SEO or Google Ads? Or Both?

Should You Invest in SEO or Google Ads… or Both?


Whether you’re a business or educational institution you’ve probably tried (or at least considered) SEO and Google Ads as part of your marketing strategy. But which one is more suitable for the growth you’re looking for? Let’s take a look at a few of the differences.

SEO: The Long-Game

Search engine optimization involves optimizing various elements of your website, such as content, keywords, meta tags, and backlinks, to make it more attractive to search engines. This process takes time as search engines need to crawl and index your website, and it takes time to build authority and trust. 

Though there is a significant learning curve to overcome when discovering how each component of the process works, SEO can be a very effective and affordable marketing tool for businesses who are willing to invest in the time and talent (whether in-house or not) to do it properly.

Because of the complexities associated with learning how to manage an SEO strategy, it can take more effort than many business owners and leaders intend to invest in order to see positive results. However, there are tools out there that make it easier, like RankMath

While your rankings will start to wain if your SEO efforts stop (and especially if your competitors are aggressively optimizing and you are not), your results won’t immediately disappear like they do with paid ads. Therefore, we see SEO as a long-term investment and a good building block in the foundation of your marketing strategy.

Google Ads

On the other hand, Google Ads allows businesses to display ads on Google’s search results pages, websites, and partner networks. Google Ads are scalable and relatively quick to implement, allowing them to generate results more quickly. 

With Google Ads, you can target geographic areas, interests, search terms, and more. Done properly, Google Ads can be quite effective at bringing in qualified leads. Paired with landing pages that are optimized to convert, your Google Ads can help you get new customers more quickly than the long game of SEO. 

While this method offers immediate visibility and potential traffic, it requires ongoing ad spend to maintain the results. Once you stop paying for ads, your ads stop running and your visibility and traffic cease. 

Google Ad campaigns can end up being more expensive than SEO. As such, it’s important for business owners to carefully consider their goals and marketing budget before selecting one of these advertising options.

Which Should You Use?

Both SEO and Google Ads can provide marketers with analytical insights about how audiences behave. Both can yield an optimal ROI, and both are flexible approaches to use if owners want to get more leads. 

Overall, SEO requires patience, consistent effort, and a long-term strategy to achieve sustainable organic growth, whereas Google Ads provides more immediate results but requires continuous investment to maintain visibility and traffic. Both SEO and Google Ads have their advantages and are often used in combination to achieve comprehensive online marketing goals.

A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that if your main concern (aside from more leads) is time constraints, Google Ads might be a better choice. If you’re more interested in creating a sustainable and cost-effective marketing venture, SEO is ideal.

Using both techniques is also an option. Marketers can use Google Ads to announce specific product launches or promote their services more aggressively while maintaining a professionally-developed SEO strategy for sustainable results. Because both options are flexible, both can be adjusted and adapted so that they complement each other.

Researching each of these marketing techniques and what is best suited for your audience, industry, budget, and services or products can enable business owners to make decisions that align with their brand and revenue goals.

Don’t have the time to research and test which method would work best for you? Schedule a call with our team today!