In this digital age, almost every company in North America must face the question of choosing between SEO and Google Ads.
First let’s take a look at their positions on Google’s search engine results:
These are Google Ads
These are organic search results from SEO
Some people say SEO can be compared to buying a house whereas Google Ads can be compared to renting a house. My understanding of the two products is that Google has a set of rules: let people with money buy with money; let people with talent buy with talent.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is the practice of using content and technique to optimize your website so that your website would achieve a high rank on search engine result pages. SEO not only works on Google, but also works for other search engines such as Windows’ Bing and China’s Baidu.
According to Google, 83% of the population uses Google, and of those users 97% never browse past the first page of their search results. Also, 76% of users only focus on organic content, hence the importance of SEO. The traffic that SEO brings is stable, lasting, and free, and the conversion rate of SEO is 2-3 times that of purchased advertisements. If your SEO is done well, your Google Ads costs will be lower, too. The weakness of SEO is that it takes a lot of time; often it takes 3-6 months to see the effects of SEO. SEO also takes quite the effort; you’ll have to write relevant original content, manage social media presence and make videos content for Google to recognize you as a worthy website and put you on the first page.
Google AdWords, also known as Google Ads, is an advertising platform created by Google. When users search certain keywords, companies who have the top bids on the keywords will be listed at the top of the search results, before the SEO-ranked organic content.
Some SEO companies that claim they are very effective often use improper methods that allow their customers to rank highly in a short period of time, but every half a year Google releases a new algorithm that prevents such practices.
If you are a new company or e-commerce site that is in urgent need of quick traffic or sales, then Google Ads can provide results immediately at the cost of a lot of money. The trick here is to find the right keywords; two similar keywords may bring 10x or even 100x the difference in site traffic, and there are many free tools online that can help you find the right keywords. If you manage your Google Ads through a proper advertising firm, they should provide you with a monthly report on the cost of every click and the total number of clicks on your ad.
The right way to do SEO is to hire a professional writer or SEO company and publish new articles every week, new videos every month, and link your website to your social media accounts and other influential sites. It’s also important to use Google Analytics, which can help you find areas of your website that are not SEO-friendly; in such a case, even if you have excellent content, Google won’t be able to capture it.
On the internet, content is king. For example, a friend of mine runs a famous Canadian chess school for youth; they’ve published a lot of chess tournament-related articles and pictures on their website, and even without paying for advertisement or intentionally developing their SEO, their website’s traffic is organically high, with conversion rates of greater than 30% (on average, a conversion rate of 5% is already pretty good).
But for seasonal activities, such as their summer camp that runs from July to August, I would recommend investing in 1-2 months of Google Ads, which would generate visible results by June.
TRUE-E Group is Canada’s top comprehensive digital marketing company, with over 15 years’ experience in Canada’s and China’s digital marketing industry. We provide SEO, Google Ads, social media, video promotion, and localized e-marketing services to both Canadian and Chinese companies.
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About the author: May, vice-president of True-E Group. True-E Group is Canada’s comprehensive digital marketing firm (includes True-E Analytics, True-E Media, True-E Marketing, True-E E-commerce). With over 15 years of professional experience, we provide website content, design and development, social media platform management, Youtube video creations, and SEO and Google Ads services. We are a Google Partner and specialize in helping Chinese companies enter the North American market and in helping North American companies enter the Chinese market. If you are interested in partnering, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.