In this article we’ll review Google ads vs. SEO and consider the benefits of both. We’ll look at how you can get your business found without paying a penny for advertising.
If you want people to find you online you will need to work at it as a website alone won't bring customers to your site. As well as quality content you will also need to do some form of digital marketing. The umbrella of digital marketing includes online ads (Google Ads, Facebook/Instagram ads etc), SEO, social media postings, newsletters and content marketing. Here we'll address Google Ads and SEO.
What’s the difference between Google Ads and SEO?
Google Ads are a paid-for feature that enables you to be listed above organic search results on a SERP (search engine results page), with the intention of standing out to your customers. They are easy to spot as they are denoted by the word 'Ad'. There are several different types of Google Ads including text ads (see below), shopping ads, local search ads and video ads (Youtube).
SEO (search engine optimisation) is the process of setting up your website so that Google finds it and indexes your pages accordingly - these are 'organic search results.' Google does not charge for you to be listed, but uses a formula to determine how to rank you in the search results. Your ranking is based on relevance, location and quality of content. The ultimate goal is to appear as the first result on page 1 of Google as this is the most clicked on search result.
Are Google Ads effective?
Before spending money on Google Ads it's good to understand how effective they are. A recent marketing statistic found that approximately 1.91% of people click on Google Ads. In contrast, it was found that a whopping 34.2% of people viewing organic search results, were clicking on the first search result on page 1. That's a huge difference. These numbers demonstrate that you can still achieve traffic to your site without paying for advertising.
In the right scenario and setup, Google Ads can be effective, they allow you to reach an unlimited, targeted audience, where you get to choose the budget. However, digital advertising can be expensive - medium size business will spend from £2k upwards per month on Google ads, and large corporations could be spending millions per month.
Many companies have realised the power of SEO vs. paid advertising. Some large corporates have shifted their digital marketing strategies to focus on SEO. This is partly because the quality and relevance of search results has improved as Google improves it's algorithm. Companies have realised that with expert SEO, they can achieve results on a par with Google ads.
Are Google Ads suitable for all businesses?
All businesses can benefit from SEO, but not all businesses can benefit from Google Ads. It's dependent on your industry, product, budget and knowledge. The following types of businesses can do well using paid ads.
Digital services - digital products with no location such as insurance, software, financial services, online courses etc. These can work well as Text ads as it's primarily about the features of the product and not what the service looks like.
Physical products - physical items that can be bought online can benefit from Google Shopping Ads, especially if you can be competitive on price.
Anyone can set up a Google Ad, and you can start with a small budget of just a few pounds. To setup an ad you first choose specific words or phrases that are used in search queries to find your product, these are called targeted keywords. Then you bid on the keywords based on the amount of money you're willing to pay per click of your ad. So the success of your ad campaign is determined by your budget, and also your knowledge of setting up the ad.
Once your budget runs out, your website ad will stop appearing in search results unlike an optimised webpage which will keep appearing and performing if you've set it up correctly.
How can I use SEO to power my business?
You can use SEO to drive targeted traffic to your website. Pages that have been set up for SEO can perform really well in search results, and give you a steady stream of customers if combined with social media and quality content.
And if you're a local business it's good news. Local search results have improved massively in the last couple of years. You can get your business appearing in Google business listings, on a search results map, in image search results and in Google Reviews. If you do nothing else, make sure you set up your 'Google Business Profile', you can do that here.
Your success with SEO is dependent on you knowing your customers and market really well so that you can directly target them. If you get your targeting right you are much more likely to be approached by your ideal customers. If you are wishy-washy in your approach then Google won't know what to do with you.
Start with defining your target market:
Who are your ideal customers and where are they located?
What problem are you solving for them?
Why would a customer pick your product over someone else's?
What questions do your customers regularly ask you?
How does your customer go about making a buying decision for your product? eg. heavily research it, buy spontaneously, buy according to price.
What type of product have you got? eg. seasonal, digital, B2B, local
Being clear about your target market will feed into your SEO. And this preparation will also help with setting up your Google Ads. I always recommend to clients that they get their offering, message and SEO aligned first. Otherwise you could be wasting time and money on fruitless ads.
What sort of results can I expect from SEO?
This client came to me as his business was not coming up in search results and he had few enquiries. When they did contact him, it was the wrong type of customer. In the space of just a few months we made his business successful. He now has regular enquiries and often says he's got too much work coming in! This was all achieved without any paid advertising.
Position 1 Page 1 of Google for multiple keywords
Customers spend an average of 9 mins on the site (that's 93% better than other sites in the 'Build & Construction' category)
Regular weekly enquiries
Appearing in local targeted search results
Attracting high-worth customers
Over 1,000 Instagram followers
"In a short space of time I am already seeing results. I've already had 8 enquiries in less than a week." Daniel Fyfe Bespoke Carpentry
If you would like to get your website performing for SEO then get in touch. Use my Calendly link to book a no-obligation discovery call or email me with your query email@example.com