SEO or Google adwords Pay Per Click for online marketing

You’ve probably seen the terms SEO and AdWords passed around especially in conjunction with each other. This may have left you thinking they are one in the same right? Well, the reality is they are very different components that make up Search Engine Marketing and can be used together or separately depending on your business and marketing objectives.

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the art of gaining better rankings for your website pages. You can achieve this by making sure certain areas of your page are optimized so that search engines are able to read and define what your page is all about. These elements include using the keyword that you want to rank for as well as related terms in the following places :

  • Page Title
  • Meta Description
  • Alt text for pictures
  • Main body of text

    Implementing proper SEO will help you rank better in the organic search results displayed to the user. In order to help your page rank highly, you will need to ensure that it is relevant, useful, easy to read and navigate. When you deliver a great user experience to the end user, search engines recognize this and will push your page up the SERPs.

What is Google Adwords

Adwords is a paid service created by Google where you can advertise your content to display on certain search queries. You can target keywords including products or services you offer as well as your competitors. Your ad will display at the top of the page right above the organic search results.When someone clicks on your ad they will be directed to your site and you will be charged for that click. The cost per click varies depending on the competitiveness of the particular keyword you want to go after. For instance a broad keyword such as “marketing agency” will be much more expensive than a narrower keyword like “marketing agency in Singapore”.

SEO or Google Adwords? Not Exactly One or the Other

For the best results, you will want to utilize both SEO and AdWords to clearly position your site in front of your target audience. When someone who is unfamiliar with your site sees your brand listed twice on their results page they will be more likely to choose you. Below are a few examples of times where you would want to use Google AdWords or SEO.

  • With SEO you will need to gain trust through site clicks and backlinks which require more time and an ongoing effort to maintain that ranking. With AdWords, you don’t need as much effort, so if you want to get traffic fast, Adwords is the more suitable option.
  • Long term wise, SEO is a more cost effective strategy since you’re not charged per click.
  • Adwords can be turned on instantly and the more money you spend, the more traffic you receive.
  • With Adwords, you are guaranteed that your site will be displayed in the search results and you get to customize the message you want to have displayed. You are not guaranteed a spot nor are you allowed to customize what’s displayed as easily with SEO.

    In terms of cost, Adwords provides more certainty for the desired result which is paid search traffic. You can allocate a fix budget, for example $1000, to be spent in Adwords and assuming an average cost-per-click of $2, you can receive 500 clicks or visitors to your website. This is not the same for SEO where you are more reliant on the effort by the vendor. There are also other variables attributed to Google’s ranking algorithm, more than 200 factors. The wait is longer for SEO to start bringing in organic traffic for the target keywords, usually after a couple of months. In some cases, websites may not even respond to SEO at all!

Keyword data

Perhaps the biggest synergy between SEO and Google Adwords is the wealth of keywords the PPC campaign can uncover. Since Google stopped providing search keywords that bring a website organic traffic, SEOs have limited visibility of the potential keywords to rank for. Through pay per click campaign, Adwords will inform us what are the search terms people are typing to find your business, we can optimize our website for these keywords we know will bring traffic. You don’t have to make an either or choice when it comes to SEO and AdWords, they are both sides of the same coin and your best bet is to utilize both. Having your website appearing in both paid and organic listings will greatly boost your credentials and increase traffic. They become even more effective when used in a coordinated search strategy. Be bold to stamp your authority in the SERPs!

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Kelvin is the principal of Emarsity, an academy which coaches Internet Marketing skills.

About the author

Kelvin Koh brings with him close to 10 years of digital marketing experience. He worked as a senior digital strategist for a top SEO agency in Singapore, and is also a very experienced internet marketer and search specialist. Since then Kelvin has been providing over 6 years of search consultancy services to MNCs and SMEs. Some of his most notable SEO work includes Huawei, Fuji Xerox, Singapore International Foundation, Raffles Design Institute. Kelvin went on to attain his Advanced Certificate in Training and Assessment (ACTA) with WDA. He is also a certified PA trainer.