Google. The most visited website in the world. And thus, not surprisingly, the biggest marketing platform in the world. It is probably not too much of an exaggeration to say that every internet user ends up Google at some point – and most do it several times a day. And if you want to make sure you get the hold of them, there are two important tools you can use:
Google Ads and SEO.
Each of them can do something different. So, which one should you choose? And should you even make a choice? We take a closer look at that.
Google Ads vs SEO
Both parts take place on Google. And both help to increase your company’s visibility. But they do it in different ways – and with different results.
Google Ads is a so-called PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising – and the most popular of its kind. This means that your company, your product, etc., will be displayed as an advertisement among the users’ search results, and then you will pay per interaction with the advertisement.
The individual ads and campaigns can be adjusted precisely according to target group, budget, time frame and more, and Google provides you with analytics to optimize continuously – and to improve future campaigns.
Whether or not your ad is shown depends on several factors. Bid price, ad quality and the user experience at the destination of the link are just a handful of these, so it’s not just about throwing money at the ads. It’s about being strategic.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most well-known marketing initiatives. And with quite good reason. People use Google to find almost anything, so you have a clear goal here: to be as high up in the search results as possible.
The most common way to work with SEO is keywords and link building. The first mentioned is about including relevant words and phrases on your website (e.g., “hairdresser”, if you want to score high on the search “hairdresser”), while the last mentioned is about having so-called inbound links from other sites to your website.
Google ranks the results according to whether you have included relevant keywords on different parts of the website, whether the language is simple and clear, whether you have a lot of (good) links to your website – and more. And since over half of the users only click on the top three links in the results, it is important that your website ranks high.
Timeout – what was the difference between SEO and Ads?
Paid advertising all round. The higher the budget, the higher the results (if the campaign is good).
Results can be seen and measured immediately as they are based on interaction with your ads.
You have full control over your ads and can thus switch them on/off as you wish.
Instead of a constant budget, SEO requires continuous maintenance and improvement to create results.
SEO is a long-term strategy. The results are great – but it can take weeks or months before they can be measured.
SEO provides constant, organic results continuously if your website is indexed.
Which should I choose?
The short answer: both.
The long answer is a bit more complicated. But the point is still the same. Although SEO and Google Ads can do two different things, together they form an unstoppable pair of partners on Google.
SEO is (or should be) an essential part of your marketing strategy – and it should be the core element of your Google strategy. This is simply because SEO is crucial for your visibility on the search engine – and thus responsible for the ongoing, organic traffic to your website.
How Ads strengthen your SEO – and vice versa
1. Use remarketing as the “last push”
Thorough SEO work leads users to your website. The users have already shown interest, they already know a little about your company – now they just need the final push to convert. Therefore, you can advantageously use Google Ads as that push and target these ads to users who have already shown interest in your website or brand (also known as remarketing or retargeting).
2. Kickstart your SEO with Ads
As said, SEO is a long-term strategy. So, if you have only just started to optimize your website, then it will take some time before the SEO results starts to show.
Until then, Google Ads are an excellent way to kick-start your visibility on Google – and to get some traffic to your website.
3. Let data from ads inform your SEO
Search trends can be a bit of a modern mystery. Fortunately, your Google Ads provide a lot of useful data – including the keywords and phrases that activate your ads. You can use that knowledge to check whether it is in fact the right keywords you are focusing on on your website. And the same also applies the other way.
4. Texts, texts, texts
It is relatively easy to see how effective your Google Ads are. And a key element in that effectiveness is how well the ad text is written. After all, that is where your primary communication lies.
So, if an ad text has worked particularly well, see if the same text can be transferred to your website. After all, if something works, there’s no reason to only do it once.