. It’s important to remember that once you stop paying for Google Ads, your ad will go down. It’s not the same as organic SEO, which is free but takes a lot of time to cultivate.

What is Google Ads Used For?

Google Ads is used to build visibility around a company by boosting it up to the top of the search engine rankings. You create your ad and pay for it when people click on it. That’s why another popular term for Google Ads is PPC or pay per click. Some companies run Google Ads campaigns constantly. Others prefer to run them only at certain times of the year.

Google Ads vs SEO

Now that you know the difference between Google Ads and SEO, let’s break down the benefits and downsides to each of them. We will discuss the difference between Ads and SEO, and whether Ads or SEO work best in the long and short-term!

Difference Between SEO and Google Ads

The primary difference between SEO and Google Ads is that SEO is organically cultivated over time and Google Ads offer companies an immediate place on the first page. Google does not charge for organic SEO. If your company is good enough to appear on the front page of Google based on the search engine’s algorithm, your spot will be complimentary. Of course, Google will regularly scan the page and bump you down if it no longer feels that you’re worthy of it.

Organic SEO is considered to be something of a long game. It takes a long time to build up the credibility that Google demands of its top listings. A business can languish in the lower tiers of Google’s rankings for years before finally making it into the big time. Google Ads is a quick and effective fix to the problem of cultivating organic SEO.

PPC campaigns are also marked as such. Your customers know that they are clicking on an ad when they see your listing. It’s not a huge deterrent to most people, but some customers might feel that they are not getting a legitimate experience.

How Do They Affect Each Other?

Google Ads and SEO can work harmoniously together if you apply them properly. The strength of Google Ads lies in its ability to elevate companies that haven’t necessarily put in their dues. The strength of organic SEO is that it is the result of a well-crafted SEO campaign that combines quality content, great design, and industry recognition together in one free campaign. You should always be working on improving your organic SEO. Make sure that your content is on-point and relatable, as well as relevant to your industry.

Similarly, you should harness the power of Google Ads. Committing a reasonable amount of your marking revenue to put you on the first page of Google makes smart marking sense. Google Ads also offers intelligent analytics that you can use to see where you need to make any necessary tweaks or changes to your campaign. These analytics will also come in handy when you’re trying to determine who your target audience is. You’ll have a much better picture of the type of people who are interested in your business, which will allow you to craft your content in a way that appeals to them. Targeted content is one of the best ways to boost your organic SEO, so it is really a win-win!

Should You Invest in SEO or PPC?

You should really invest in both! When your business is first starting out, going through a brand change, or needs another type of boost, it’s a good idea to start buying Google Ads. You’re getting the word out there quickly. On the same note, it’s not wise to rely on Google Ads alone. You’re only on the top of the search engine results because you are paying for it. You need to cultivate your organic SEO as well.

Make sure that the content that you’re putting out there is authoritative and engaging. Use keywords wisely, but don’t stuff your articles with the same word or phrase. Google’s bots are capable of picking up on keyword stuffing and your audience will not like it either. The key to organic SEO is to put out as much engaging content as possible. You should also always add to your website, incorporate internal and external links into your pages, and fill out all of your metadata.

Both Google Ads and SEO are excellent ways to make sure that your business is top of mind. When used as part of a smart marketing strategy they can really take you to the next level! The key might start thinking in terms other than SEO vs. Ads, but seeing the two as equal sides of the same marketing coin. Understanding the difference between the two, and the best way to use them in tandem is key to enjoying a great rank on Google. If you need help on this, reach out to a digital marketing agency.

Written By

Wassana (Mam)
Wassana enjoys the ever-changing online marketing trends, especially in SEO. She’s on a mission to bring her client to the top of search engines and bring more traffic to their website. As a lifelong yoga practitioner, she believes consistency can transform her effort into success – on and off the mat. Connect to Mam at LinkedIn.

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