Many often confuse Google ads and SEO with being the same as both are a part of SEM (Search Engine Marketing). Both of these are used to increase the reach of your website. The main difference lies in the way both of these work. Both SEO and Google ads are valuable tools for running digital marketing campaigns. SEO works to get your site higher in organic rankings, whereas Google ads target specific keywords to create ads that promote your site and increase traffic. Both of these channels can help you improve your overall visibility on the search results page. They have differences and similarities, and some situations imply using both for a successful digital marketing strategy. The internet is replete with myths regarding both of these, but reality stands far away. The following is a detailed comparison between them. Read between the lines to get all your doubts cleared.
WHAT IS SEO
Search engine optimization is the process of setting your website higher to make it easier to find on various search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. The primary purpose of SEO is to let Google know what your website is about and a helpful resource in its industry. To get higher rankings for your website among others on the search engine results page, you have to make sure that it is search engine friendly. This type of website is easily read by search engines and provides ease of access for users also. Your website should be fast and functional and consist of unique and quality content for a user-friendly experience. SEO is of two types:
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
It contains things that help the search engines to know what your page is all about. Using specific keywords for your website can help search engines in doing that. On the page, SEO inculcates optimizing the standards of the visible content on your website to generate more qualified traffic.
It refers to all those things done outside your website but helps improve your search engine results page ranking. It is a powerful and effective tool to get your site a higher rank on the search engines. It involves many practices like link building, social media marketing, etc to generate more traffic for your website. Some industry experts are of the view that off-page Search Engine Optimization is even more important than on-page SEO.
To people new to digital marketing, buzzwords like PPC, CPC, bids, and campaigns may sound a bit alien. Reading this will help you out. Now, Google ads is an advertising platform provided by Google which lets you post your ads on top of search engine results pages. A pay-per-click model does this. Advertisers can choose to pay whenever a user clicks on their ads. Imagine it working like a big auction where advertisers bid to get available places for advertising. Many companies hire a dedicated Google ads manager to manage their ad campaigns. A laser hair cap company would find someone to run their ad campaigns or a lawyer for his law firm’s pay-per-click management program. The massive reach of Google helps these companies to generate a lot more traffic on their websites.
- The significant difference is that Google ads promote content on Google sites only, while SEO works for all search engines.
- Google ads drive paid traffic to your website by displaying them on the top of the search engine results page, while SEO mobilizes organic traffic by optimizing your web pages.
- Google ads make it easier for advertisers to calculate their ROI, but SEO finds it difficult due to many other factors.
- Google ads work only till you use them, but SEO will continue to drive organic traffic to your website for a long time.
- Google ads empower you to place ads on various websites and apps like Youtube and Gmail, but SEO only works for search engine results pages.
- Google ads enable advertisers to generate traffic on their website instantly, but SEO works gradually. However, it is essential to note that SEO drives traffic for a longer time than Google ads.
- Google ads allow many keywords, but SEO targets only a few of them to drive traffic.
- Google ads offer you the discretion to choose your budget and the devices you want to put your ads on, SEO on the other hand doesn’t allow any provisions of this type.
- Google ads are comparatively costlier than the prevailing SEO practices.
- Google ads take less time for generating more traffic for your website, on the other hand, SEO takes much time, but it also works well for longer periods.
- On average, SEO offers higher Click-through rates than Google ads.
- Google ads are displayed on the top and bottom of your SERP( Search engine results page) easily and by doing some good bidding and picking the right keyword, but the same task is very difficult in SEO practices, as it is done on the organic search engines.
- The traffic generated with the Google ads campaign is stopped when you stop the Campaign, but this is not the case with SEO. You can continuously get more traffic for long periods if you get your SEO strategy right.
- Another significant difference between Google ads and SEO is that the former generates paid traffic to the website, but the SEO offers an increase in organic traffic for free.
- Google ads present a variety of formats for your ads, it includes images, videos, and text. SEO on the other hand lags in this.
Both Google ads and SEO are indispensable for every digital marketing strategy, and they are the most valuable tools for running successful advertising campaigns. The marketing teams should consider the pros and cons for both Google ads and SEO, and use them in a way that aligns best with their purpose. There should not be any confusion regarding the use of the two. Make sure that your Digital marketing guys are well aware of the latest tools, both for Google ads and SEO. As both of them have similarities and differences, and it depends on the advertisers to choose whether to use them together or separately, depending upon his strategy and goals.
About the Author
A writer by day and amateur illustrator by night, Nitika is a content strategist with a degree in Commerce. She loves reading, pop culture, and marketing gimmicks. You may connect with her on Instagram.