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What’s the Difference Between Adwords vs SEO?

adwords vs seo

Are you looking to improve the amount of traffic on your website?

Did you just start your business, or is your online presence something you have been working to build for a while?

Many business owners get confused between using Adwords vs SEO to reach their goals.

In truth, Adwords and SEO can both be of benefit to your company. Like any tool, it takes the right understanding of each to best utilize them.

The choice comes down to defining goals and current behaviors.

The Difference Between Adwords vs SEO: 4 Things You Need to Know

1. What Is Adwords? What Is SEO?

Adwords is an advertising tool owned by Google, referred to formally as Google Adwords.

For short, many users often say PPC – pay per click – which is essentially what Adwords is. The space works like an auction.

Businesses can bid for either ad clicks or ad views, also known as impressions. The campaign is seen on Google Search Results as well as Google products like YouTube and Gmail.

SEO works with all major search engines, like Google, Yahoo, Bing, and so on.

This tactic best improves traffic when all your content is aligned. If messaging is consistent across social media, blog posts, and web pages, it is easier for engine algorithms to find your business. This makes it easier for customers to find you as well.

Basically, Adwords vs SEO is like advertising vs positioning.

2. Exact Searches vs Organic Searches

What’s the difference between advertising and positioning?

When you advertise, you are bidding for exact searches.

This uses specific keywords and phrases potential consumers are looking for. You have a budget in place and every time someone clicks or views on your ad, you pay up.

When you position, you are aligning your content to match searches.

It feels natural, or, organic. Your business pops up not because its page is funded, but because it is most aligned with what someone already wants.

Also remember, using Adwords alone won’t give you higher rankings in search. Paid campaigns appear on the results page one or two at a time.

They are above organic searches but do not take up all the space.

This levels the playing field between Adwords vs SEO, otherwise, it would be a game to see who pays the most to be the first result.

3. Funding vs Generating

Here’s another way to look at Adwords vs SEO: funding is consistent, generating can eventually stand on its own.

If you use Adwords one week and not the next, there is no longer a chance users will see your ad. It is a pay to play world, meaning if there is no bid, there are no views or clicks.

Paying for Adwords is like paying for an ad anywhere else. When the contract is up, it comes down and no one sees it.

However, SEO can still generate unique leads even without constant backing.

This is because SEO is anyone’s game. You gain leverage with time and practice rather than money.

Building SEO strategies is like getting consumers in your store during a sale weekend. They are at the mall (online) looking for special offers (specific products).

Once there (searching), they pick your store out of many other choices (organically).

4. Instant vs Long-term

Funding is instant while generating is an invested, long-term approach.

If you are a new business looking to get your name out there, Adwords can help get the quick exposure you want. Using PPC to pay for impressions starts to work right away.

As soon as your ad is activated, people will see it and start to get an idea of your business and services.

Additionally, you can adjust a campaign in real-time.

If you notice something is not working, you can opt to change keywords, targeting, budget, and more. If you see the results you want, you can add to your budget and continue to build your campaign.

Setting up SEO strategies, however, builds leads over time.

If you already have an online presence – like social media, a blog, or features on someone else’s blog – use it to your advantage. If you are just getting started, keep your branding and messaging consistent as you grow.

Use the same phrases and keywords across all platforms. Post regularly because SEO operates on strong, relevant content.

This may be a challenge to keep up with at first. It takes time to plan and engage but it ends up working in your favor in the long-run.

The more you talk about your “coffee shop specials” or “Florida legal services”, the more of a chance you have to appear in search results for these phrases.

Good content catches a potential customer’s eye and makes them click on your page. This is considered traffic.

Content posted regularly is what keeps people coming back until they decide to buy-in to your service or product.

This is called conversions, the ultimate goal of any online strategy.

5. Exposure vs Recognition

Is your main goal to be seen or to be found?

Funding Adwords will get you seen. Either through impressions or the chance to click on your ad, someone searching for the keywords you pay for will see your business.

Building SEO will get you found, though. SEO joins users with what they are looking for using relevant, updated data.

This is something they tend to trust much more than a business backing an ad. In fact, 94% of users click on organic search results over paid search.

As with any business strategy, trust is an important factor to consider.

Choosing Adwords vs SEO can sometimes come down choosing between putting yourself right in front of your audience or opening the door for them to reach you.

Picking Between Adwords vs SEO

There is no defined right or wrong when it comes to Adwords vs SEO.

Each strategy is a unique online approach to specific real-world solutions.

Ask yourself what you aim to achieve from search engines, then see where your goal aligns the most.

For a free consultation on the best digital marketing solutions for your business, contact us today.

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