The difference between SEO and Google AdWords Marketing
When it comes to the modern world of digital marketing, two distinct activities reign supreme for nurturing brand awareness, generating leads, and providing direct response and sales. These are, of course, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC) via Google AdWords.
The foundation of service for any digital marketing agency, SEO and AdWords offer tremendous benefits to both SMEs and larger corporate business.
With both being the cornerstone of improving digital authority and presence, what are the key differences between these forms of advertising? With every businesses requirement being unique, is one better than the other?
Search Engine Optimisation: Organic results over time
SEO has been around for many years. At its core, SEO aims to manipulate and work with the algorithms used by major search engines such as Google, providing page one results for a given website when specific keywords are searched for.
With billions of searches performed daily, SEO offers the potential to spread brand awareness and increase sales significantly. It also provides a further benefit in the form of large volumes of customer data that can be used to tailor further services and offers.
SEO is a particularly dynamic field, requiring expert knowledge and attentive service to be utilised to its greatest potential. Every year, updates are made to search engines such as Google. These changes result in search engines that are increasingly sophisticated, rewarding different practices and forms of content and engagement as time passes. This ever-changing nature rewards skilled, up-to-date agencies with a powerful service to offer to their clients.
SEO is not an overnight process. An effective campaign will take several months to bear fruit, after which the benefits in increased sales and digital presence authority continue to mature over time. Once a campaign is established, however, the cost of maintaining may be lower than other forms of advertising such as PPC with Google AdWords.
Google AdWords: The traffic you want - today
Where SEO provides benefit in the months to come, Google AdWords offers immediate results. Through a system of bidding on designated keywords, your advertisements will appear at the very top of the search engine results page for the viewer.
This is significant largely due to browsing behaviour. Analytics on the rate at which the top results on page one are clicked, as well as eye tracking studies, have demonstrated clearly the importance of the position in which an AdWords advertisement is placed.
The sophistication of AdWords is a further benefit. With additional features such as the ability for the viewer to contact the company running the ad via text for those browsing on mobile, AdWords is capable of capturing business and interest at various stages of the marketing funnel using further tools such as re-marketing.
AdWords is also unique in its ability to generate highly targeted traffic through methods such as demographic targeting. This can improve the rate and quality of conversions and be used in tandem with activities such as time-sensitive offers and deals.
This leads to a distinction of key importance – cost! While AdWords can provide an instant benefit and clearly measurable return on investment (ROI), the price of an effective campaign can be greater than the running costs of an SEO campaign.
Making the choice
Budget and the urgency of need in bringing in new business are the key considerations when evaluating SEO and AdWords for your digital marketing needs. An AdWords campaign can be run effectively by itself and will generate results swiftly, but every click is paid for. An SEO campaign may be affordable and will generate traffic that is technically free but will require time to mature before it comes into full effect.
For those able to dedicate appropriate budget to their digital marketing, however, tremendously powerful results can be found in the combination of both SEO and AdWords.
Working hand in hand, an AdWords campaign can provide immediate generation of business and clear ROI while your SEO comes to fruition over time. The customer data provided from AdWords can also be used to strengthen the page positions with SEO.
The right team for the job
Regardless of your choice, the increasing sophistication of both SEO and Google AdWords marketing require more than ever a team or agency that is up to date and skilled in tailoring the wide toolkit of digital marketing to the needs of every individual client.
With many different tools available, both SEO and AdWords are employed at their most powerful when they are managed carefully to meet the needs of the client in the right way and at the right time.
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