Google AdWords vs. Search Engine Optimization

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Search Engine Optimization Vs. Google AdWords

Looking at the differences between the two methods and how you can choose which is right for your business.

Today, I want to describe the difference between running a Google AdWords campaign and your typical Search Engine Optimization or SEO strategy, and how it can affect your online presence, your digital marketing strategy and your budget. 

Defining the options

A Google AdWords campaign relies on businesses and marketers to bid on specific keywords and direct that traffic to their websites. An SEO strategy however, relies on tweaking the content and making certain strategic decisions with your website to help pique the interest of search engines and their algorithms so that you can adjust how you will rank on website search results. 

Three primary areas you want to look at to assess which strategy to use for your business are price, return on investment and speed. 


Let's start with price. Depending on how competitive your area of business or industry is, will determine how much your Google AdWords campaign will cost. For example, if you're in an industry where certain keywords are highly competitive and there are a lot of people bidding on them, you can expect to pay more for each click. Looking at the price of an SEO strategy, you're looking at a long term plan that's typically 12 to 24 months, and the cost will vary depending on the amount of effort and competitive nature of your space just as well. 


The results you get from a Google AdWords campaign are pretty much immediate. The minute you click start on your campaign, you will start to see your website rank on Google, depending on how your budget and campaign is setup, and you will see traffic start to come towards your website relatively quickly. In comparison, an SEO strategy can take several months start affecting your positioning on search engine results & see changes in your search results position. 

Return on Investment (ROI)

Measuring ROI can sometimes require running both campaigns in parallel to see which campaign is driving more traffic towards your website. By tying it in to analytics software such as Google Analytics, you can measure the Return on Investment or the cost of every acquisition (CPA) for the traffic that's being directed to your website and make a decision based on those numbers on whether it's cheaper or more economical to drive traffic to your website with an AdWords campaign or with traditional SEO. 

Bear in mind, when you're looking at the amount of leads that are coming in, you also want to look at the quality of the leads coming in as well when you're trying to assess the difference between your Google AdWords campaign and your SEO strategy. 

I'm Sandeep with this weeks Digital Marketing Moment. If you enjoyed this tip, I encourage you to subscribe to our YouTube channel as we'll be posting a new tip every Monday.