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Google AdWords vs. SEO: What's Better?

The answer greatly depends on the nature of your business. Before analyzing which marketing channel is better for driving value and traffic for one’s business — SEO or Google AdWords, let’s first define the following terms. This will help you get a better understanding which approach would work best for your marketing.

google adwords vs seo

What’s the Difference Between Google AdWords and SEO?

  • Search engine optimization is a methodology of strategies and tactics used to increase the number of visitors to a site. SEO makes use of techniques that are meant to tweak the Google algorithm so that a person’s resource will have a high ranking on the search engine. These methods include using valuable keywords, linking content to trustworthy websites or other related sites as well as using relevant meta descriptions.
  • Google AdWords, in turn, makes use of paid advertising. This way, website owners have to pay a search engine (no matter whether it’s Google, Yahoo or Bing) to place their resource at the top of Google search results. It should also be noted that the site owner has to pay every time a user clicks on his ad.

Let’s Compare Google AdWords and SEO


We’ll start with the price comparison. The great thing about SEO is that it can be initially free since there is no need to pay for most programs that help you with SEO techniques. The only thing you need to do is to know which SEO methodologies work best for your resource and apply them.  

However, as soon as your business develops, you may have to opt for professional SEO services, such as Semalt, to further boost your web pages so that you can stay in a game and beat the competition. Companies that specialize in the SEO area and have insights from having been working in the same sphere for years can provide your business the attention and efforts it needs.

Google AdWords has a pay-per-click type of scheme. With this scheme, the one will have a certain budget that he will pay every time a user clicks on the ad. Thus, the more users you can get, the more you will have to pay. Although it may seem a bit costly to you at first, it isn’t if you compare it to print and magazine ads.

Number of Viewers and Leads

When looking at the return on investment, you have to look at the possible number of leads Google AdWords and SEO can give. Both methods can provide a remarkable number of viewers. AdWords advantage, in this case, is that it can get more leads in a short period. However, if we stick to a long term though, you will see that people will flock more towards organic search results. The simple explanation of the fact is that organic search is what users are looking for. To sum it up, AdWords will give you leads or viewers right away, but it is not as sustainable as SEO which can get you more viewers over an accumulated period.

adwords vs seo


For speed, AdWords would be a better choice. For SEO it would take some time for users to see your website through organic search results. For the AdWords though, you can get leads almost right away because Google AdWords can target your chosen demographic. SEO does not target demographics. What SEO can do is make sure that your website is relevant and your desired target audience will find it.

What Should I Choose: Google AdWords or SEO?

Now that you know the benefits of each marketing channel, it would be easier for you to determine which one is better for your business. If you strive to generate leads quickly, then AdWords would be the perfect choice for you. However, if you want your business to have steady growth, then you must invest in employing SEO techniques. Note, having both marketing channels may prove to be beneficial as long as you set your key performance indicators and continue to measure the success of each marketing channel.

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